Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Decent Essays

Before Things Fall Apart was published, most novels about Africa had been written by Europeans, and they largely portrayed Africans as savages who needed to be enlightened by Europeans. For example, Joseph Conrad's classic tale Heart of Darkness (1899), one of the most celebrated novels of the early twentieth century, presents Africa as a wild, "dark," and uncivilized continent. In Mister Johnson (1939), which in 1952 Time called "the best novel ever written about Africa" ("Cheerful" para. 15), Irishman Joyce Cary's protagonist is a semieducated, childish African who, on the whole, reinforces colonialist stereotypes about Africans. In 1958, however, Chinua Achebe broke apart this dominant model with Things Fall Apart, a novel that portrays Igbo society with specificity and sympathy and examines the effects of European colonialism from an African perspective. Chinua Achebe uses the role of religion in Things Fall Apart from the Igbo tribe's perspective to illustrate the destruction that the ignorance of the white missionaries creates. The Iba Tribe of Umofia are not polytheistic even though there is mention of more than one god and goddess throughout the book. The Iba Tribe can be classified as believing in diffused monotheism since, they believe in one god, who interacts with his people through the use of his helpers, or smaller gods and goddesses. We can see the similarities and differences between the clan’s belief’s and those of the white missionaries which is

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