Things Fall Apart Questions and Answers
by Chinua Achebe

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Why did Chinua Achebe write Things Fall Apart?

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To answer this question, it helps to know a bit about the historical and literary context in which Achebe was writing. At the time Things Fall Apart was first published—1958—Nigeria was still technically under British rule, albeit transitioning to a state of independence. Achebe thus grew up under the shadow of colonialist ideology—in particular, its representations of Africa as a savage and unknowable Other to Europe's purportedly rational and civilized society.

This imperialist construction of Africa was especially evident in the literature Achebe studied while in college. Works like Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Joyce Cary's Mister Johnson might criticize imperialism, but not in ways Achebe could recognize or empathize with; Conrad leans heavily into the idea of Africa as a dangerous and mysterious quagmire, while Cary's novel focuses on a shallow and ignorant Nigerian man whose life is destroyed by his dreams of being an Englishman (charitably, one could argue that Cary is...

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honnywood | Student

I think  those are wonderful sugestions  but dont you think this man maily thought that this was a  breaki g point into a new area of life this was next big thing for nigerian people it was a vefy contradicting fact that it was a stuggle for them at that time it was a hassel 

jipsarawat | Student

Chinua's Achebe's first novel Things Fall Apart, was published in 1958, a time when Nigeria was struggling to become independent and emancipate itself from the control of Great Britain. The main cause of cultural colonisation in the post- colonial period was the cultural loss and denigration of the colonised in the colonial period. The culture of the colonised in the colonial period was regarded as barbaric and uncivilised. Thus the colonisers in the name of civilisation were devoted to extinguishing or denigrating the culture of the colonized and to impose their own culture upon them instead. 

           In order to restore their denigrated images in the colonial discourse, some african writers began to write their own african stories or history from a native perspective. Among these one of the most influential is Chinua Achebe who, despite his father's absolute denial of Igbo traditions and culture, was attracted to the Igbo rituals and ceremonies unconsciously:

            " those idols and food had a strange pull on me in spite of my being such a thorough little Christian..." 

    He wanted to show that representation of the restless dynamism in the society of Umuofia was able to show up the stereotypical static african society in colonial discourses as a lie. He assigns a role to the african writers as the inventor of new forms through which african culture can be adequately represented and also as a defender of culture and the custodian of national consciousness.