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Things Fall Apart Background

Background information on Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Patricia Hinko

on 10 January 2014

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Transcript of Things Fall Apart Background

Things Fall Apart Background
Live in southern Nigeria
There was no single ruler
Each village had their own group of male leaders
A man's title determined how rich and power he was. The better the title the better the riches and powers.
The only power women had was religious based
British Colonization
At the turn of the 20th century, when this story takes place, the British wanted control of Africa for a few reasons
Natural resources
Trade routes
The more land the British seized, the richer they became
Civilizing the "Uncivilized"
The British considered the natives "uncivilized" and brought in two groups of people to "civilize" them
Ruled the land under British law
The village chiefs were to answer to them and carry out the British laws
Due to the belief that their culture and religion were "superior" the British had missionaries come to deal with the cultural aspects of the natives
Tried to convert natives to Christianity and completely get rid of their cultures for a more "civilized" approach
Done not solely to help the natives but to make life easier for the British
Many times they were faced with resistance which sometimes led to violence
Religious and Cultural Beliefs
Polytheistic (many gods) religion
The gods controlled everything from rain to drought
The Ibo people would have many festivals to celebrate many things
One centers around the first yam harvest
They also have what they call "The Week of Peace"
Ibo People
Chinua Achebe
Achebe published the novel in 1958 to give another side to the British colonization of Africa
Nearly everything written before this showed the native Africans to be "savages" or "uncivilized"
Achebe wanted to prove that this was not true and that the natives were just different from the British
The story centers around Okonkwo, one of the village leaders of Umuofia
The story is divided into three parts
Before the British
Start of British influence
Result of British influence
The story also centers around Okonkwo's desire to appear powerful and never weak
Full transcript