Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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What kinds of literary devices are used in the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe?

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Things Fall Apart is full of figurative language (like similes and metaphors) and proverbs. Achebe, a Nigerian writer who is critical of British colonialism in his work, has been called out by some reviewers for writing in English, the colonizer's language. However, his use of figurative language and proverbs helps Achebe express cultural beliefs and capture the speech patterns of Igbo people.

Here are some examples from early in the novel, though Achebe consistently incorporates figurative language and proverbs throughout the work.

And so at a very early age when he was striving desperately to build a barn through share-cropping Okonkwo was also fending for his father’s house. It was like pouring grains of corn into a bag full of holes. His mother and sisters worked hard enough, but they grew women’s crops, like coco-yams, beans and cassava. Yam, the king of crops, was a man’s crop. (22-23)

The bolded phrase is an example of simile . In this simile, the narrator compares Okonkwo’s work...

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