Things Fall Apart Lesson Plans
by Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart: Introduction Powerpoint

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Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

  • B. 1930 in Ogidi, Nigeria (Africa)
  • Perhaps the most widely-read African novelist
  • Achebe's work is primarily interested in African politics, the depiction of Africa and Africans in the West, and the effects of colonization on African societies.
  • Famous for attacking Western views of Africa. For example, criticizing books about Africa written by Europeans.
  • One goal was to teach his readers that Africa’s history was “not one long night of savagery from which the first Europeans acting on God's behalf delivered them (the peoples of Africa).”


  • Most populous country in Africa, twice the size of California
  • Large oil supplier to the U.S.
  • Under British rule from 1890 until 1960, when independence was finally achieved
  • From 1966-1999, Nigeria was ruled by a series of military dictators
  • Democracy was finally established in 1999
  • This history of violence & oppression affected Achebe and telling this story became one of his purposes in writing Things Fall Apart.

Things Fall Apart

  • Written in 1958
  • Set in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s or sometime during the British conquest of Nigeria, which lasted from 1890-1906
  • Written while Nigeria was still under colonial rule
  • About the clash b/n the traditional Ibo (native) culture, & the missionaries & colonizers of Britain

Achebe’s purposes in writing this novel:

  • Inform the outside world about Ibo cultural traditions
  • Remind his own people of their past & declare that it had value
  • Address the Western perception of Africa as “the Dark Continent”

Review of literary terms:

  • Fiction: made-up stories (fake), but often based on truth
  • Novel: longer work of fiction
  • Epigraph: short inscription at the beginning of a text, often a quote from literature
  • Setting: Where & when a work of literature takes place
  • Narrator: One who tells the story (point of view) 1st person= “I”, 3rd person= “They”
  • An omniscient narrator knows everything about the story & the characters, but a limited narrator can only tell the story from one point of view
  • Characterization: Process of informing readers about character.
  • Indirect-The audience must infer what the character is like for themselves through speech, actions, interactions with other characters, etc.
  • Direct- Information is stated by the narrator, the character, or another character
  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist

About this Document

A powerpoint designed to introduce students to the author and provide historical context for their study of the novel.