Chinua Achebes Things fall apart
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Things Fall Apart
That this eventuality was probably itself a typically modern undertaking was not lost on me. His well-known and widely celebrated novel, Things Fall Apart , was published by Heinemann in , two years prior to Nigerian independence. I find this curiously doubled historical provenance of Things Fall Apart fascinating. A peculiarly Janus-faced novel, it looks forward to a postcolonial Nigerian future while looking back to a precolonial Igbo imaginary. It is not hard to see why: the novel, which is divided into three parts, takes shape around the figure of Okonkwo—a powerful and hard-working yet violently flawed and ultimately tragic protagonist.
SparkNotes: Things Fall Apart
At a mere pages, it is slim enough to be a novella. Yet I also felt compelled to defend the novel against the words of a young German student who referred to it—and to African literature in general—as being quaint or naive.
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Her attitude, I felt, seemed patronising enough to caution me against my own adolescent literary prejudices. Later, Ezinma is spirited away in the dead of night by Chielo, a priestess dedicated to the goddess Agbala. Terrified by what might befall her daughter, Ekwefi follows Chielo through the darkness to her hut deep in the woods.
Achebe does not say. A few chapters later, we learn that Ezinma has become a beautiful young woman with many suitors and that she is bound for marriage. Janus: Roman god of gateways and doorways, a liminal, transitional figure that, like Achebe, looked towards an uncertain future and a similarly occluded past.
But when, exactly, do the events depicted in the text take place? As he walked back to the court he thought about that book.
Every day brought some new material. The story of this man [Okonkwo] who had killed a messenger and hanged himself would make interesting reading.
Who Was Chinua Achebe?
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