Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe
“The world is big. Some people are unable to comprehend that simple fact. They want the world on their own terms, its peoples just like them and their friends, its places like the manicured little patch on which they live. But this is a foolish and blind wish. Diversity is not an abnormality but the very reality of our planet. The human world manifests the same reality and will not seek our permission to celebrate itself in the magnificence of its endless varieties. Civility is a sensible attribute in this kind of world we have; narrowness of heart and mind is not."--Chinua Achebe, May 27, 1996
Some historical information Britain had claimed Nigeria and sent colonists to set up British government, economic and religious systems. Clearly the Ibo had their own systems in place, and the British systems created conflict.
Chinua Achebe was born in 1930 in Ogidi an Igbo village under British rule. His parents were devout Christians. Achebe was taught to look down on tribe members who practiced the traditional faith. Achebe became fascinated with the traditional culture of his people and how some of them had come to reject or despise it. This novel addresses those ideas.
Achebe’s Purposes • Achebe is trying not only to inform the outside world about Ibo cultural traditions, but to remind his own people of their past and to assert that it contained much of value. • Wants audience to appreciate complex African society, rather than viewing it as “weird” or “bizarre.” He wants you to appreciate the unique and valid culture. • Resents stereotype of Africa as undifferentiated “primitive” land and the willingness to accept European judgments about African history and culture
Themes to look for • People’s reactions to change and the consequences of those reactions • The reasons for and consequences of fear, and the flip side, courage • The unintentional influence of parents • Aggression versus passivity • What creates status in a society and how people seek status
Names • Umuofia Unoka • Okonkwo Chielo • Ikemefuna Umuike • Nwoye Ukegbu • Ekwefi Ofoedu • Ezinma Obiageli • Obierika Uchendu
Okonkwo’s Family Unoka Father ‘Mother’ from Mbanta Okonkwo First Wife Ekwefi Ojiubo Nwoye Ezinma Ikemefuna From Mbaino
Y A M S