A wealth of documents and commentary on the historical, social, and cultural contexts of Things Fall Apart.
Critical essays on Chinua Achebe's novel, Things fall apart.
One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World' A worldwide bestseller and the first part of Achebe's African Trilogy, Things Fall Apart is the compelling story of one man's battle to protect his community against the forces of change Okonkwo is the greatest wrestler and warrior alive, and his fame spreads throughout West Africa like a bush-fire in the harmattan. But when he accidentally kills a clansman, things begin to fall apart. Then Okonkwo returns from exile to find missionaries and colonial governors have arrived in the village. With his world thrown radically off-balance he can only hurtle towards tragedy. First published in 1958, Chinua Achebe's stark, coolly ironic novel reshaped both African and world literature, and has sold over ten million copies in forty-five languages. This arresting parable of a proud but powerless man witnessing the ruin of his people begins Achebe's landmark trilogy of works chronicling the fate of one African community, continued in Arrow of God and No Longer at Ease. 'His courage and generosity are made manifest in the work' Toni Morrison 'The writer in whose company the prison walls fell down' Nelson Mandela 'A great book, that bespeaks a great, brave, kind, human spirit' John Updike With an Introduction by Biyi Bandele
This expanded edition of Chinua Achebe's first novel portrays the collision of African and European cultures in an Igbo village. Okonkwo, a great man in Igbo traditional society, cannot adapt to the profound changes brought by the British conquest of Nigeria. Yet, as in classic tragedy, Okonkwo's character as well as external forces contribute to his downfall. This expanded edition includes new illustrations, maps, additional essays on history, culture,and literature, and reference material to help readers see Achebe's classic novel in social and historical context, and to understand its place in world literature.
REA's MAXnotes for Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart MAXnotes offer a fresh look at masterpieces of literature, presented in a lively and interesting fashion. Written by literary experts who currently teach the subject, MAXnotes will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the work. MAXnotes are designed to stimulate independent thought about the literary work by raising various issues and thought-provoking ideas and questions. MAXnotes cover the essentials of what one should know about each work, including an overall summary, character lists, an explanation and discussion of the plot, the work's historical context, illustrations to convey the mood of the work, and a biography of the author. Each chapter is individually summarized and analyzed, and has study questions and answers.
Seminar paper from the year 2002 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: A (USA = 1), Southern Connecticut State University (English Department), course: The Contemporary African Novel, language: English, abstract: [...] Things Fall Apart is a story about personal beliefs and customs and also a story about conflict. There is struggle between family, culture, and religion of the Igbo people which is all brought on by a difference in personal beliefs and customs. Finally, we see how things fall apart when these beliefs and customs are confronted by those of the white missionaries. According to Ernest N. Emenyonu, Things Fall Apart is a classic study of crosscultural misunderstanding and the consequences to the rest of humanity, when a belligerent culture or civilization, out of sheer arrogance and ethnocentrism, takes it upon itself to invade another culture, another civilization (p.84). Chinua Achebe is a product of both, native African and European culture. Achebe’s education in English and exposure to European customs have allowed him to capture at the same time the European and the African perspectives on colonial expansion, religion, race, and culture. This has a great effect on the composition of the novel because he is able to tell the story with an understanding and personal experiences in both cultures. He does not portray the African culture and their beliefs as barbaric. He simply tells it as it is and how things happened. Chinua Achebe states that neither of the cultures were bad, but they simply had a difference in beliefs. In the first section of this paper I would like to outline some important aspects of the traditional Igbo culture as presented in Things Fall Apart. Achebe argues that the white man has destroyed Igbo culture out of ignorance of the people’s way of life and the white man’s inability to speak the people’s language. The second section deals with Christianity and the colonizers. I will compare the Igbo systems to a certain ext ent to the new system the white man brought to Nigeria. Later on, I will examine the effects of the colonizers’ arrival and their religion on the indigenous culture, giving special attention to Okonkwo, the main character of the novel.
Things Fall Apart is the most widely read and influential African novel. Published in 1958, it has sold more than eight million copies and been translated into fifty languages. African culture is not familiar to most American readers however, and this casebook provides a wealth of commentary and original materials that place the novel in its historical, social, and cultural contexts. Ogbaa, an Igbo scholar, has selected a wide variety of historical and firsthand accounts of Igbo history and cultural heritage. These accounts illuminate the historical context and issues relating to the colonization of Africa by European powers, in particular Britain's colonization of Nigeria. Fascinating materials bring to light the novel's cultural context—folkways, language and narrative customs, and traditional Igbo religion. Among the documents included are a slave narrative, interviews, journal and magazine articles, and historical essays. Each chapter is followed by questions for class discussion and ideas for student paper topics. A selection of maps and photos of Igbo culture complement the text. Following a literary analysis, historical documents trace the European powers' partition of Africa and the creation and colonization of Nigeria, home of the Igbo people. Several chapters on Igbo cultural harmony feature materials that explain the Igbo view of the world of humans and the world of the spirits, Igbo language, and traditional Igbo religion and material customs. Selections on the African novelists' novel place Things Fall Apart in the context of African literature and emphasize the difference between African and Western elements of fiction. A concluding chapter examines the debate on writing African novels in ex-colonizers' languages. This casebook will greatly enhance the reader's appreciation of the novel and understanding of Igbo history, society, culture, and civilization.
Blazing the Path. Fifty Years of Things Fall Apart is a collection of new perspectives on Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, a novel that was first published in 1958 and which has since become a classic of world literature. Aside from opening up the novel to new interpretive strategies of well established literary critics, and clarifying some past ones, this collection of essays repositions Things Fall Apart as a literary piece with interdisciplinary and multidimensional appeal. The volume fulfills the objective of using the novel to interrogate the colonial and pre-colonial African past with Nigeria's post-modern present, and projects the country into a future that looks to literature for a deeper understanding of where Nigeria is as a citizen of an emerging global village.
Presents critical essays on "Things fall apart" from a variety of perspectives, including ethnographic, pedagogical, and ideological ones.
A Study Guide for Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Novels for Students.This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Novels for Students for all of your research needs.