International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 276

Article in Press

“He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart”: Reading Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart: A Postcolonial Perspective

A.K.M. Aminur Rashid

  •  Accepted: 12 August 2018
Being a postcolonial narrative, Things Fall Apart experiences a wide critical acclaim. From the pen of Chinua Achebe, the Igbo cultural complexity has come into being a theme that opens up an historical account of the clash of two cultures. Okonkwo, a very well-known public figure in his community falls under the threat of a new culture brought by the white missionaries preaching the gospels of the Christianity. After the arrival of the Christian culture, the first collision that takes place is the division at the individual, and then at the societal levels. When a number of Igbo people, including Okonkwo’s son, change their religion, it creates chaos and confusions throughout. Although the Igbo people have a well established way of life, the Europeans do not understand that. That is why they show very little respect to the cultural practices of the Igbo people. What Achebe delivers in the novel that Africans are not savages and the societies are not mindless. Things fall apart because Okonkwo fails at the end to take his people to the culture they all shared once. The sentiment the whites show to the blacks clearly recap the slave treatment the blacks were used to receive from the whites in the past. Achebe shows the picture of the Africans portrayed in the literature and histories are not real but was seen through the eyes of the Europeans. Okonkwo hangs himself when he finds the traditional rules and orders are exiled by his own people and when he sees Igbo looses it’s honor by falling apart.

Keywords: Chinua Achebe, Thing Fall Apart, Anglophone Tradition, Igbo Culture, White Missionaries, Cultural Clash, Colonialism, Failure, Suicide.