No Longer at Ease | Study Guide

Chinua Achebe

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No Longer at Ease | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • 1951

    Obi Okonkwo goes to England to study.

    Chapter 1
  • Sometime later

    Obi meets Clara at a dance.

    Chapter 3
  • October 1956

    Obi returns to Nigeria and takes a civil-service job.

    Chapter 7
  • Six months later

    Obi refuses a bribe at work.

    Chapter 9
  • That night

    Clara says they cannot marry because she is an osu.

    Chapter 7
  • December 1956

    Obi asks for a grace period for his loan and is refused.

    Chapter 8
  • February 1957

    Obi visits his home village of Umuofia.

    Chapter 13
  • One day later

    Obi's mother, Hannah Okonkwo, threatens suicide if he marries Clara.

    Chapter 14
  • Some days later

    Clara breaks up with Obi and reveals her pregnancy.

    Chapter 15
  • Some days later

    Obi takes Clara to have an abortion.

    Chapter 16
  • That day

    Clara is hospitalized with complications.

    Chapter 17
  • Months later

    Obi's mother dies.

    Chapter 18
  • Weeks later

    Obi starts accepting bribes.

    Chapter 19
  • Weeks later

    Obi is arrested for accepting a bribe.

    Chapter 19
  • Sometime later

    Obi is put on trial for bribery.

    Chapter 1

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 The novel begins in the 1950s in Nigeria, in the capital city of Lagos. Obi Okonkwo is on trial—for what, the novel does... Read More
Chapter 2 The chapter begins with Obi's realization that the four years he spent in England taught him what Nigeria means to him. ... Read More
Chapter 3 Chapter 3 focuses on the story of Clara and Obi, beginning with when they first met, years ago in London. Obi sees Clara... Read More
Chapter 4 Obi's ship arrives at Lagos in October. Since cargo ships have an irregular schedule, no one waits at the docks to greet... Read More
Chapter 5 Back in England, Obi had once presented a paper to a student group, explaining that the old generation of corrupt Nigeri... Read More
Chapter 6 Obi is still in Umuofia on his homecoming visit, which is clouded by the state of his frail, sick mother, Hannah Okonkwo... Read More
Chapter 7 On Obi's first day at work, he thinks back to his first day of school 20 years ago. The inspector of schools, a white ma... Read More
Chapter 8 It is December 1956. Obi plans to attend the meeting of the Lagos branch of the Umuofia Progressive Union, held on the f... Read More
Chapter 9 At work Obi shares an office with Mr. Green's secretary, Miss Marie Tomlinson. At first he did not trust this European w... Read More
Chapter 10 It has been a year since Obi started work and a year since he bought his car. Now, his £42 annual car insurance fee is d... Read More
Chapter 11 At work, the friendship between Obi and Miss Tomlinson progresses. Now, he calls her Marie instead of Miss Tomlinson. Th... Read More
Chapter 12 It is after Christmas. Obi's father writes to him, telling him that his mother is in the hospital again and that he shou... Read More
Chapter 13 Obi has two weeks' vacation coming to him, from February 10 to February 24, 1957. He will head to his hometown, Umuofia,... Read More
Chapter 14 Obi is still at home in Umuofia. In the evening, he talks to Isaac Okonkwo, his father, about his impending marriage to ... Read More
Chapter 15 While Obi is driving back to Lagos, two mammy wagons run him off the road. The accident could have been fatal, but he is... Read More
Chapter 16 Obi wonders where he will get the £30 for the doctor's fee. Christopher offers no help; he is such a spendthrift that he... Read More
Chapter 17 At the office, Mr. Green inquires politely about Obi's vacation. Obi has been dealing with such momentous events that he... Read More
Chapter 18 Clara stays in the hospital for five weeks. As soon as she gets out, she is given 70 days' leave from work, and she leav... Read More
Chapter 19 Now that his guilt about his mother is over, Obi feels like a new man. In his diary he compares himself to a snake that ... Read More
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