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Chinua achebe

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African Literature chinua achebe

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Chinua achebe

  1. 1. A Brief History & Background of African Literature with special reference to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
  2. 2. Africa is the world's second- largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia.
  3. 3. Colonialism and Imperialism • Refer to control over a piece of land and its people by a more dominant power • Colonialism – establishment of a colony by sending a group of people from a dominant power to live in and control a weaker one (e.g. the U.S. was once a British colony, India was once a British colony, the Philippines was once a U.S. colony) • Imperialism – broader term that implies domination of a group of people and their land, which may include colonization (see above) but does not require it (e.g. the U.S. controlling Afghanistan, U.S. using foreign aid in return for countries protecting their interests, U.S. attempt to control Cuba by forcing an embargo)
  4. 4. England and other colonial powers like France and Germany divided Africa into 50 countries.
  5. 5. Colonialism in Nigeria • Began around 1800 when England began controlling West African ports to stop the Transatlantic Slave Trade • By 1885, England had complete political, financial, and social control over what is now Nigeria • Nigerians fought against the control from England from the very beginning, but England had better weapons and more resources
  6. 6. Nigerian Independence • Nigerians continued fighting for freedom during the 19th century and into the 20th century. • They wanted to form an independent country that was not controlled by England but by Nigerians • In 1960, Nigeria gained independence from England. 1960 is called the “Year of Africa,” because many African countries gained independence that year.
  7. 7. The End of Colonialism • Between 1885 and 1914 Britain took nearly 30% of Africa's population under its control, compared to 15% for France, 9% for Germany, 7% for Belgium and 1% for Italy. • Nigeria alone contributed 15 million subjects, more than in the whole of French West Africa or the entire German colonial empire.
  8. 8. • After WWII, England’s sway and power over its colonies around the world was weakened. • England’s empire in Africa ended quickly, often leaving the newly-independent states ill- equipped to deal with the challenges of governing themselves. • Nigeria won independence in 1960, and many other African nations followed shortly thereafter.
  9. 9. AFRICAN LITERATURE
  10. 10. *African literature consists of a body of work in different languages and various genres, ranging from oral literature to literature written in colonial languages (French, Portuguese, and English).
  11. 11. *Oral literature, including stories, dramas, riddles, histories, myths, songs, proverbs, and other expressions, is frequently employed to educate and entertain children. Oral histories, myths, and proverbs additionally serve to remind whole communities of their ancestors' heroic deeds, their past, and the precedents for their customs and traditions.
  12. 12. • literature is a reflection of the society is a fact that has been widely acknowledged. Literature indeed reflects the society, its good values and its ills.
  13. 13. AFRICAN WRITERS AND POETS
  14. 14. SOYINKA, Wole • Born in Nigeria, July 13, 1934. The foremost English-Language poet and certainly the most celebrated playwright of black America. His work earned him the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature.
  15. 15. CLARK, John Pepper • Nigerian Poet, dramatist, and Literacy critic. Born April 6, 1935, contributed significantly to the Nigerian renaissance of the late 50s and early ’60s.
  16. 16. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie • was born on September 15, 1977 in Nigeria. She writes poems, short stories, and novels. One of her stories, called That Harmattan Morning, was chosen as joint winner of the BCC Short Story Awards. She also won the O. Henry prize for a story called The American Embassy.
  17. 17. Ngugi wa Thiong'o • Kenyan writer who was born on January 5, 1938. His works include plays, novels, short stories, and essays. He has written everything from children's literature to social criticism. Most of his work is in English, but some of it is in Gikuyu
  18. 18. Buchi Emecheta • is a Nigerian novelist who was born on July 21, 1944. She has published over 20 books. Her most well-known novels are: "Second-Class Citizen," "The Bride Price," "The Slave Girl," and "The Joys of Motherhood."
  19. 19. Ayi Kwei Armah • is a notable Ghanaian writer who was born in 1939. He mainly writes novels. He has written six novels, all of which have been fairly well received. His most well known work is called "Fragments."
  20. 20. Chinua Achebe He was born on November 15,1930 in Nigeria. He died on March 12, 2013. He was a novelist, a poet, a critic, and a professor. He was best known for his first novel which is called Things Fall Apart. It was written in 1958
  21. 21. Chinua Achebe • famous for his novels describing the effects of Western customs and values on traditional African society. • Achebe's satire and his keen ear for spoken language have made him one of the most highly esteemed African writers in English.
  22. 22. • Many of his poems written during the war were collected in BEWARE, SOUL BROTHER (1971), which won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. • Achebe wrote his first novel, THINGS FALL APART (1958),Achebe took the title of the book from William Butler Yates's The Second Coming- "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.“
  23. 23. Achebe’s works • THINGS FALL APART, 1958 • NO LONGER AT EASE, 1960 • THE SACRIFICAL EGG, AND OTHER STORIES, 1962 • ARROW OF GOD, 1964 • A MAN OF THE PEOPLE, 1966 - Kansan mies (suom. Eila Pennanen, 1969) • CHIKE AND THE RIVER, 1966 (with drawings by Prue Theobalds) • BEWARE, SOUL BROTHER, 1971 (US title: Christmas in Biafra and Other Poems, 1973) • THE INSIDER: STORIES OF WAR AND PEACE FROM NIGERIA, 1971 (editor) • GIRLS AT WAR, 1972 • HOW THE LEOPARD GOT HIS CLAWS, 1973 (with John Iroaganachi) • MORNING YET ON CREATION DAY, 1975 • THE DRUM: A CHILDREN'S STORY, 1977 (ill. by John Roper; also illustrated by Anne Nwoloye)
  24. 24. • THE FLUTE, 1977 (ill. by Tayo Adenaike) • DON'T LET HIM DIE, 1978 (ed. with Dubem Okafor) • LITERATURE AND SOCIETY, 1980 • AKA WETA, 1982 (ed. with Obiora Udechukwu) • THE TROUBLE WITH NIGERIA, 1983 • AFRICAN SHORT STORIES, 1985 (ed. with C.L. Innes) • THE WORLD OF OGBANJE, 1986 • ANTHILLS OF THE SAVANNA, 1987 (short listed for the Booker Prize) • THE UNIVERSITY AND THE LEADERSHIP FACTOR IN NIGERIAN POLITICS, 1988 • HOPES AND IMPEDIMENTS: SELECTED ESSAYS, 1965-1987, 1989 • NIGERIAN TOPICS, 1989 • BEYOND HUNGER IN AFRICA: CONVENTIONAL WISDOM AND AN AFRICAN VISION, 1990 (editor) • THE HEINEMANN BOOK OF CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN SHORT STORIES, 1992 (ed. with C.L. Innes) • ANOTHER AFRICA, 1997 (with photographs by Robert Lyons) • HOME AND EXILE, 2000 • COLLECTED POEMS, 2004 • THE EDUCATION OF A BRITISH-PROTECTED CHILD, 2009
  25. 25. • As a youth, Achebe read many Western novels but was often disdainful of the African characters...until, that is, he realized the racist biases of the authors..Achebe’s education in English and exposure to European customs have allowed him to capture both the European and the African perspectives on colonial expansion, religion, race, and culture.
  26. 26. Themes Culture and Colonialism - A prevalent theme in Achebe's novels is the intersection of African tradition (particularly Igbo varieties) and modernity, especially as embodied by European colonialism. E.g. The Village of Umuofia in Things Fall Apart, is violently shaken with internal division when the white Christian missionaries arrive. Masculinity and femininity - gender roles of men and women, as well as societies conception of the associated concepts, are frequent themes in Achebe's writing.
  27. 27. – This is Achebe's criticism of • “He criticizes Christianity not as something that is wrong, but as something that divides communities with its individual conversions”. • “We do not pray to have more money but to have more kinsmen”. • “We are better than animals because we have kinsmen. An animal rubs its aching flank against a tree, a man asks his kinsman to scratch him . . . “
  28. 28. According to Achebe's greatest example of this binary logic is “He saw things as black and white. And black was evil.
  29. 29. Things Fall Apart
  30. 30. WHAT DOES THE PHRASE “FALL APART” MEANS • “Collapse, break down, either physically or mentally and emotionally” • “come apart at the seams; go to pieces.”
  31. 31. Things Fall Apart • Okankwo, the main character in this story was the superior man of his village who had a major downfall. • He was powerful and he knew this as he was the leader of his community. Everything is perfect in Okankwo’s life until he kills a man and is banished for seven years. • The time period is set in the 1890s when missionaries came into Igbo society and took over. With this real life fact, Achebe incorporated history into his fictional story. • This invasion was Okankwo’s biggest downfall as the missionaries took over leadership.
  32. 32. • Story is about Igbo tribe/culture Story is about
  33. 33. • Story is about vanishing customs • Setting is Nigeria • Story is about Okonkwo • Story is about Realization of culture/tribe/values (the tribe stands for) at risk Story is about
  34. 34. • Story is about Africa losing her culture • Story is about a father, a mother and her children • Story is about losing faith and gaining again • Story is about a tragic flaw
  35. 35. "Things Fall Apart," Achebe presents a different idea of Africans. They have families, religion, honors and titles, music, economy, laws and a court system, complicated farming techniques, a tradition of wise sayings and the art of conversation; on top of this, they successfully practice an un- autocratic style of communal living that Western societies long for.
  36. 36. • The Europeans in Things Fall Apart are depicted as intolerant of Igbo culture and religion, telling villagers that their gods are not real (pp. 135, 162) the Igbo are seen as tolerant of other cultures as some of them accepted Christian as their new religion.
  37. 37. • Oral traditions and storytelling are important influences on Achebe’s work. He loved to hear the Igbo stories that his mother and sister told when he was a small boy. So, this novel is mainly written based on the stories that Achebe has heard since he was a little child.
  38. 38. • In Igbo society as stated in the, decisions were not made by a chief or by any individual but rather by a council of male elders. Religious leaders were also called upon to settle debates reflecting the cultural focus of the Igbo people. . Prior to British colonization, the Igbo people as depicted in Things Fall Apart lived in a patriarchal collective political system.
  39. 39. “If you look carefully, the women were never really dealing alone with issues pertaining to women, they were dealing with issues pertaining to society”.
  40. 40. Achebe characterizes Umuofia’s women in the joys and tribulations of their motherhood and selects specific moments of their lives to represent some of the most meaningful cultural and historical aspects of existence in Igbo communities .

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