My Mercedes is Bigger Than Yours by Nkem Nwankwo
My Mercedes Is Bigger than Yours is actually a morally cautionary tale narrated in acerbic, socially realistic style. Although the snobbery and false values of the young man on the make, Onuma Okude, are the main targets of the narrator’s implicit disdain, the narrative does not in general uphold the traditional village lifestyle as an ideal in contrast with Onuma’s “city slicker” preferences for glamorous activities and conspicuous consumption. In fact, the author does little to offset Onuma’s revulsion at the general squalor and bleakness by which the young man feels beset on his first visit home after his fifteen-year absence at high school and university and in his public relations job with a foreign shipping firm. Onuma persistently focuses on “the whole pattern of life in the village, its lethargy, its sloth, its smug conservatism” (159), and on dirt.
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