Postcolonial Literature (Persepolis & Things Fall Apart)

Topics: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Igbo people Pages: 3 (1519 words) Published: April 19, 2015
There are many different critical approaches to studying literature. With reference of both texts you have studied, show what you believe the value to be in using a particular critical approach.

‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe and ‘Persepolis’ by Marjane Satrapi follow a postcolonial critical approach. Both books take place in a country considered politically inferior through western perspective and both texts, even though reinforce colonialists’ oppressive ideology, don’t stand completely against the colonialists and fault their own culture. They present the themes of dislocation on how western influences changes, religious, social and economical aspects in the Igbo and the Iranian society.

‘Things fall Apart’ presents an African response to British imperialism in contrary to Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’, which presents African as “savage”. As said by himself, “until the lions produce their own historians, the story of the hunt will glorify only the hunter”, so his intentions are to defend the African, more specifically Igbo, culture that suffer from western inferior stereotypes. The novel was written in English, directing it to western readers, but he includes many Igbo words to demonstrate its rich culture. Furthermore, the novel narrates many proverbs in from of oral tradition to once again show the reader the complexity and morals of the Igbo culture. Achebe expresses this through Oberika’s speech “Among the Igbo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten”, in which he metaphorically represent the importance of words as to that of food in Igbo, given their agricultural nature. Achebe represents Igbo’s rich culture through the different stylistic techniques to counter the Eurocentric preconceptions of African culture.

‘Persepolis’ is a graphic memoir that shows the author’s experiences growing up during the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. The novel is a critique of Western...
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