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The last four or five hundred years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature th...
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Guiding question

The last four or five hundred years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature that presented Africa in a very bad light and Africans in very lurid terms. The reason for this had to do with the need to justify the slave trade and slavery. … This continued until the Africans themselves, in the middle of the twentieth century, took into their own hands the telling of their story."

-- (Chinua Achebe, "An African Voice")

Guiding question

Guiding Question:

How does Achebe see the role of the writer/storyteller? In what ways does he use fiction as a means of expressing and commenting on history?

Guiding question

Guiding Question:

To what extent is Things Fall Apart successful in communicating an alternative narrative to the dominant Western history of missionaries in Africa and other colonized societies?

Guiding question

  • Learning Objectives:

  • Become familiar with some African literature and literary traditions

  • Become familiar with elements of African and Nigerian culture

  • See how historical events are represented in fiction Be able to differentiate between historical accounts and fictionalized accounts of history

  • Understand narrative perspective as culturally-positioned (Afrocentric versus Eurocentric perspectives)

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