Things Fall Apart High School Essay

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Published in 1958 to great critical acclaim at the height of African political independence movements, Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart is a watershed novel in which artistic achievement and cultural reeducation form a perfect balance. When it appeared in world markets and academic institutions, the novel was immediately recognized as a blueprint for budding novelists by African writers and critics, as a literary classic by Canadian and American critics, and (not unexpectedly) as a novel of protest by British critics and press.


Part of the immediate appeal of Things Fall Apart lay in the fact that until its publication, no other African novel contained such a wide range of both literary and historical references; nor had any other African novelist yet displayed the kind of craftsmanship Achebe exhibits in this novel, where he holistically interweaves Igbo customary activities, the people's worldview and beliefs, and their material possessions into a rich tapestry, thereby helping to demolish the cultural presumptions of European writers of novels about Africa. Instead of offering a stereotypical depiction of Africa as the "heart of darkness" and its peoples as "primitives" and "savages," Achebe delineates Umuofia as a human community of nine villages, and his characters as human beings who possess minds, a language, a religion, and a culture, with vices and virtues like other groups of people in the world. ...
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