Presentation on theme: "Analysis of Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe Alex Gordon and Lyndsey Ritchie January 14, 2011."— Presentation transcript:
Analysis of Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe Alex Gordon and Lyndsey Ritchie January 14, 2011
Born in Ogidi, Nigeria Son of a teacher in a missionary school Parents devout evangelical Protestants Christened him Albert after Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria Albert Chinualumogu Achebe Education In 1944 attended Government College in Umuahia. Also educated at the University College of Ibadan English, history and theology. Rejected his British name During the Nigerian Civil War (1967-70) Biafran government service Taught at US and Nigerian universities In 1967 cofounded a publishing company at Enugu Retired in 1981 Paralyzed
Famous for his novels describing the effects of Western customs and values on traditional African society. Use of satire and keen ear for spoken language most highly esteemed African writers in English First novel THINGS FALL APART (1958) NO LONGER AT EASE, ARROW OF GOD (1964), and ANTHILLS OF THE SAVANNAH (1987) all centered on colonialism As an essayist gained fame with his collections MORNING YET ON CREATION DAY (1975), HOPES AND IMPEDIMENTS (1988) and his long essay THE TROUBLE WITH NIGERIA (1983)
Religion "Nothing can stand alone; there must always be another thing standing beside it." Chi person's spiritual double; linking to ancestors, unborn, and Chukwu Chukwu the great God that created all the other gods and humankind. Chi gets the last word Ani earth goddess in charge of morality; controls the fertility of people, animals, and plants; serves as a symbolic womb for the dead before they are reborn. Agbala the Oracle of the Hills and Caves
Marriage Bride-price ensure marriage's stability. returning home uri ceremony bride paid a long visit to the groom's family. isa-ifi ceremony formal acceptance of the bride into her husband's family normally married at 16
Titles Ozo title an lbo man took idemili second title;with the man taking it called "Ogbuefi" Two more titles could also be taken Very rare fifth title Story Telling in Oral Cultures Folk tales, myths, riddles, and proverbs Imaginative, religious, social, and educational functions. Instill morals, traditions, beliefs Kola and Chalk Chalk made of white clay Used by the Ibo in rituals. Symbolizes peace. Traditions
What did they want? Transformed barbarian way of living to a civilized way of living What did they do? Caused turmoil; fighting amongst villages How did they change the people/culture? Built hospitals and schools (modernized villages) Introduced Christianity
Biggest fear weakness and failure Struggles overcoming father’s reputation; controlling emotions Downfall was set on traditional way of life; refused to change or compromise Motivations superior rank among village, to be better than his father Flaws emotions, close-mindedness, hypocrisy in regards to tradition versus change
Themes Masculinity versus Weakness Change versus Tradition Style & Tone Ironic, tragic, satirical Literary devices simile “Okonkwo’s fame had grown like a bush-fire in the harmattan.” imagery “…when the rains had stopped and the sun rose every morning with dazzling beauty.” pathos “Okonkwo’s fear was greater than these. It was not external but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of himself lest he should be found to resemble his father.
Weak and incapable of ruling based on reason as opposed to emotion Not allowed to have an opinion Accept the “housewife” role; an accessory to the man Expected to have and raise children Accept other females/wives
“Darkness held a vague terror for these people, even the bravest among them.” Written as a response to Heart of Darkness 'An Image of Africa' (1975)
Reflects on Okonkwo –Family ties, loss of position within village, British relations Reflects on Nyowe –Conversion to Christianity Reflects on Brown/Smith –Such a struggle converting Africans
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”
Why is it important? What makes it an example of good literature? How successful was Achebe in breaking the stereotype?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vMnlH5xg_I&feature=player_detailpage every tired second, every heavy page they fold into a nightmare, they almost turn to rage i felt like i was draining, i should have been happy and no one should need nothing, you never needed me and its always raining i am calling from the end, things will fall apart again everything you gave me, everything you know it's my newest form of torture, my newest broken bow i'm running out of fortune, i'm running out of pain and i benefit from sadness and sadness cools my brain i am calling from the end, things will fall apart again and it's always raining
“Africa is mystic; it is wild; it is a sweltering inferno; it is a photographer's paradise, a hunter's Valhalla, an escapist's Utopia. It is what you will, and it withstands all interpretations. It is the last vestige of a dead world or the cradle of a shiny new one. To a lot of people, as to myself, it is just 'home'. It is all these things but one thing — it is never dull.” -Beryl Markham
http://www.monge.net/thingsfallapart/igbo%20backgroun d.html Liukkonen, Petri. Petri Liukkonen & Ari Pesonen & Kuusankosken Kirjasto 2008. 14 Jan 2011. Web “Things Fall Apart.” Class notes. Mrs. Schoch. 08 Jan 2011.