Things Fall Apart

Topics: Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Igbo people Pages: 4 (1457 words) Published: December 7, 2014
Title: The Perils of Colonialism; Insight into the Everyday Life of the Ibo people and the Impact of the Europeans.

Written By: A.R.W.G.

“Things Fall Apart”, written by the late Nigerian Author, Chinua Achebe, is a book written in the view of an African native that sheds light to the effects of colonialism and the common misconceptions of the colonized due to a lack of cultural appreciation. Achebe places the reader in the shoes of the protagonist, Okonkwo, to guide them through the everyday life of Ibo society. Although on a much greater perspective, Achebe guides the reader through the everyday life of the Ibo people and their collective situation, while depicting the beauty and faults of Ibo culture at a time when things rapidly start to fall apart due to the existential impact of European colonialism. Chinua Achebe wrote “Things Fall Apart” under the influence of “Discourse on Colonialism” (Aime Césaire , 1950) and “Black Skin, White Masks” (Frantz Fanon, 1952). In his book, he dared to challenge the concept of racist writing towards the effects of colonialism depicted by the ‘West’ by being open with his criticisms of literary ‘blindness’ to racist writing.

Achebe does not introduce the reader to colonialism until the near end. It is not until the reader has a chance to appreciate the details of the Ibo culture and put themselves in Okonkwo’s shoes that Achebe “allows” the reader’s mind to marinate the significance and impact of colonialism and the deterioration of the Ibo culture. This way, the reader could feel as though they were part of the Ibo people before the momentum of the story is changed. Only in part two the reader is subjected to the societal changes that the conflict between the people of Umofia (Okonkwo’s village) and the Christian missionaries present. It is when the Christian Missionaries arrive in Africa, that the Ibo's traditions, gods, and lifestyle are challenged by the modern world. Instead of presenting themselves as a...

Bibliography: Achebe, Chinua, Things Fall Apart ( New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group,
Césaire, Aimé. Discourse on Colonialsm (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000 [1955]),
Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Mask and/or The Wretched of the Earth, 35-106
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