Response Paper on Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
The image of Africa has been partly created by novels about colonialization of the continent by western culture written by white' hand. Apart from the shining example of Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness (1902) we can also find traces of colonial perspective in the novel Color Purple (1982). What is interesting that the writer herself, Alice Walker, is an African American as well as her character, Nettie, who finds herself among American missionaries in an African tribe. Walker describes life in African tribe is very similar way as the narratives written by white colonizers: without understanding real importance and nature of rituals Achebe's novel is in the post-colonial discourse characterized as antinovel. The novel that is written from the other perspective, the perspective of the colonized. Things Fall Apart is a novel about Africa, written by African writer and thus is perceived as an authentic piece of writing. The story, despite its particular structure, is more or less narrated from the point of view of an anthropologist. In the novel Achebe describes daily life in the tribe from work to spiritual life of the tribesmen. Achebe wrote the novel in English but also employed a large number of words originated from the language of the Igbo peope. Non-western structure of narration is employed in order to make the novel more authentic, more African.. It is thus highly questionable whether Things Fall Apart can be regarded as an authentic African novel but it certainly can be perceived as a ethnographical record of the life of the Igbo people with traces of fiction. In my opinion as an authentic African novelist can be considered Ben Okri whose narration is completely deprived of western way of thinking and writing. Okri is not describing way of living he is depicting way of thinking of Africa and thus managed at least to scratch the surface of the Africa which has its own way for everything.
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