Homework Help

How is the concept of history treated in this novel?

user profile pic

bobodoll | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 5, 2012 at 7:27 PM via web

dislike 1 like

How is the concept of history treated in this novel?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 5, 2012 at 8:27 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

I think that one of the strongest revelations about the idea of history from Achebe's work is that there is a constant sense of change and transformation that underscores human consciousness.  Achebe believes in the idea that there is a constant sense of change and mutability to what defines the human predicament.  The life that Okonkwo knows as a child is not what he sees as a grows up and not the same vision he has when he returns to the village from his exile.  I think that this applies to the idea of the historical narrative, something that Achebe sees as part of human construction, reflecting its propensity for change and transformation as the fabric of being in the world is also subject such fluid conventions.  It is in this where I think that history is not see as static, but rather vibrant, and something constantly subject to change.  When Okonkwo returns to find the Colonialist view of reality as supplanting his own construction of the village's historical reality, it is a telling moment that history, like being itself, is always subject to construction and disintegration. 

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes