"The Day It Happened": Short Story Analysis

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 416 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Words: 416|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Abuse of Power
  2. Impact of Colonialism
  3. Resistance and Resilience

"The Day It Happened" is a powerful and thought-provoking story that delves into the complexities of power, authority, and colonialism in Africa. Through the character of the police officer and the conflict he incites in the village, Achebe explores the ways in which power can be abused and the lasting impact of colonial rule on traditional societies. The themes of resistance and resilience underscore the importance of community solidarity in the face of oppression. Overall, "The Day It Happened" serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggle for justice and autonomy in post-colonial Africa.

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Abuse of Power

One of the central themes in "The Day It Happened" is the abuse of power by those in positions of authority. The story opens with a description of the police officer, who is portrayed as a figure of fear and intimidation in the village. The officer's actions, such as demanding bribes and using violence to assert his authority, highlight the oppressive nature of his power. This abuse of power is further exemplified in the officer's treatment of the local man, who is physically assaulted and humiliated in front of the villagers. Through these interactions, Achebe critiques the corrupting influence of power and the ways in which it can be used to oppress others.

Impact of Colonialism

Another significant theme in "The Day It Happened" is the impact of colonialism on traditional African societies. The presence of the police officer in the village serves as a reminder of the lasting effects of colonial rule on the community. The officer represents the colonial authorities who imposed their will on the indigenous population through force and coercion. The tension between the officer and the local man reflects the broader power struggle between colonizers and colonized peoples. Achebe uses this conflict to explore the complexities of post-colonial identity and the ongoing struggle for autonomy and self-determination in Africa.

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Resistance and Resilience

In addition to power dynamics and colonialism, "The Day It Happened" also touches on themes of resistance and resilience. Despite the oppressive actions of the police officer, the villagers ultimately come together to support the local man and stand up against injustice. This act of solidarity demonstrates the strength and unity of the community in the face of adversity. Achebe portrays the villagers as resilient and resourceful, capable of challenging oppressive systems and asserting their own agency. This theme of resistance highlights the importance of collective action in the fight against oppression and the preservation of cultural identity.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

“The Day It Happened”: Short Story Analysis. (2024, March 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
““The Day It Happened”: Short Story Analysis.” GradesFixer, 15 Mar. 2024,
“The Day It Happened”: Short Story Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
“The Day It Happened”: Short Story Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 15 [cited 2024 Jul 18]. Available from:
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