Presentation on theme: "Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Chinua Achebe: Born in 1930 in Ogidi, Nigeria “It does help if you have the kind of temperament I have, which."— Presentation transcript:
Chinua Achebe: Born in 1930 in Ogidi, Nigeria “It does help if you have the kind of temperament I have, which tries to recover something from our past. So you have one foot in the past – my father’s tradition – and also one in the present – where you try to interpret the past for the present.”
A little bit about the book: Things Fall Apart stresses the interference of Christianity and British colonizers in tribal affairs and traditions. Although it describes a traditional African culture, the book was written in English to reach a broader audience. Written before Africa’s independence, Things Fall Apart helped inform the Western world about the African identity crisis. It is one of the most popular African novels in the world.
History of Nigeria: The history of Africa itself includes the emergence of the first Homo sapiens and the incredibly powerful Egyptian empire. Much of modern Nigeria was divided into states identified with contemporary ethnic groups. In the southeast, the earliest Igbo state and the oldest kingdom in Nigeria was the Kingdom of Nri, which emerged in 900 AD and lasted for over a thousand years.
In 1900 the company's territory came under the control of the British Government, which moved to consolidate its hold over the area of modern Nigeria. In 1906 Nigeria became a British protectorate, part of the British Empire. Nigeria achieved independence from Britain in 1960.
Igbo Culture: Language: Igbo language is based a lot on pitch, vocal inflections, and context. A single word can have numerous meanings depending on these factors. Idioms and proverbs play an important role in the Ibo language. Someone who does not use them in speech is considered a novice at speaking the language.
Daily Life: Ibos live in villages that have anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand people comprised of numerous extended families.
There is no single ruler or king that controls the population. Decisions are made by including almost everyone in the village. There are established institutions such as a council of elders and a council of chiefs. The Ibos simultaneously emphasize individual actions and community living. Leadership is based on a man’s personal worth and his contribution to the good of the tribe.
Religion: Igbo gods were numerous, but their relationship to one another and human beings was essentially egalitarian, reflecting Igbo society as a whole. Egalitarian = belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people They believe that there are three levels of divine beings: ○ “Chukwu” = supreme god (highest level) ○ l“Umuagbara” = lesser gods ○ “Ndi Ichie,” = the spirits of dead people.
The Igbos also believe in reincarnation. After a time in the spirit world, a dead person would be reborn as a new person and the cycle would continue on. Each village has priests and priestesses who help in all spiritual matters, conducting ceremonies and rituals. Since the Igbos believe that everything in life is controlled by higher powers, there are also diviners in a village that attempt to predict the future.
Back to the book… The book takes place in the Nigerian village of Umuofia in the late 1880s, before missionaries and other outsiders have arrived. This is a story of the conflict that arises when tradition clashes with change. Just a warning… the 1st half of the book introduces the Igbo culture. The 2 nd half is when things start happening. Stick with it!