Things Fall Apart Questions and Answers
by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are the transitions of the narrative style of Achebe from Things Fall Apart to Anthills of the Savannah?

Between Things Fall Apart and Anthills of the Savannah, Achebe's narrative style transitioned from a third-person omniscient point of view to a first-person point of view that moves between characters.

Expert Answers info

Katie Begley, M.S. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.S. from United States Naval Academy

bookM.S. from Johns Hopkins University

calendarEducator since 2020

write8 answers

starTop subject is Literature

The most significant change in narrative style between Things Fall Apart and Anthills of the Savannah is the point of view from which each novel was written.

The narrator in Things Fall Apart is an omnipotent storyteller. This narrator is able to tell the story as well as the emotions and feelings of each character from an objective, third-party perspective. The narrator does not comment or judge each character, even when they are in opposition to each other, such as the protagonist, Okonkwo, and his father.

In contrast, Anthills of the Savannah includes the first-person point of view. There are three main narrators: Ikem, Chris, and Beatrice. This provides a broader range of emotions and reactions, as each character sees and experiences scenes in a unique way. For example, when Beatrice describes her childhood, the reader learns not only that she was abused but also how it led to a sense of isolation and loneliness that has impacted her life as an adult.

Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe published Things Fall Apart in 1958 and Anthills of the Savannah in 1987. During the thirty years between the two novels, his style and narrative techniques changed and developed.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial