The Truth Lies Can Tell : How Stories Shape Our Perspectives

Decent Essays
The Truth Lies Can Tell: How Stories Shape Our Perspectives

“Young as I was, I knew that I wanted the story to be true, true in the way fiction can be true” (Achebe) .

Stories are essential to the identity of the human race. From ancient cave paintings depicting tales of epic hunts, to modern day movies in 3D cinema, the tales we tell show our values and our desires, both individually and as a society. Things Fall Apart proves to be no exception. In reading this novel, I found myself presented with a broader scope of the world through hearing a type of story I had never heard before, and a renewed perspective on how I personally process stories.
Through Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe presents what matters to him, informing the world
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After he is banished from the clan for accidentally killing a respected clansmen’s son, Okonkwo’s disdain for femininity is emphasized in that despite his mother’s tribe’s extreme generosity and kindness in providing for him and taking him in, he “regretted every day in his exile” (Achebe 162). By the end of the novel, Okonkwo’s beliefs so strongly define him, that his hatred for his people’s perceived “weakness” in refusing to go to war against the colonizers drives him to hang himself, an act not only terrible in and of itself, but unforgivable in the eyes of the society he lives. To the point, Okonkwo’s actions and moral values are also expressed in the stories he tells to his sons, “masculine stories of violence and bloodshed” (Achebe 53). His eldest son, Nwoye, expresses in the same chapter that he secretly enjoys his mother’s stories about clever turtles, and vultures that end droughts and bring healing to the land. Through these stories, the reader infers that Nwoye appreciates healing and meaning in life, and stories that bring hope into a world that sometimes seems so desolate. I would argue that this is also the reason that Nyowe accepts the message of the European Christian missionaries. Because he values harmony and healing, and not the violence of masculinity that his father has forced on him
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