Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay examples

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Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

The last chapter of Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" concludes with the sentence:
"He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger."
This refers to the District Commissioner's chosen title for a book he has written that would have the African people, the Igbo tribe specifically, as the main subject. From the title itself, one can say that the writer has an unfavorable bias against his subject. But come to think of it, there are many factors why it would be impossible for the District Commissioner to write an accurate description of the culture he's trying to write about. How can he do so when he knows very little …show more content…

By using different proverbs, folktales and song that is originally written in the Igbo language, the author has managed to convey the beauty of his native language to the readers. In the book, the colonial masters have ridiculed the said language and called them "superfluous words", showing no appreciation at all of the beautiful and expressive language of the Umuofians. They have even come to the conclusion that their tribe was a "primitive" one. They have also said that the native customs are "bad" and their ceremonies and sacrifices as "frivolous". In the Chapter Twenty of the book, there's a conversation between Okonkwo and Obierika in which the latter rightly stated:
"Does the white man understand our custom about land? How can he when he does not speak our tongue?"

The language barrier between the colonists and the colonized enables critical misunderstandings to take place. The idea of someone vilifying certain customs and traditions in which he is unfamiliar is very laughable. The District Commissioner was therefore very misguided when he called the Igbo as a primitive tribe. .His statement contradicts very much with the fact that the Igbo people have their own complex language and a highly organized mode of living. The concept of being superior to others always finds a way to get into the picture somehow. Most of the European colonizers

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