Achebe's Impartiality In Things Fall Apart
Knowledge of Africa and the inhabitants of the massive continent were often portrayed as barbaric beasts by the first missionaries to enter the land. Because of skewed writings by European missionary workers, a picture was painted for their readership of a savage Africa saved only by the benevolent, civilized western influence. Achebe successfully attempts to redirect this attitude. Achebe educationally has the means to convey a different perspective, an advantage most other individuals of his culture lack. In his novel Things Fall Apart, rather than glorifying the Ibo culture, or even offering a new view, Achebe acts as a pipeline for information to flow freely without partiality. …show more content…
The accumulation of a congregation was a slow process. Mr. Kiaga, the interpreter in charge of the congregation, was "firm" and it was this trait that "saved the young church" (157, Ach). His strong faith and new beliefs were inspirational to those clansmen that had ever questioned the Ibo practices. Mr. Brown, a white missionary, was characterized as "respected even by the clan" (178, Ach). Mr. Brown was even offered a gift by one of the neighboring villages, "which was a sign of his dignity and rank" (179, Ach). He did not simply preach his ideas, but educated himself in the tribe's culture through conversations with the clansmen. Mr. Brown opened a school and hospital in Umofia. "And it was not long before the people began to say that the white man's medicine was quick in working. Mr. Brown's school produced quick results" (181, Ach). Achebe chooses to characterize a missionary such as Mr. Brown favorably to create for the reader a respectable and exemplary view of the missionary. This benevolent perception of missionaries is neutralized with Mr. Browns contrast: Reverend James Smith.
When Reverend James Smith is sent to replace the ill Mr. Brown, "things" reroute. Reverend James Smith openly disputed Mr. Brown's "policy of compromise and
According to Chimamanda Adichie, a Nigerian writer who believes in the power of story, if one traps oneself into the narrow world of “single story” about another person or country, that person would risk a crucial misconception. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is considered as the most authentic response to contemporary Western’s literature depiction of Africa, which usually obligates the readers to only look at the “single story” that is written with personal stereotypes under an ethnocentric point of view. As a result, in his famous Things Fall Apart, Achebe contrasts the perspective of the colonized on imperialism with that of the colonizing in order to provide an alternative to the Western literature’s “single story” of Africa.
Chinua Achebe’s, Things Fall Apart, is a story of a traditional village in Nigeria from inside Umuofia around the late 1800s. This novel depicts late African history and shows how the British administrative structure, in the form of the European Anglican Church, imposed its religion and trappings on the cultures of Africa, which they believed was uncivilized. This missionary zeal subjugated large native populations. Consequently, the native traditions gradually disappeared and in time the whole local social structure within which the indigenous people had lived successfully for centuries was destroyed. Achebe spends the first half of the novel depicting the Ibo culture, by
Prior to Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, Africa had been viewed as a one dimensional entity, opposed to the amount of diversity it contains. Africa is the second largest continent behind Asia. This massive size, and varying terrain must encompass people as diverse as the landscape. These people can not be deduced to a stereotyped term of being “African”, because each African does not fit the preconceived image of what an african is. It is not a country it is a land mass with people, animals, and vegetation, that differ by all the many regions. This outline that has been constructed of what makes up an African is due to underrepresentation in the media. Achebe demolished this notion for his readers, by creating a world the reader can
Of Imperialism, English writer and composer Anthony Burgess once said, “Colonialism. The enforced spread of the rule of reason. But who is going to spread it among the colonizers?”. In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe chronicles the life of underdog turned successful clansman Okonkwo, as well as the complexity of the Ibo culture in pre-colonial Africa. With the arrival of British missionaries, Okonkwo’s world crumbles as their cultures clash, and more African people begin to join the church. The Ibo people at first greatly underestimate the power of the colonizers, yet they make a deep and lasting impact on their culture. These missionaries completely change the lives of the Ibo people. Achebe’s main message is to communicate this clash of
During the 19th century, European colonization and imperialism swept the face of African societies. The voices of these entrapped societies were highly suppressed throughout the time period resulting in a narrow westernized perspective of the event. However, this changed when Chinua Achebe-- the first African to have a novel published-- created his masterpiece Things Fall Apart. Through this spectacular novel, Achebe depicts the clash of cultures between the British colonists and the Igbo tribe as well as the mixed emotions in regards to western influence among tribal members through the lenses of Okonkwo and his son Nwoye. Through the cultural interactions between the British and the Igbo people, Achebe is able to artfully and elaborately
By utilizing an unbiased stance in his novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe promotes cultural relativity without forcibly steering his audience to a particular mindset. He presents the flaws of the Ibo tribe the same way he presents the assets—without either condescension or pride; he presents the cruelties of the colonizers the same way he presents their open mindedness—without either resentment or sympathy. Because of this balance, readers are able to view the characters as multifaceted human beings instead of simply heroes and victims. Achebe writes with such subtle impartiality that American audiences do not feel guilty for the cruel actions of the colonizers or disgusted by the shocking traditions of the tribesmen. The readers stop
Small decisions can often have a large impact with major consequences. This theme is portrayed in many books, poems, movies and other types of media. This theme is also seen in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, which tells the story of the people of the Ibo tribe, sharing their stories, lessons, and experiences. Many major consequences in this book are the cause of seemingly minor decisions, namely the killing of Ikemefuna, the white man in Abame, and the messenger in the marketplace. These stunning and unpredictable scenes often come to support this. To convey the effects of small actions and quick decisions, Chinua Achebe uses suspenseful and dramatic scenes.
Throughout the book Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe challenges the typical stereotypes of colonial Africa. The story follows the lives of the Ibo people, and explains the culture and traditions of African tribes in Nigeria before and after being colonized by the Europeans.
Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart” chronicles the life of Okonkwo, a strong man whose existence is dominated by fear and anger, and the Ibo tribe, a people deeply rooted in cultural belief and tradition. As events unfold, Okonkwo’s carefully constructed world and the Ibo way of life collapses. The story of Okonkwo’s fall from a respected and feared leader of the Ibo tribe to an outcast who dies in disgrace dramatizes his inability to evolve beyond his personal beliefs, affecting the entire Ibo tribe beyond measure. The “things” that fall apart in Achebe’s novel are Okonkwo’s life – his ambition, dreams, family unity and material wealth – and the Ibo way of life – their beliefs, culture and values.
The author Chinua Achebe, in the novel, “Things Fall Apart,” shares extreme diversity between the female and male characters residing in Umofia. Okonkwo, the male leader of the tribe, carries qualities such as power and manliness, as all men are expected to. As for the females they are commonly referred to as being weaker for child bearing and more responsible because they are expected to cook, clean, and take care of their children. Although the traits of the Igbo culture vary in the determination of the sexes, both genders share both positive and negative aspects on their community.
The novel "Things Fall Apart" examines African culture before the colonial infiltration. Achebe's novel forces us to examine the customs and traditions that make up an informal culture. At times we may find some their practices appalling, but Achebe makes us realize that the traditions and customs are what essentially hold the Ibo together. Achebe wrote 'Things Fall Apart" with the intention of changing the common view of African culture. He wrote the novel from an insider's perspective, revealing that African culture was not solely based on barbaric and mindless rituals. Achebe reveals the affects of the colonial infiltration on African societies. Through his
The novel, things fall apart was set in the late nineteenth century which was a period of conflict and drastic change in Africa, where indigenous societies clashed with imperialistic European powers. The author, Chinua Achebe adds this tension of the historic British colonial expansion to present another dimension to Okonkwo's tragedy. Achebe challenges ethnocentric views of Africa through his use of language throughout the novel. The author also includes themes of Cultural relativism by introducing the Ibo’s traditions and language.
In my reading of Things Fall Apart, it has better informed me of a culture that I did not know of before, and by reading it helped correct some broad misconceptions that I previously held of the people and their cultures of Africa. Reading the novel also gave me another perspective on the effects of imperialism/colonialism by the Europeans on the Africans. I believe Achebe has succeeded in enabling the West an opportunity to have them "listen to the weak" (Achebe interview), but whether or not Western society decides to listen will come down to the individual within the society--if they do choose to listen to the call of the "weak." In this essay I will share