Mrs. Stephanie whetstone
Nov. 20th 2012
The Demise of Umofia and its Culture
The book I choose to write about was Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe as a response to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness in which Conrad portrayed the Africans he encountered on his trip as savages. Peter Monaghan research shows that “Achebe pointed out that Conrad had deprived his African characters of any voice, granting them only eight caricaturing words in the whole short novel. Pointing, still today, to those meager eight words, he says: "That's all that Africa has, of language; the rest is screaming, shrieking, howling -- animal sounds, you see." He wrote Things Fall Apart to give the Africans the voice that they were deprived in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Chinua Achebe focuses on the protagonist Okonkwo , whose major concerns about not ending up like his father. It shows his rise from the beginning, his trials and tribulation, and how he almost suffered defeat trying to grow his yams. He finally succeeded married several wives and even threw Amalinze the Cat in a wrestling fight. His strength became his weakness as he fought to stay relevant in his society through out the novel even when faced by certain obstacles caused by his ego. He ushered in the demise of his society through his own death when he committed suicide. The novel Things Fall Apart was fundamental in showing a different perspective of the Africans and their culture as a whole. Chinua Achebe was able to present an unbiased view of their traditions and interest and beliefs of Umofia. Things Fall Apart could have been written differently by Chinua, but instead he chose to write it with an ending that entails his tragic hero Okonkwo falling from grace and committing suicide, a questionable ending that but was used to depict the end of the village of Umofia, and their culture as they fell into the hands of colonization. The fall of Umofia started through his people, and Okonwo, who...
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