Perspective in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe tells the story of how one unified Umuofian community falls due to its own inner conflicts, as well as to the arrival of Christian missionaries. Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart to change the brutish image of Africa, for the Western world. The use of changing perspectives greatly aided Achebe in accurately portraying Africa as colorful, diverse and complex. For Westerners, viewing Africans as more than tribal and barbaric was a new concept, of which Achebe helped usher in. The story is told through the eyes of many Umuofians, which gives the reader a personal sense for the individuals within the tribe. When all the individual pieces of the story are brought together, the sifting perspectives creates a…show more content…
The Commissioner’s detachment is clear, “As he walked back to the court he thought about that book [. . .] The story of this man who had kills a messenger and hanged himself would make interesting reading”(209). The perspective of the Commissioner placed next to that of the Umuofians, brings forward the true views of Europeans and Africans of the time. To completely describe Umuofia and its peoples, Achebe had to use shifting perspective to give an individual sense for the community and its actions. Changing perspective also gave a broad view of the tribe, due to all of the individual’s views patched together. Perspective allows the tribe’s many sides and complexities to show through, straight from the source, individual Umuofians. The community is built by every single Umuofian, it takes all of those feelings, opinion, problems, hopes and fears to form Umuofia. A true picture of Umuofia would not have been complete without the individuals who compose Umuofia being represented. Achebe captures the color and richness of this community, and its downfall, by showing the events through the eyes of the very people who make it what it is. Achebe puts Umuofia in it’s place within the European world, with perspective as well. Europeans think Africa is merely a good story to read about. While the Africans themselves, have
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