Things Fall Apart

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Information about Things Fall Apart

Published on February 18, 2009

Author: bsn99.cdavis


Things Fall Apart : Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe . . .Apart : . . .Apart Title comes for the poem “The Second Coming” by W. B. Yeats . . .Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. . . Achebe : Achebe Born in Nigeria in 1930 Parents were missionary teachers Blends knowledge of Western political ideologies and Christian doctrine with Folklore Proverbs Idioms Thereby producing authentic stories of African culture Achebe : Achebe Noted for his ability to write simple eloquent stories His stories usually deal with universal qualities of life He blends history with fiction Creates characters of ordinary people enduring real life Things Fall Apart : Things Fall Apart Setting: Africa—country of Nigeria 1890’s During the conquering and colonization of Nigeria by white Europeans Igbo people have excellent social institutions Igbo culture has traditions and laws the place emphasis on justice and fairness Igbo culture has a high degree of social mobility Men are not judged by the wealth of their family High rank is attainable for all Igbo Igbo culture also has injustices Themes : Themes The following themes are prevalent in Things Fall Apart; they are also common themes in much of African writing. Custom and Tradition Choices and Consequences Alienation and loneliness Betrayal Change and transformation Good and evil Clash of cultures Themes : Themes More themes of the novel that are also prevalent in contemporary African literature. Memory/documentary Social disintegration Masculinity Justice Tribal belief Fear Theme and Structure : Theme and Structure Memory and Documentary This novel portrays Nigerians as they really were It takes place in a typical village with actual rituals and native traditions. This novel records Okonkwo’s tragedy. It also records the Igbo life before the white man came. It documents what the white man destroyed You can learn much about Igbo customs and traditions One can look at much of this novel as a documentary or anthropological study of a Nigerian village of this time and place in Africa Literary elements : Literary elements Conflict—there are conflicts on many levels in this novel. One main conflict is between Igbo and white Europeans. The conflicts are arise between the following: Beliefs Laws Religious practices Social Psychological Especially as families become strangers to each other Literary elements : Literary elements Narration Third-person narrative Uses he and she Characters do not tell their own story Uses past tense Result—whole novel seems more like an oral story passed down through generations Literary elements : Literary elements Plot and structure: Divided into three parts Various stories related by used of “proverbs” Stories are also connected by telling traditional oral tales These always contain a “tale within a tale” Stories are connected by recurring images and phrases Literary elementLeitmotif : Literary elementLeitmotif Leitmotif: recurring images or phrase This is used to associate a repeated them with a particular idea Example: masculinity is connected with land, yams, titles, and wives And masculinity is associated with stagnancy—or no change in Umuofia As you read. . . : As you read. . . How does displacement from one’s culture affect a person? How does the structure of this novel make it different from a traditional book from the European culture? Is this an African novel? How are the men and women seen in this novel? Differently? Similar?

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