Although the novel was first published in — two years before Nigeria achieved its independence — thousands of copies are still sold every year in the United States alone. Millions of copies have been sold around the world in its many translations. The novel has been adapted for productions on the stage, on the radio, and on television. Teachers in high schools, colleges, and graduate schools use the novel as a textbook in many types of classes — from history and social studies to comparative literature and anthropology.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Struggle Between Change and Tradition As a story about a culture on the verge of change, Things Fall Apart deals with how the prospect and reality of change affect various characters.
The tension about whether change should be privileged over tradition often involves questions of personal status. Okonkwo, for example, resists the new political and religious orders because he feels that they are not manly and that he himself will not be manly if he consents to join or even tolerate them.
His sense of self-worth is dependent upon the traditional standards by which society judges him.
Long scorned, these outcasts find in the Christian value system a refuge from the Igbo cultural values that place them below everyone else.
In their new community, these converts enjoy a more elevated status. The villagers in general are caught between resisting and embracing change and they face the dilemma of trying to determine how best to adapt to the reality of change. Many of the villagers are excited about the new opportunities and techniques that the missionaries bring.
This European influence, however, threatens to extinguish the need for the mastery of traditional methods of farming, harvesting, building, and cooking.
These traditional methods, once crucial for survival, are now, to varying degrees, dispensable. Throughout the novel, Achebe shows how dependent such traditions are upon storytelling and language and thus how quickly the abandonment of the Igbo language for English could lead to the eradication of these traditions.
He associates masculinity with aggression and feels that anger is the only emotion that he should display. For this reason, he frequently beats his wives, even threatening to kill them from time to time.
We are told that he does not think about things, and we see him act rashly and impetuously. Yet others who are in no way effeminate do not behave in this way.
While in exile, he lives among the kinsmen of his motherland but resents the period in its entirety. The exile is his opportunity to get in touch with his feminine side and to acknowledge his maternal ancestors, but he keeps reminding himself that his maternal kinsmen are not as warlike and fierce as he remembers the villagers of Umuofia to be.
He faults them for their preference of negotiation, compliance, and avoidance over anger and bloodshed. In demonstrating the imaginative, often formal language of the Igbo, Achebe emphasizes that Africa is not the silent or incomprehensible continent that books such as Heart of Darkness made it out to be.
Rather, by peppering the novel with Igbo words, Achebe shows that the Igbo language is too complex for direct translation into English. Similarly, Igbo culture cannot be understood within the framework of European colonialist values.
Achebe also points out that Africa has many different languages: On a macroscopic level, it is extremely significant that Achebe chose to write Things Fall Apart in English—he clearly intended it to be read by the West at least as much, if not more, than by his fellow Nigerians.
His goal was to critique and emend the portrait of Africa that was painted by so many writers of the colonial period. Doing so required the use of English, the language of those colonial writers. Through his inclusion of proverbs, folktales, and songs translated from the Igbo language, Achebe managed to capture and convey the rhythms, structures, cadences, and beauty of the Igbo language.Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
Achebe uses this opening stanza of William Butler Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming,” from which the title of the novel is taken, as an epigraph to the novel. Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, is a novel about Nigeria in the 19th century before colonialism.
It is a tale about a great westler and elder.
the effects of European colonialism on Igbo society from an African perspective. Hence this essay is an attempt to show an insight of pre and post colonialism on Igbo society. A summary of Themes in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Things Fall Apart and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. The novel Things Fall Apart describes the Igbo society before and after the British arrives. The first part of the novel deals with the tribal lifestyle of the Igbo people, which is the author’s way of showing the culture of the Igbo people from their own perspective.
In their respective works Things Fall Apart and The Joys of Motherhood, both Chinua Achebe and Buchi Emecheta depict the effects of colonialism on Igbo society.
While Achebe demonstrates the gradual process of colonial imposition, Buchi Emecheta.