Things Fall Apart By African Writer English Literature Essay

Thingss Fall Apart is divided into three parts. The first portion trades with the exoneration of tribal life in Africa ; the 2nd portion marks the entry of the White Man and explores the changeless battle between old traditions within the Ibo people every bit good as Christianity and the “ Second Coming ” it brings Forth ; the 3rd portion paperss the return of Okonkwo to Abame and his tragic terminal.

“ Thingss Fall Apart ” seems to mirror the work of Italian philosopher, Antonio Gramsci, who speaks extensively of “ hegemony ” and the relationship between civilization and power. Gramsci notes that “ The old is deceasing and the new can non be born ” . It is this rift that Achebe negotiations about in his novel- the split in African society and the conflicting relationship it portions with Western civilization. In the instance of “ Things Fall Apart ” , “ western civilization ” refers to the “ White Man ” . Gramsci argues that cultural domination can merely happen if person is submissive and through consent. However, with really powerful groups as in the instance of the “ White Man ” , the Ibo people were non given a pick but to O.K. of the group ‘s control. “ There must be hegemonic activity ” before the “ White Man ‘s ” rise to power and this activity is exemplified by the puting up of missionaries, schools and churches. It is the first measure to cultural domination where the ogbanje and osu ‘s are taught to accept and follow this new civilization[ 1 ].

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Gramsci says that capitalist powers remained in control non merely because of their economic and political bullying or even because of their inclination to fall back to force but by consciously developing a hegemonic civilization. Over here, the dominated category ‘ middle class values and rules are challenged. For any group to rule over another they have to look beyond their pure economic involvement and do via medias with the submissive category. Although Achebe fastidiously describes every facet of Ibo traditions he invariably maintains his objectiveness, avoiding categorizing the “ White Man ” and the Ibo as good and evil. Nevertheless we know that the Ibo community is doggedly cleaving on the values of their civilization particularly certain traditions like the violent death of twins in the Evil Forest, a usage the White Man tries difficult to take. Even Nwoye, Okonkwo ‘s effeminate boy, knows “ that it was right to be masculine and to be violent, but someway he still preferred the narratives that his female parent used to state, and which she no uncertainty still told to her younger kids – narratives of the tortoise and his crafty ways, and of the bird eneke-nti-oba who challenged the whole universe to a wrestle competition and was eventually thrown by the cat ” . Before the reaching of the White Man, Nwoye is profoundly uncomfortable about the all permeant ruthless Ibo imposts him and seeks safety with the White Man. Obviously, the White Man capitalised on such people and used them as agencies to derive hegemonic power and cultural domination in Things Fall Apart.

Achebe believes that “ people are agents of history ” , non incapacitated victims and this is exemplified in “ Things Fall Apart ” . The Ibo society is a meritocracy and Okonkwo, a wise adult male with warrior like outlook benefits from it. He is a merchandise of his societal environment, and is about like an incarnation of Ibo ‘s steadfast cultural values. The Ibo society is a clannish, male chauvinistic, profoundly respectful of aged, and acutely witting of the male rights and responsibilities with no prisons and no swayers. The small town elders maintain jurisprudence and order with the aid of the egwugwu liquors. Womans and kids are seen but rarely heard, with the exclusion of Ezinma, Okonkwo ‘s favorite girl. What the community produces, it eats, the work moralss of every Ibo single driving its economic system. Human forfeit as with the instance of Ikemefuna, the violent death of twins in the Evil Forest, and the favoritism of osu ‘s are some of the traditions that the White Man aims to get rid of which the Ibo resist. Through Obierika ‘s concerns of the White Man it is apparent that some of Ibo disfavor colonialism. He says, “ The white adult male is really cagey. He came softly and peace-loving with his faith. We were amused at his folly and allowed him to remain. Now he has won our brothers, and our kin can no longer move like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart ” .

The fresh examines the dichotomous relationship between European modernness and African tradition. Achebe emphasizes the disaffection experienced by the Ibo community because of colonisation. The Ibo themselves were the dominant folk in the country and looked at the ogbanje and the osu ‘s as the “ Other ” ( a construct described by Simone de Beavoir, John McLeod and Banerjee Swapna ) and ironically under colonisation are themselves looked at as the “ Other ” in their ain land. The Ibo experience a sense of disaffection. Okonkwo describes his hatred towards the White Man when they begin to rule the legal and political system of Umuofia.

Okonkwo ‘s hatred for idleness roots from his disfavor for his male parent, Unoka, a adult male who was “ lazy and improvident and was rather incapable of believing about tomorrow ” . Okonkwo ‘s beliefs go manus in manus with Althusser ‘s construct of political orientation of efficiency, as Okonkwo views inefficiency as a menace to the continuance of his household and the Ibo people. Althusser ‘s definition of political orientation is exemplified through Okonkwo ‘s positions and actions. Althusser believes that the map of political orientation is to retroflex the same agency of production, something that Okonkwo actively does.

Althusser says that instruction is the cardinal agencies of continuing political orientation and the dealingss of production. He goes to province, “ the reproduction of labour power requires non merely a reproduction of accomplishments, but besides, at the same clip, a reproduction of its entry to the regulations of the established order ” . In schools, kids learn the regulations of “ good behavior ” – “ the attitudeA that should be observed by every agent in the division of labor, harmonizing to the occupation he is destined for ” . Harmonizing to Althusser, these regulations include esteeming the “ regulations of order established by category domination. Okonkwo plays the function of an ideological pedagogue, determined to do Nwoye less effeminate and take the marks of indolence in him. He wants Nwoye to be the perfect boy and tells him narratives of wartime, “ force and bloodshed ” , trusting that his boy will turn out to be efficient and accordingly good respected by the Ibo. Nevertheless, when it was Okonkwo ‘s bend to kill his adoptive boy, Ikemefuna he started the inquiry his political orientation – “ When did you go a shaky old adult female, you, who are known in all the nine small towns for heroism in war? How can a adult male who has killed five work forces in conflict autumn to pieces because he has added a male child to their figure? ” Althusser suggests that although an person is defined by his or her civilization, it does non needfully reflect the existent conditions of being but alternatively the ideal images which the civilization wants to project. Okonkwo is a perfect illustration of a individual who is committed to these ideal images – maleness of a adult male for illustration, is non through idling or playing a musical instrument but is defined by holding multiple married womans, many kids, being warrior-like and concealing any sort of feminine emotions. He strongly believes that “ the authorization and determination of the Oracle is paramount ” even when it comes to killing Ikemefune. Unlike Obierika, Okonkwo could non happen a loophole in Ibo Torahs. His positions are monological, alienated by the political orientation that defines him. Through Okonkwo ‘s interactions with the White Man, who undermine his ideological values and destruct the strong sense of traditions within the Ibo, he begins to inquiries his political orientations and starts to experience separated from his folk.


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