MA English Notes Part 2 Paper 3 MA English Notes introduction to Achebe’s novel
Give an introduction to Achebe’s novel-Things Fall Apart”.
When he started wring this novel in the early 1950s, he was sure that he was going to try his hand at writing a novel representing Ibo culture versus colonial faith. After completing the novel he sent one copy thereof to a typing agency, in London where it was mislaid for one year. He then sent his novel to W. Heinemann, a British publisher. At first, he felt hitch and hesitation in publishing this novel. Later on, he published about 200 copies of the rfovel in 1958. This novel gained popularity not only in Africa but also in other countries of the world, It is a new novel which is widely read. Things Fall Apart was not the first African novel in English. Some important African novels such as Hayford’s Ethiopia Unbound, Sol Plaatfe’s Mbudi, and Amos Tutuala’s The Palm Wine Drinkard have already been published. If Achebe is now considered to be the man who invented African literature, it is not so much because he was a pioneer ‘or an innovator. In the very simple and conventional story of Okonkwo, strong individual and an Ibo hero struggling to maintain the culture integrity of his people against the overwhelming power of colonial rule, Achebe was able to capture the anxieties of.many African readers in the .1950s. We can understand these anxieties much better if we examine the important historical and psychological parallels between the years in which Okonkwo’s story is set between 1860 and 1890 and the years in which things Fall Apart was conceived, written, and first published (1952-1958).
The theme of the novel, “Things Fall Apart”, is the clash between Ibo culture and British colonialism. The representative of Ibo culture is Okonkwo, the hero of the play. He threw Amalinze in the beginning of th.e play. In spite of his poor family background, he worked very hard and became a prosperous and one of the leading clansmen of his community. He went to Mbanta, the village of his mother, for passing seven years of exile.
He spent seven years there with the help of Uchendu, his mother’s brother. After seven years, he returned to his native village, Umuofia where he had to struggle with the. missionaries for their policies he had to murder the head messengers during this struggle. He did not expect his clansmen to have a war against the missionaries for their policies of curbing the native culture and traditions. It was only for this reason that he thought it better to commit suicide than to be hanged at the hands of the missionaries.
There is a close relationship between Okonkwo’s individual cries of authority and power and that of his community. Such aspects have so powerfully been reflected in the novel that the readers will rarely miss them. At one time it became clear that the, colonial rule in Nigeria had its strong hold to force the Africans to surrender themselves to the will of British rulers .under whose Empire, they were socially, politically, and morally back ridden. Their ancestral culture and heritage were put into the background giving place to the new pattern of wilful power.-This deplorable state of Ibo down fall has successfully been portrayed in Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart in an artistic way.
MA English Notes Part 2 Paper 3 Give an introduction to Achebe’s novel-Things Fall Apart”.
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