Chinua Achebe Born in 1930, the fifth child of a well-educated family in Nigeria. His born name was Albert, he chose his Igbo name (Chinua) when he was in college. He studied liberal arts in the University college at Ibadan, although he was accepted there to study medicine at age eighteen. His works, especially Things Fall Apart, are studied in most English speaking countries. This work has also been translated into over 40 different languages.
Chinua Achebe• The “father of modern African literature” • "But when I began I had no idea what this was going to be. I just knew that there was something inside me that wanted me to tell who I was, and that would have come out even if I didnt want it.“ – Achebe• A Change of View – Things Fall Apart • This book changed the outlook of African history because it came from the perspective of a native, instead of a colonizer
BritishColonialism Culture represented by Achebe’s novels Igbo Culture
• British Christianity and • Igbo Social Customs and Authority Traditional Religion Achebe was curious about both of these different cultures, and the mixture of the two shows up in, Things Fall Apart. Achebe shows the effects of social culture affecting the main character, Okonkwo, and the effects of missionaries. The relationship can be seen clearly when the native Igbo decide to convert to Christianity because of their beliefs in the traditional religions. The missionaries build a church in the Evil Forest, but they do not die as would be expected by traditional beliefs. The villagers believe they posses amazing powers and begin to convert.
Things Fall Apart was first published in 1958, it was Achebe’s first novel.
“Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwowas not a cruel man. But his whole lifewas dominated by fear, the fear of failureand of weakness. It was deeper and moreintimate than the fear of evil andcapricious gods and of magic, the fear ofthe forest, and of the forces of nature,malevolent, red in tooth and claw.”
”…the radical shiftin aesthetic andcultural sensibilitiesevident in the artand literature of thepost-World War Oneperiod.” Achebe was able to change how African history was viewed. The above definition of modernism shows exactly how Achebe has created the basis for modern literature in Africa. Achebe changed to view from the colonialist to the native history.
Sources• http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/t hings-fall-apart/chinua-achebe-biography.html• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XBXXfEI8-o• The Norton Anthology, Western Literature, Volume 2• http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/jul/10/chin uaachebe• http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/elab/hfl0255.html