Things Fall Apart : Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe . . .Apart : . . .Apart Title comes for the poem “The Second Coming” by W. B. Yeats
. . .Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. . . Achebe : Achebe Born in Nigeria in 1930
Parents were missionary teachers
Blends knowledge of Western political ideologies and Christian doctrine with
Thereby producing authentic stories of African culture Achebe : Achebe Noted for his ability to write simple eloquent stories
His stories usually deal with universal qualities of life
He blends history with fiction
Creates characters of ordinary people enduring real life Things Fall Apart : Things Fall Apart Setting:
Africa—country of Nigeria
During the conquering and colonization of Nigeria by white Europeans
Igbo people have excellent social institutions
Igbo culture has traditions and laws the place emphasis on justice and fairness
Igbo culture has a high degree of social mobility
Men are not judged by the wealth of their family
High rank is attainable for all Igbo
Igbo culture also has injustices Themes : Themes The following themes are prevalent in Things Fall Apart; they are also common themes in much of African writing.
Custom and Tradition
Choices and Consequences
Alienation and loneliness
Change and transformation
Good and evil
Clash of cultures Themes : Themes More themes of the novel that are also prevalent in contemporary African literature.
Fear Theme and Structure : Theme and Structure Memory and Documentary
This novel portrays Nigerians as they really were
It takes place in a typical village with actual rituals and native traditions.
This novel records Okonkwo’s tragedy.
It also records the Igbo life before the white man came.
It documents what the white man destroyed
You can learn much about
Igbo customs and traditions
One can look at much of this novel as a documentary or anthropological study of a Nigerian village of this time and place in Africa Literary elements : Literary elements Conflict—there are conflicts on many levels in this novel. One main conflict is between Igbo and white Europeans. The conflicts are arise between the following:
Especially as families become strangers to each other Literary elements : Literary elements Narration
Uses he and she
Characters do not tell their own story
Uses past tense
Result—whole novel seems more like an oral story passed down through generations Literary elements : Literary elements Plot and structure:
Divided into three parts
Various stories related by used of “proverbs”
Stories are also connected by telling traditional oral tales
These always contain a “tale within a tale”
Stories are connected by recurring images and phrases Literary elementLeitmotif : Literary elementLeitmotif Leitmotif: recurring images or phrase
This is used to associate a repeated them with a particular idea
Example: masculinity is connected with land, yams, titles, and wives
And masculinity is associated with stagnancy—or no change in Umuofia As you read. . . : As you read. . . How does displacement from one’s culture affect a person?
How does the structure of this novel make it different from a traditional book from the European culture?
Is this an African novel?
How are the men and women seen in this novel? Differently? Similar?