Things Fall Apart (1958) is a fictional novel by Chinua Achebe that examines the life the Igbo tribe living in a rural village called Umuofia in Nigeria during the early 19th century. The central values of the novel revolve around status, virtues, power, and traditions that often determine the futures and present of the characters in the Achebe story. The novel shows the life of the protagonist Okonkwo and his family, village, and Igbo culture and the affects of colonisation of Umuofia on him and the people of his village by Christian missionaries. In this essay, I plan to look at colonialism in the novel before and after and the impact on Okonkwo and the village Umuofia and examine how
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is often regarded as the epitome of African literature, as it covers topics never before seen within the genre and paints the Igbo people as much more complex than previously assumed. Achebe provides the reader with a look into West African Igbo culture with well rounded characters and complex themes, and immerses audiences in a world to which they were previously unaware of. The novel revolves around Igbo tradition, part one being so steeped with culture and tradition is what helps the reader realize the severity of the British colonization. Once the reader becomes accustomed to Igbo terms and and traditions everything shifts as the Christians move in.
This theme shows in a multitude of ways that the author utilizes throughout the story, but perhaps most significant is the central conflict
A theme is a unifying or dominant idea in a literary work. Steinbeck described the competition of good versus evil as the story of mankind itself. He believes that every generation to come since Adam and Eve will now be immersed with the struggle of good and evil due to Eve’s curiosity that led to sin, eventually banning both her and Adam from the Garden of Eden. In East of Eden, Steinbeck makes the contest of good versus evil apparent through his contrasting description of the setting, the characters’ opposing personalities, and society’s changing morals.
The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe discusses the rise of an Igbo chieftain who came from great poverty to power and the eventual loss of Igbo traditions, rites, and the influence of his clan through his eyes due to western imperialism and colonialism. The intended audience for this novel is very broad, but if we tried to define it would primarily be people who have not experienced the Igbo culture and westerners or people who speak English. In this essay I will be focusing on the last six chapters: chapters 20 to 25. These chapters highlight the loss of power and customs of the Igbo people who have succumb to colonial rule. I fell Achebe is rhetorically effective and
In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, the Igbo culture experienced tremendous changes before, during, and after the colonial period as clearly illustrated by the writer. For instance, at first, we notice that there were well established social-economic and political structures in Nigeria based on their traditional customs. They had clansmen, members of the can and village elders. Each of these individuals played a particular role in the community. The Igbo people had a unity of purpose as well as a strong believe and faith in their traditional way of life. However, this was not the case when missionaries invaded their ancestral land. Enormous changes were witnessed. Among them include the conversion of people from their traditional beliefs and customs to Christianity, building of schools so as to introduce education to Nigerians, interference of roles, and gender relations among various families members just highlight but a few. Thus, in this paper, my primary objective was to vividly explore the changes that were experience by the Igbo in the Things Fall Apart during colonization and antithetically compare them in a very comprehensive manner with the concept of international development in the contemporary society i.e., past the colonial period. I have therefore made a hypothesis that the changes which took place in Nigeria Igbo community during and after colonization were of two types: there were those that significantly contributed to development, as well as those whose
The first literary term to discuss is setting. Setting is where and when a story takes place. In The Most Dangerous Game, the setting is a very important piece of this story. It takes place on an island, if the setting were different the story would not have the same effect. Another term is theme. Theme is the central message or overall idea of a story. In The Cask of Amontillado, the theme is revenge because Montresor is trying to find revenge on Fortunato because he has wronged him many times.
Therefore, Okonkwo’s realization of not being perfect emphasizes the lack of justification European missionaries had to completely disregard and eliminate the Igbo. Another scholar Donald Wehrs exposes the Igbo for being flawed pre-colonization-- “… we see that Igbo culture has within itself internal correctives. Just as Mosquito buzzes around Ear, so the maternal Ani forces Okonkwo, who dismisses the “silliness” of women, to take refuge in his motherland. Achebe implies that the crisis of Igbo society, the “falling apart” evident prior to the appearance of British colonizers, involves more than an imbalance between masculine and feminine goods” (Wehrs 133-164). Wehrs is implying that the troubles of the Igbo run deeper than a simple imbalance and the “falling apart” of the Igbo society cannot all be credited to the British colonizers, but rather the Igbo themselves. Issues arose internally even before the colonization occurred which is shown in Okonkwo’s exile to Mbanta. Therefore, Wehrs does not disregard the negative impact the arrival of the colonizers had on the Igbo, however, he argues that the impact isn’t as drastic as some
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 itself,
Without a plot there would be no stories, plays, or movies. A plot is described as the events that make a story and or the main part of the story. These events relate to one another in a type of pattern or sequence. A good story relies heavily on the plot. Setting and characters are built around the plot. Also, theme is very important in literature. The underlying message of a story is the theme. The big idea of a story comes from the theme. Authors use theme to convey their thoughts and beliefs about life. A piece of writing will often have more than one theme. Finishing each week’s assigned reading, I started noticing many have important and powerful themes.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe was wrote in 1958 as a response to European Literature viewing Africans as savages who were then enlightened and found peace and safety by the Europeans. Chinua describes the Igbo people and showed the culture and showing the way of life of the Igbo people. This book shows this powerful and eye opening look into the complex society of these tribes and villages and how law and order is run. The major theme that is I will focus is that traditional development of the Igbo tribe alone and with the influence of the Europeans.
The novel “Things Fall Apart” written by Chinua Achebe, is a tale based on the traditional beliefs and customs of an Ibo village during late 1800’s Africa. Through the telling of this story, we witness the remarkable depth of Igbo culture through its functions of religion, politics, judiciary and entertainment.
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
This paper reflects the novel “Things Fall Apart” written by Chinua Achebe in 1958. Achebe gives an overview of pre-colonialism and post-colonialism on Igbo, detailing how local traditions and cultural practices can “fall apart” in some scenarios through some introduced, externally created hassles elevated because of colonization. The protagonist named Okonkwo mentioned in the story is a proof showing the lifestyle of the tribe. My main objective and focus is to lay emphasis on Africa specifically the Igbo society, before and after the arrival of the Europeans in Umuofia community; the results of their arrival concerning Igbo culture, thus leading to the clash of cultures between the two categories. I will also draw on post-colonialism with respect to globalization.
Furthermore, the Igbo society parallels agrarian societies of a lesser developed world before colonialism unlike British’s religion that has developed into a society of education through urbanization. The novel shows how the Igbo peoples are uneducated on the common understanding of humanity. For example, in Things fall Apart Umuofians believes that the killing of children, specifically twins is ethically right, believing that twins are a work of the devil. When the white man comes they learn the basis of fifth commandment which teaches that God is the decider of who lives and who dies. For this reason, a pregnant woman named Nneka had watched her twin children get killed multiple times. Her family had made her feel as if she has failed to fulfill her womanly duty so she converted to Christianity and found an accepting family. As Achebe states, “Nneka had had four previous pregnancies and childbirths. But each time she had borne twins, and they had been immediately thrown away. Her husband and his family were already becoming highly critical of such a woman and were not unduly perturbed when they found she had fled to join the Christians.” (Chinua Achebe 1958) This example really show how their religion could be deemed as uneducated because their society killed innocent children due to the fact that they were twins whereas in a Christian society they were