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Things Fall Apart. Chinua Achebe 1958. 3 rd Most populous ethnic group in Nigeria Lived in villages based on male lineage All male heads of household were related on father’s side. Villages shared a market and meeting place Also believed in similar ancestral spirits

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Things fall apart

Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe

1958


Characteristics of ibo igbo

3rd Most populous ethnic group in Nigeria

Lived in villages based on male lineage

All male heads of household were related on father’s side

Villages shared a market and meeting place

Also believed in similar ancestral spirits

Villages arranged in clans of approx. 5,000 people

Characteristics of Ibo (Igbo)


More characteristics
More characteristics

  • Staple crops: yams, cassava, taro, corn, pumpkins, beans

  • High value placed on individual achievements and eloquent speech

  • Palm trees for oil


Common TermsDiala: free adult malesosu: religious outcasts; priests to the godsIbo treated osu with contemptohu: slaves captured in war Chukwu: common god of allChi: each person’s protective ancestral spirit; each person, clan, and village had one


The author
The author

  • Achebe is a social novelist who believed in the social potency of literature

  • Ibo childhood but university educated

  • Taught at several universities in Nigeria, Massachusetts, and Connecticut

  • Paralyzed from auto accident


Significance of tfa

Shows rich, positive view of African culture

Gives Africans a vision of their past

Different from typical African novel told from European point of view

Precursor to pluralism

Affirmation and acceptance of diversity

Title implies cultural breakdown is not limited to Ibo society; it is universal

To refuse to accept change is to be destroyed by it

Significance of TFA


Nigerian politics

1914 Nigeria is created as a political entity

1861: Official British control

1866: Nigeria becomes separate British colony

British traded in palm oil; missionaries converted

Colonialism was ending when TFA was published

Nigeria gained independence in 1960

Nigerian Politics


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