Things Fall Apart Depicts Destruction of Ibo Culture (Great Events from History II: Arts and Culture Series)
Article abstract: Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart chronicled the destruction of the culture of the Ibo tribe of Nigeria as a consequence of the incursions of the British.
Summary of Event
Chinua Achebe gained immediate fame when he published his first novel, Things Fall Apart, in 1958. It was a novel about Africa by an African. It was composed in English, in a writing style that was both simple and effective. It contained a fascinating combination of history and fiction, anthropology and sociology. It told its important story of racial clash without anger or militancy.
Although Achebe was writing about the initial contact of British missionaries and colonial administrators with the Ibo (or Igbo) tribe of Nigeria, contact that proved immensely destructive to the extraordinary culture of his ancestors, he wrote an unimpassioned analysis of the experience. For Achebe, the Ibo culture, though ancient and ordered, was not without its cruelties and ossified superstitions; the British incursionists, though fanatical at times and callously condescending almost always, did bring to the Ibos some changes that were truly beneficial.
Achebe’s central character is Okonkwo, an imposing hero by Ibo standards. He was in his teens a famous wrestler; later, he proved himself a brave warrior, killing his people’s enemies in battle. Okonkwo then became a prosperous farmer, having three wives,...
(The entire section is 2310 words.)
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