Somalia and Bosnia-Herzegovina today provide horrifying evidence that difference can have precisely the opposite impact. On the one hand, difference can be necessary to national self-confidence, but, on the other, it can stir destructive tribal or national pride. Chinua Achebe in Things Fall Apart represents the cultural roots of the Igbos in order to provide self-confidence, but at the same time he refers them to universal principles which vitiate their destructive potential. Achebe, however, cannot achieve his goal merely by representing difference; rather he must depict an Igbo society which moderns can see as having dignity.
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It is an initiative of JSTOR, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help the scholarly community take advantage of advances in technology. Somalia and Bosnia-Herzegovina today provide horrifying evidence that difference can have precisely the opposite impact.
On the one hand, difference can be necessary to na- tional self-confidence, but, on the other, it can stir destructive tribal or national pride. Chinua Achebe in Things Fall Apart represents the cul- tural roots of the Igbos in order to provide self-confidence, but at the same time he refers them to universal principles which vitiate their destructive potential.
Seeing his duty as a writer in a new nation as showing his people the dignity that they lost during the colonial pe- riod, he sets out to illustrate that before the European colonial powers entered Africa, the Igbos "had a philosophy of great depth and value and beauty, that they had poetry and, above all, they had dignity"8.
Achebe, however, cannot achieve his goal merely by repre- senting difference; rather he must depict an Igbo society which moderns can see as having dignity. What is remarkable about his Igbos is the degree to which they have achieved the foundations of what most people seek today4emocratic institutions, tolerance of other cultures, a balance of male and female principles, capacity to change for the bet- ter or to meet new circumstances, a means of redistributing wealth, a vi- able system of morality, support for industriousness, an effective system of justice, striking and memorable poetry and art.
These critics are correct in noting that one of Achebe's aims is to present the peculiar- ities of the Igbo culture, especially the beauties and wisdom of its art and institutions, though, as argued below, Achebe also presents its weaknesses which require change and which aid in its destruction.
A further aim, however, is the presentation of a common humanity which Afican Studies Review, Volume 36, Number 2 Septemberpp. Achebe asserts in an essay on teaching Things Fall A p a r t that one general point. Africans are people in the same way that Americans, Europeans, Asians, and others are people Although the action of Things Fall A p a r f takes place in a setting with which most Americans are unfamiliar, the characters are nor- mal people and their events are real human events.
The necessity even to say this is part of a burden imposed on us by the customary denigration of Africa in the popular imagination of the West Lindfors In addition to representing elements of common humanity, Achebe emphasizes certain basic political institutions which might form the foundation of a modern African state.
Written at a time when Nigeria was about to achieve its independence from Britain, Things Fall A p a r t looks like the work of a founder of sorts. Achebe has often said that "art has a social purpose and can influence things" GranqvistSuch statements suggest that Achebe is not trying simply to reproduce Igbo history or only to lend it dignity.
If he were, he could have fol- lowed the pattern of other historians. As Dan Izevbaye has argued, African historians of the late s and early s focused on past African empires in order to improve the status of African history, and there is much evidence of common ethnic identity among the peoples of southern Nigeria.
Achebe, however, writing Things Fall A p a r t in the late s, chooses to ignore the evidence of what Izevbaye calls a "rich material civilization" in Africa in order to portray the Igbo as isolated and individual, evolving their own "humanistic civilization" Lindfors Achebe does not want to write about African empire, but about democratic roots in Igbo culture.
He seems to write Things Fall A p a r t in part as a statement of what the future might be if Nigeria were to take advantage of the promising aspects of its past and to eliminate the unpromising ones. That Achebe sees the best of Igbo village life as offering some- thing of the ideal is suggested by a n interview in with Raoul Granqvist.
Achebe, talking of the importance of ideals, refers to the example of village life based on a kind of equality. The reason why they chose it [this system] was because they wanted to be in control of their lives. So if the community says that we will have a meeting in the market place to- morrow, everybody should go there, or could go there.Things Fall Apart is set in the s and portrays the clash between Nigeria’s white colonial government and the traditional culture of the indigenous Igbo people.
Achebe’s novel shatters the stereotypical European portraits of native Africans. This page provides a map and general information about Nigeria, including descriptions of its four main ethnic groups: Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, and Hausa, and the Igbo Information page from the Peoples Resources section of the site offers information about the ethnic group described in Things Fall Apart.
Things Fall Apart Revisiting Race and Ethnic Differences in Criminal Violence amidst a Crime Drop Show all authors. Darnell F. Hawkins 1. Darnell F. Hawkins Things Fall Apart: Revisiting Race and Ethnic Differences in Criminal Violence amidst a Crime Drop Darnell F.
Hawkins 1 1 University of Illinois at Chicago, USA. Race and Justice. Vol 1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a story about personal beliefs and customs, and also a story about conflict.
There is struggle between family, culture, and the religion of the Ibo, which is all brought on by a difference in personal beliefs and customs of the Igbo and the British.
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a story about personal beliefs and customs, and also a story about conflict.
There is struggle between family, culture, and the religion of the Ibo, which is all brought on by a difference in . Mar 23, · “If you don’t like someone’s story,” Chinua Achebe told The Paris Review in , “write your own.” In his first novel and masterpiece, “Things Fall Apart” (), Mr.