Presentation on theme: "Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe. Things Fall Apart Background Information Chinua Achebe is one of the most well-known contemporary African writers."— Presentation transcript:
Things Fall Apart Background Information Chinua Achebe is one of the most well-known contemporary African writers. Things Fall Apart deals with the clash of cultures and the violent transitions in life and values brought about by British colonialism in Nigeria in late 1800s. the novel recounts the life of the village hero Okonkwo and describes the arrival of white missionaries in Nigeria and its impact on traditional Igbo society during the late 1800s. Things Fall Apart includes Western linguistic forms and literary traditions with Igbo words and phrases, proverbs, fables, tales, and other elements of African oral and communal storytelling traditions.
“The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats 1921 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.
Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Interpretation of “The Second Coming” Written after World War I Worried about an “inhumane world” full of fascism, communism, and violence Poem suggested the Christian era was about to be overtaken by a bad period of time (“beast” in poem) Second Coming refers to return of Christ on Doomsday – end of world
Poem interpretation (continued) Poet thinks great European civilization is collapsing Worries the world will be overtaken by savages from uncivilized parts of the world (Africa) Achebe took title of poem to respond to this poet’s view of (savage) Africa
Things Fall Apart - brief summary The main character, Okonkwo, is a great man who has achieved much in his life. He is a champion wrestler, a wealthy farmer, a husband to three wives, a title-holder among his people. His success is driven by the fear of becoming like his father (poor and cowardly)
Summary (continued) The society’s order is disrupted, however, with the appearance of the white man in Africa and with the introduction of his religion. "The conflict of the novel, shown in Okokwo, derives from the series of crushing blows which are leveled at traditional values by an alien and more powerful culture causing, in the end, the traditional society to fall apart," (G.D. Killam).
Summary (continued) Okonkwo is unable to adopt to the changes that accompany colonialism. In the end, in frustration, he kills an African employed by the British, and then commits suicide, a sin against the tradition to which he had long clung.
Key Terms defined 1.Bride price – Common in many African cultures; the bridegroom’s family pays in cash or goods for the privilege of marring a young woman. (dowry – opposite – woman’s family pays for man to marry her).
2. Obi – Large living quarters for the head of the family. Umuofia – village of Ibo.
3.Kola – a bean, a stimulant like tea or coffee. Served on most social occasions.
4. Manslaughter – unlawful killing without the intent to kill (accidental). 5. Cowrie shells – a sea shell, used as a form of money. The village’s distance from the sea makes them rare enough to use as money. 6. Palm oil – Rich yellow oil pressed from fruit of palm trees. Used for fuel & cooking.
7. Polygamy - the practice or condition of having more than one spouse, esp. wife, at one time. 8. Chi – personal spirit. 9. Yam – sweet potato.
10. Foo foo - a doughlike West African dish of boiled and ground plantain, yam, or cassava, made into balls to go with soups or stews. 11. Evil Forest
foo foo a dough-like West African dish of boiled and ground plantain, yam, or cassava, made into balls to go with soups or stews.
harmattan Dust-ladden winds originating in the desert. Usually last 3-5 days. Dusty haze usually blocks out the sun, reduces temperatures and visibility.