Presentation on theme: "Troy Nickens. Albert Chinualumogu Achebe was born on November 16, 1930 in Ogidi, Nigeria Raised by Christian missionaries Received early education."— Presentation transcript:
Albert Chinualumogu Achebe was born on November 16, 1930 in Ogidi, Nigeria Raised by Christian missionaries Received early education in Engilsh Grew up surrounded by both Igbo and English traditions Studied History and theology at the University of Ibadan
While in college he developed his interest in indigenous Nigerian cultures Rejected his Christian name One of the founders of a Nigerian literary movement of the 1950s Drew on oral traditions of indigenous tribes His novels were written in English, but he incorporates Igbo vocabulary and narratives.
Novels have been concerned with the clash of cultures. His exposure to European customs and English education allowed him to capture both European and African perspectives on race, religion, and culture. Composed his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1959), while working for the Nigerian broadcasting Corporation.
Has been Translated into at least 45 languages Sold 8 million copies worldwide Published as a response to novels that treat Africa as a cultureless foil for Europe. Achebe sought to convey fuller understandings of one African culture
Set in the 1890s Portrays the conflicts between Nigeria’s white colonial government and traditions of indigenous Igbo people Portrays complex social institutions and traditions of the Igbo culture prior to European contact
Okonkwo- An influential clan leader in Umofia. Since early childhood, his embarrassment about his lazy father, Unoka, has driven him to succeed. His hard work and talent in war have earned him a position of high status. He is terrified of looking weak like his father and behaves rashly, bringing trouble and sorrow upon himself and his family.
Nwoye- The oldest son of Okonkwo whom Okonkwo believes is weak and lazy like Unoka. He is constantly beaten by Okonkwo in hopes of correcting the faults that Okonkwo sees in him. He is later influenced by Ikemefuna and begins to show more masculine behavior. He eventually converts to Christianity which displeases Okonkwo.
Ikemefuna- A boy given to Okonkwo by a neighboring village. He developes a close relationship with Nwoye, becoming somewhat of a big brother to him. Okonkwo becomes very fond of Ikemefuna but does not demonstrate his affection because of his fear of looking weak.
Ezinma- The only child of Okonkwo’s second wife, Ekwefi. She is the only one of Ekwifi’s children to survive past infancy. She is the center of Ekwifi’s world. She is favored by Okonkwo because she understand him better than any of his other children. Okonkwo wishes that Ezinma were a boy because she would have been a perfect son.
Mr. Brown- The first white missionary to travel to Umofia. He institutes a policy of compromise and non-agression between his people and the clan. He befriends prominent clansmen and builds a school and hospital in Umofia. He attempts to appeal respectfully to the tribe’s values. Reverend James Smith-The missionary who replaces Mr. Brown. He is uncompromising and strict. He demands that his converts reject all of their indigenous beliefs. His behavior epitiomizes the problems of colonialism. The District Comissioner- An authority figure in the colonial government in Nigeria. He is the Prototypical racist colonialist. He thinks he understands everything about the indigeionous African customs and has no respect for them.
In the beginning of the novel, Okonkwo is a wealthy and respected warrior of the Umofia clan. Everything that Okonkwo does is governed by his hatred of his lazy father, Unoka. Okonkwo constantly worries that his son, Nwoye, will end up a failure like Unoka. In a settlement with a neigboring tribe, Umofia is given a virgin and a 15-year-old boy, Ikemefuna, and Okonkwo finds an ideal son in him.
During the Week of Peace, Okonkwo severely beats his youngest wife, Ojiugo, because he believes that she is neglecting him. He looses some respect within his community. Okonkwo is told by a village elder that the Oracle has said that Ikemefuna must be killed. The villiage elder tell Okonkwo that he should not take part in Ikemefuna’s execution. When the execution begins, Ikemefuna runs to Okonkwo for help, but Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna so he doesn’t look weak infront of his tribesmen.
Okonkwo sinks into a deep Depression. He is unable to eat or sleep. Ezinma falls ill, but recovers after Okonkwo gathers ingredients for her medecine. The death of Ogbuefi Ezedu, the village elder that warned Okonkwo of taking part in the execution, is announced. Okonkwo feels guilty because he did not heed Ogbuefi’s warning. At his funeral, the men beat drums and fire guns. Unfortunately, Okonkwo’s gun explodes and killes Ogbuefi’s 16-year-old son.
Okonkwo and his family are put into exile for seven years to atone for the death of Ogbuefi’s son. He takes his family to his mothers natal village, Mbanta. The men in the village burn Okonkwo’s buildings and kill his animals to cleanse the village of his sin. During the second year of his exile, Okonkwo recieves several bags of cowries and news that a neighboring village has been destroyed by the white man.
The peaceful missionary, Mr. Brown falls ill and is replaced by the intolerant Reverend James Smith. One convert, Enoch, unmasks an egwugwu during a ceremony to honer the earth deity. The next day, the egwugwu burn Enoch’s compound and the church down. The District Commissioner is displeased with the burning of the church and throws the leaders of Umofia in jail, where they suffer physical and verbal abuse.
After the leaders are released, the clansmen hold a meeting, when five court messengers order them to desist. Okonkwo kills the court messengers leader in order to start an uprising. However, the clansmen let the other messengers escape. Okonkwo realizes that his tribe is not willing to go to war. When the District Commissioner arrives at Okonkwo’s compound he find that he has hanged himself. The clansmen explain that suicide is a grave sin and that none of the clansmen can touch his body. The commissioner believes that the story of Okonkwo’s rebellion and death would make for an interesting paragraph or two in the book that he is writing: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.
The struggle between change and tradition Nwoye’s conversion to Christianity against his fathers will Invasion of Christian missionaries in Nigeria Interpritations of Masculinity Okonkwo’s hatred of laziness because of his father Nwoye’s rebellion towards his fathers wishes Okonkwo’s fondness of Ikemefuna and Ezinma
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