Final Assessment: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The three-part fictional novel was written in English by Nigerian author and published in 1958.It provides a chronological account of a great Igbo community leader named Okonkwo during the precolonial periods in Nigeria. Unfortunately, due to his accidental murdering of kinsman, the society outcasts him and that results into exiling him for seven years from Umuofia clan(Achebe, 30). First section focuses on the Igbo community, Okonkwo’s family, and personal background. The last two parts present how Christian missionaries and British colonialism impacted on the Igbo society which also included Okonkwo and his family. Despite using English for publication, the author applies Igbo cultural structuring accompanied with community proverbs while describing the instantaneous crumbling of the village and their hero (Okonkwo).
The author undoubtedly applies brainy and accurate handling of African traditions which had been psychologically impacted by the coming of the European colonials. During the colonial era (and also the post-colonial times), many of the writers had been perceiving Africans as backward, modest and primitive. However, the novel strives to change all the previous misperceptions by presenting the complexity and dynamism of African communities to worldwide audience especially the English speakers by use of an international language (English). There is a common African proverb that says, “Until the lion learns how to write every story will glorify the hunter.” This implies African literary works such as Things Fall Apart are among the Afrocentric pieces of art that would tell the true stories concerning the African communities. The novel is among the pieces written out to properlyeducate the whole world community about some of the misinformation as previously portrayed by non-African ethnic writers.
Despite using English language for passing the message, the author brainstorms the audience with Igbo expressions and proverbs. They are severally applied within the dialogues for humor purposes, point clarifications and lesson teachingconcerning the Igbo culture without bothering to provide their English equivalence. To the non-Igbo readers, they might comprehend some of the contextual meanings after critical thinking. However, taking the sentences literally might imply that such audience experience disconnection and discontentment with the African culture especially Igbo traditions communicated.
Furthermore, the author intelligently applies a combination of Western modernism form of novel writing with African oral tradition story telling styles particularly the Igbo tribe. The readers can easily notice how he describes African anecdote using African styles. The objective voice of the narrator within the fictional novel suitably relates with the literature moods of the novel world. The structuring of the sentences is declarative simple, and precise which assist in achieving the intended African voice among the audience. Additionally,the entire narrative involves the narration and listening by the characters to the cultural stories concerning the community’s background. The author purposefully uses such stylistic devices in furthering the illustrations and teachings of the societies values and norms which were passed across various generations. Notably, the author portrays some of the significant cultural practices such as the traditional wrestling through Okonkwo. It was a very crucial ritual among the boys and young men which helped in proving their worthiness in their clans’ highest hierarchies.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York, Anchor Books, 1954, marul.ffst.hr/~bwillems/fymob/things.pdf. Accessed 11 May 2020.
Final Assessment for ENGL 221 spring 2020
Choose one of the short novels listed below to read and write a review of at least 350 words.
The thesis should be your opinion about anything concerning the novel, but it should be YOUR opinion, not a recycling of what others have said. You may cite others, but this should be primarily an account of YOUR reading. In other words, do not just paraphrase Sparknotes and retell the story, give your personal take on it (I can tell the difference).The style may be informal and conversational (but do be careful with spelling and grammar). The assumed audience is any adult who can read.
In your review, identify the genre and where it fits into the history of literature by relating it to the kinds of things mentioned in course lectures, namely:
Times New Roman 12, 1.5 spaced (between single and double)
Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
350 words minimum, 650 words maximum (more words is not necessarily better – 350 words could be an A paper)
Due May 31st.
Dubliners by James Joycehttps://www.gutenberg.org/files/2814/2814-h/2814-h.htm
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebehttp://marul.ffst.hr/~bwillems/fymob/things.pdf
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
If you can find a suitable digital version online, please share the link with the class via our Q & A forum.
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