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Historical Allusions in Things fall Apart

IB English 11 IOP

Madeleine Hosick

on 26 September 2015

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Transcript of Historical Allusions in Things fall Apart

Historical Timeline
1400s- Portuguese introduced Roman Catholicism into Nigeria
1441- Slave trade to Europeans starts in Mauritania
1481- Fort for trade is built in Ghana for all of West Africa
1600s- Kingdom of Nigeria reaches height and Western Igbo kingdoms control lower Niger region
1800s- European Roman Catholic missionaries return
1890- Time period in which
Things Fall Apart
is set
1930- Chinua Achebe is born
1950- Nigerians start to fight for independence
Things Fall Apart
is published in England
1960- Nigeria gains independence
How does allusion relate to theme?
Allusions Mentioned in Things Fall Apart
Spread of Christianity
Slave Trade
Historical Allusions in
Things Fall Apart

"When nearly two years later Obierika paid a visit to his friend in exile the circumstances were less happy. The missionaries had come to Umuofia," (Achebe 143)

"Let us give them a portion of the Evil Forest. They boast about victory over death. Let us give them a real battlefield in which to show their victory," (Achebe 149)
Slave Trade
"We have heard stories about white men who made the powerful guns and the strong drinks and took slaves away across the seas, but no one thought the stories were true," (Achebe 141)
Christianity vs. Igbo Religion
Worship one god
Holy Trinity: father, son, and holy spirit

All considered equal sons of God
Based on what they believe God thinks
Worship through song and prayer
One pastor or pope
Worship many gods
The many gods of different elements are not connected
All men are not created equal
Based on what other people think
Worship through sacrifice and Igbo rituals
Many "high priests"
By: Madeleine Hosick
Embrace Change
Euro-centrism and Social Darwinism
Instead of preserving tradition

One cannot force change

Umuofia did not embrace change= they were not happy

Compromise is key
Eurocentrism: belief that Europe is superior and centering all beliefs around it

Social Darwinism: belief that is it God's destiny that the most able people are superior and need to conquer the world
Works Cited
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York:
Anchor, 1994. Print.
Carey, Bryccan. "A Chronology of Slavery,
Abolition, and Emancipation in the Sixteenth Century." Brycchan Carey. N.p., 24 July 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.
"Things Fall Apart: Explore." Annenberg Learner.
N.p., 2013. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.
Todd, Paul. "Christianity in Nigeria." SIM Nigeria.
N.p., 27 Jan. 2006. Web. 19 Sept. 2015.
What is an Allusion?
a reference to another event, person, place, or work of literature

usually implied rather than explicit and often provides another layer of meaning to what is being said
Throughout the novel,
Things Fall Apart
, Achebe uses allusion to the slave trade and spread of Christianity to develop the theme of embracing change and Eurocentrism and Social Darwinism of Europe.
In the novel,
Things Fall Apart
, Chinua Achebe introduces a setting in Nigeria in the late 1800s where Umuofia, the Nigerian Igbo clan, is in the process of being colonized by the Europeans. Even though the clan is fictional and the genre of the novel is Historical Fiction, Achebe still alludes to different events in history, and develops several themes throughout.
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