Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart: Exploring The Ibo Culture

2187 words - 9 pages

Marginalization is the social process of being relegated to the fringe of society. One such example of marginalization is the marginalization of women.
This paper is an attempt to explore the Ibo culture and to discuss women as a marginalized group in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.
Things Fall Apart is a 1958 English novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Achebe is indebted to Yeats for the title as it has been taken from Yeats’ poem The Second Coming. Achebe is a fastidious, skillful artist and garnered more critical attention than any other African writer. His reputation was soon established after his novel Things Fall Apart. He made a considerable influence over young African writers. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English. It seeks to discover the cultural zeitgeist of its society. Critics tend to agree that no African novelist writing in English has surpassed Achebe’s achievement in Things Fall Apart. Things Fall Apart is a milestone in African literature. It is considered to be Achebe’s magnum opus. Things Fall Apart is Achebe’s sincere endeavor to guide people in their struggle to make their freedom meaningful, functional and relevant. He is a committed writer who believes it is his duty to serve his society. Things Fall Apart is an attempt to redeem the dignity of Africa. Achebe shows, “Africa was not a primordial void but has a history, a religion and a civilization.” (Reddy 46). It sheds light on Nigerian history. Past is depicted enthusiastically and vividly. It is not a past to lament over. Achebe has maintained pathos and ethos of original language. He attempts to preserve the artistic world of the African past. He has convinced his readers that “African people did not hear of culture for the first time from the Europeans; that their societies were not mindless but frequently had a philosophy of great depth and value and beauty, that they had poetry and, above all, they had dignity.” (Innes and Lindfors 65). He portrays the psychological problems of a generation of Africans suddenly plunged into a modern world. Whatever was written earlier about Africa was to depict it as a dark continent. It in turn symbolizes people who are primitive, irrational and superstitious without any reason and logic. In fact racists have labeled them as savage. And it was considered White Man’s Burden to enlighten such ignorant people. Achebe reminds that Africa had a rich past and a legacy and that not only the whites have a right to have history and a rich past.
The title implies that the center is weak and cannot hold. Cultures crumble and civilizations disintegrate in Things Fall Apart. The novel is set in a traditional Ibo village community at the turn of the century when the first European missionaries and administrative officials were beginning to encroach inland. “The motifs of power run as an undercurrent in the novel.” (Reddy 20). Achebe’s incisive analysis of the politics of power and psychology of corruption...

Find Another Essay On Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart: Exploring the Ibo Culture

The Masculine Focused Ibo Culture in Chinua Achebe's, Things Fall Apart

672 words - 3 pages 1. In traditional Ibo culture, women are not treated as equals and are equivalent to possessions. In a family, the children always belong to the father, not the mother. “I have even heard that in some tribes a man’s children belong to his wife and her family” (74). Okonkwo appears appalled to this blasphemy. It is common and ideal for a husband to possess multiple wives, and men beat their wives for even the smallest infractions. During the

How Does Chinua Achebe Depict Ibo Culture In Things Fall Apart?

1491 words - 6 pages How does Achebe depict Ibo culture in ‘Things Fall Apart’? Chinua Achebe’s, Things Fall Apart, is a story of a traditional village in Nigeria from inside Umuofia around the late 1800s. This novel depicts late African history and shows how the British administrative structure, in the form of the European Anglican Church, imposed its religion and trappings on the cultures of Africa, which they believed was uncivilized. This missionary zeal

Unique Cultures in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

1995 words - 8 pages Unique Cultures in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart     There are a variety of cultures in this world and each culture is unique. Usually when one was born and raised in a certain culture, that person may adapt to that culture for a period of time. It is sometimes difficult to look into someone else’s culture, and understand their culture. Sometimes one must keep an open mind, study the culture

Power of Women in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

980 words - 4 pages Power of Women in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart     The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a commanding account about the rise and fall of an African tribe. The powerful narrative depicts the life and customs of the people and how they change through the years. Theere are many different ideas and characters that are preseneted throughout the novel. The depiction of women is one aspect that is of extreme relevance. It can be shown

"Colonialism and Ibo society" in reference to the book "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe

823 words - 3 pages the changes brought upon his village because his whole life was focused on the traditional aspects of Ibo structure and unity. Colonialists forced their government and rules onto Ibo villages once they had made some groundwork in converting villagers. Missionaries first arrived preaching their peaceful religion, soon to cause a division in Ibo society. So in the end, the advancement of colonialism caused the weakening and unraveling of traditional Ibo society through the introduction of Western principles.Works CitedAchebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York NY: Doubleday, 1959.

The Inflexibility and Hubris of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

951 words - 4 pages The Inflexibility and Hubris of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart This novel is the definitive tragic model about the dissolution of the African Ibo culture by Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo, a great and heroic leader, is doomed by his inflexibility and hubris. He is driven by fear of failure. He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had no patience with his father. Unoka, for that was his father's name, had

Cultural Life among the Ibo in "Things Fall Apart"

561 words - 2 pages In the story, " Things Fall Apart" Chinua Achebe gave a great description and illustration of the way of life among the Ibo people. Ibo is a tribe in Africa and it is a very traditional and it doesn't believe in the creator God. The Ibo culture is a way of life for the people of the tribe and it lays guidelines for how the people should live.In the Ibo tribe the elders was well respected. Age was respected among the people and achievements were

Tragedy in Colonial Africa by Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

1388 words - 6 pages “darkness,” both Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart draw upon contrasting viewpoints and cultures, as well as an ironic play of “darkness” between the Europeans and the Africans, to construe the tragedy unfolding in Colonial Africa. To begin comparing and contrasting these two pieces of literature, one must first examine the authors. Conrad was a white European, educated, and was a sailor who sailed up the

Female: The Stronger Gender in Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”

1685 words - 7 pages “A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you. . . . And that is why we say that mother is supreme” (p.134). In Achebe’s 1959 “Things Fall Apart”, female figures appear to have minor domesticated roles; however with these words Achebe calls attention to female strength within the tribe. Feminine power is

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1413 words - 6 pages Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart The last chapter of Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" concludes with the sentence: "He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger." This refers to the District Commissioner's chosen title for a book he has written that would have the African people, the Igbo tribe specifically, as the main subject. From the title itself

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1067 words - 5 pages elderly. Although the social structure played an essential role in balancing life in the society, it played a more significant role in the demise of the Igbo community. Because of their rigid structure, the people isolated the osu, or the outcasts, outside their society. Due to their actions, this led the osu to convert to the new religion. The Igbo people were not able to cooperate with the new religion that was imposed upon them and eventually led to the rise of disunity.   Works Cited Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. London: William Heinemann Limited, 1959. Print.

Similar Essays

Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart The Downfall Of The Ibo

2285 words - 9 pages One of Chinua Achebe’s goals in Things Fall Apart is to portray Ibo culture vividly and honestly. Unlike European perspectives of the Africans – such as Conrad’s Heart of Darkness – Achebe’s representation explains intricate customs, rituals, and laws and develops individual characters. Things Fall Apart shows Ibo society to be fully functioning and full of life. However, Achebe maintains his objectivity and avoids giving the Ibo any undue

Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Essay

2063 words - 8 pages Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart” chronicles the life of Okonkwo, a strong man whose existence is dominated by fear and anger, and the Ibo tribe, a people deeply rooted in cultural belief and tradition. As events unfold, Okonkwo’s carefully constructed world and the Ibo way of life collapses. The story of Okonkwo’s fall from a respected and feared leader of the Ibo tribe to an outcast who dies in disgrace dramatizes his inability to

Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Essay

1737 words - 7 pages , the majority of natives were affected by the political, cultural, religious, and economic changes which are depicted in the Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart. The novel primarily focuses on small villages such as Umuofia village in southern Nigeria, and the native’s first and prolonged contacts with the British expansionism or missionaries. In the novel, Achebe depicts the political changes that have occurred from pre-European arrival and post

The Culture Of The Ibo, An African Tribe: Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"

859 words - 3 pages Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is a story based on the traditional beliefs and customs of the Ibo tribe. Achebe portrays a realistic view of Africans, particularly the Ibo tribe, which opposes the view that a reader may have formed after reading other works, such as Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Although Achebe describes the fact that the tribe does not primarily consist of savages, the reader still needs to keep an open mind about the