Chinua Achebe chose to write his novels in English to reveal a deep response of his people to colonisation and to make that response understood to people all over the world. Things Fall Apart was written in English to teach people worldwide of the struggles he faced and the people of Nigeria faced growing up. Many authors and critics have written about Achebe’s ‘Things fall apart’ adding their valued opinion on what he was trying to say and his decision to write in English. In the following essay I will be discussing why Achebe wrote the novel Things Fall apart in English and what messages he was trying to reveal, through the help of critics and secondary sources.
Achebe wrote in English to teach the reader the value of the …show more content…
In his effort to create an open non-authoritarian view, Achebe's decision to write in English, instead of his native Igbo, allowed him to reach a worldwide audience and have readers understand the struggles of Africa but opened him to the charge that he was assisting in the demise of Igbo culture (REFERNCE).
Achebe’s novel exists not only in English, According to Okpewho it exists in close to sixty languages (ref). This allows diverse readers to experience the novel and what Achebe is trying to show. Things fall apart has an important place in critical as well as cultural discourse because it invested a long and continuing tradition of inquiry into the problematic relations between the West and the nations of the Third World that were once European colonies. One of his decisions to write Things fall Apart in English according to Ookpewho is that he has a certain nostalgia post-colonial climate that framed his life and others that grew up in similar Nigeria small towns and villages. Achebe tells us in “The Novelist as a teacher” that as a writer he wants to educate his readers about the real lives and problems of Africans with the same commitment as physical and social scientists addressing the same issues, this is another reason why Achebe has written things fall apart in English, as somewhat of a teaching tool for his readers to understand
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Throughout “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, aspects of Igbo culture are presented to the reader in order for them to obtain a grasp on how people from a part of Africa live. For the majority of Part I, different sides of Igbo culture are relayed to the reader predominantly through the 3rd person, as well as through the perspective of Okonkwo, in order to gain the understanding that these people do indeed, have a rich, intricate, and sophisticated way of life. However, things turn for the worse and in Parts II and III, where Achebe recreates the conflict between European and Igbo cultures at the turn of the twentieth century by focusing on the cataclysmic changes introduced by the forces of Christianity and colonialism, and how they destroyed the strong foundation of the once proud Igbo people.
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
Born in the town of Ogidi, in Eastern Nigeria which was a British colony at the time. Although Chinua Achebe first language was Igbo he was educated in English as a result of that he wanted to learn more and focus on his language and background to tell the story for many others like him. In the novel, “Things Fall Apart”, Chinua display that language is what uniquely separate each person by introducing beliefs, speech rhythms, and the Igbo language. Achebe's use of Igbo language, speech patterns, proverbs, and richly drawn characters creates an authentic African story that effectively bridges the cultural and historical gap between the reader and the Igbo. Say you were one of the characters in the novel Things Fall Apart and were faced with some of the obstacles similar, will you hold on to your beliefs or sway
Overall, Things Fall Apart exhibits the detrimental effects on the native Nigerian people during colonization. Achebe shows the consequences of being forced into a new way of life and the complete change in traditional Nigerian lifestyle and influences of every aspect of their culture in regards to religion and beliefs, government, social hierarchy, and
Achebe effectively educates his readers that the Igbo had components of an advanced civilization by showing that they had an organized religion. This shows that the Igbo had an advanced civilization because the British
When outsiders encounter a culture unlike their own they tend to make misconceptions about that culture. The British see the Igbo culture as dark and gory. Achebe sees it as a fully functioning society. The Nigerian community may seem odd and not functional when in actuality it is functional. For a society to be functional, it must have a culture as well as properties of a civilization. The British judge it as dysfunctional, but this is irrelevant to whether the society truly is or isn’t functional. The Nigerian society fulfills many, if not all, of the properties of a functioning society. Despite the negative stereotyping of the Igbo culture by the British, Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart shows a fully functioning society.
In order to be capable of understanding a novel from another country, it is imperative for one to understand the culture of this other world. The culture of Nigeria is vastly different from the Western society in which we live in. In Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, culture is immediately introduced in the most fundamental of manners. While the English reader explores the culture of Nigeria in the first several chapters it is evident that their culture is a major literary element for developing the characters and settings of the novel. Achebe uses the element of culture in order to explain his culture foremost and then that the Nigerians are maybe not so different from the Western World after all. Achebe writes to display that the
Achebe solves this problem by incorporating elements of the Igbo language into his novel. By incorporating Igbo words, rhythms, language, and concepts into an English text about his culture, Achebe goes a
In Things Fall Apart, Achebe has portrayed the African society with great honesty. He has shown how the African culture is constructive, but on the other hand, he has openly discussed the main shortcomings associated with it. Therefore, he depicts the behavior of Africans as unreasonable, as shown by how superstitious the people were, especially around the matters of religion. The Igbo’s people had faith in Omen, for instance, it was
It is often said that Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe’s 1958 novel Things Fall Apart is one of the leading examples of postcolonial literature out of the African continent. The book’s setting takes place in a small fictional village, Umuofia who was rich in their culture and traditions, suddenly had to react to cultural changes, by the white missionaries that came in and threaten to change their government structure, institutions and every aspect of their lives. Chinua Achebe’s purpose of writing Things Fall Apart was to educate and inform people of the rich Igbo culture, and to show and blame the White missionaries that came in a destroyed their culture through colonialism, metanarrative and valorization of cultural identity.
Thing Fall Apart, first published in 1958, is Chinua Achebe’s first and most acclaimed novel. Achebe illustrates an approving rendering of Nigerian and African tribal life prior to and subsequent to colonialism. Achebe presents various aspects of a native African community, including war, women mistreatment, violence and conflict, while maintaining a balance in social coherence, customs and tradition. Achebe portrays a clash of cultures and violent transitions in life. The novel encompasses values introduced by British colonialism and integrates aspects of western literature with Igbo proverbs, words, allegories, phrases and other African literature essentials. Achebe asserts and maintains African oral traditions and challenges the colonialist language and culture. Through the protagonist, Okonkwo, Achebe portrays encounters of a society marked by emergence of a new tradition associated with Christianity and colonialism. Achebe depicts African traditions, characters and roles of African men among other elements of African life. It is apparent that, in Things Fall Apart, Achebe is influenced by the surrounding circumstances, time and place, as evidenced by the portrayal of some inherent elements that affected the local society such as culture, colonialism, and female gender.
Writers from the Third World countries strongly believed they should write in their own native language rather than the language brought in by the former colonizer. It was soon argued that their cultural importance and values would be lost in the translation and that “foreign” language can never describe their native culture. Achebe held different views and opposed the statement of using the native language in their works, as he said in a 1966 essay, reprinted in his book Morning Yet on Creation Day, by using
Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, is an excellent example of postcolonial literature. Throughout his novel he uses colonialism and colonial discourse and challenges the cultural stereotypes of the Igbo people.
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.
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is a modern example of postcolonial literature and is one of the most influential pieces of its genre. Postcolonial writing presents important themes and lessons of justice, equality, and freedom that can be applied to present times. It reminds us of how important our freedoms are and why we need to protect them. The colonized write about their exploitation and show how there is persecution in their colonized society. Postcolonial authors use specific methods to undermine their colonizers and reveal their backward logic. Things Fall Apart has various examples of meta-narrative, decolonization struggles, and colonial discourse worked in throughout the novel. Chinua Achebe’s writing styles showcase these techniques to subvert his European colonizers.