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...