THINGS FALL APART For whom was Chinua Achebe writing this book? “us” Who is “us” then? THINGS FALL APART Where does this story take place? Nigeria AFRICA THINGS FALL APART Who is the author of this book? Chinua Achebe This guy. But who was he? In order for us to really understand the book, we NEED to know who he was and why he wrote this book. THINGS FALL APART Who is the author of this book? Born Albert Chinualumogu Achebe on 16 November 1930, he was raised by Evangelical Protestants parents in the Igbo village of Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria. His upbringing, however, was a multicultural one and many of the people (where he grew up) still respected much of the Igbo culture. Chinua Achebe Achebe attended college from 1944-1947 in Africa graduated from a university in 1953. In the 1950’s Achebe was also the founders of the Nigerian literary movement and by 1959, he published he published Thing Fall Apart. One of the major reasons for his publishing of this novel, as well as a reason for for helping found the literary movement, was to dismantle European thoughts on African culture. THINGS FALL APART More about this book: A QUESTION FOR THE CLASS: What’s one of the most provocative aspects of this book? That he wrote it in English. Achebe wanted his novel to respond not only to earlier colonial accounts of Africa, but also to show that an African could write just as well in English. Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart was written in Nigeria for Europeans. So what about Nigeria at this time? What do we need to know? THINGS FALL APART Nigeria and Africa at this time: As mentioned earlier, much of Africa at this time was still colonized by the European powers and Nigeria was no exception to this. Nigeria In 1960, Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom. But the newly gained peace and sovereignty that they gained did not last very long. By the late 1960’s not only had the (somewhat conservative) government been overthrown, but there were many military coups. The Igbo people suffered terribly under these conditions and civil war eventually broke out. THINGS FALL APART The Second Coming W. B. Yeats Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The the ceremony of innocence is drowned; • What do we think falcon and falconer represent? The choose best lackthis all conviction, while thebook? worst • Why would Achebe poem for his Are full of passionate intensity. • What is this poem saying about culture and society? THINK ABOUT WHAT THESE QUESTIONS ARE ASKING AND REFER TO YESTERDAY’S LECTURE. Quick write • Which character makes a better impression on you: Okonkwo or Unuoka? Give two reasons • Read chapter 1 – c=culture – O= Okonkwo Those who wrote about Okonkwo put O where you see examples that support your impressions – U=UnokaThose who wrote about Unoka put a U where you find examples that support your impression Discuss examples • Did anyone change their opinion? • What do we learn about culture? – Titles are expensive – A man is judged according to his worth not that of his father’s. – Age is respected, but achievement is revered. – Kola nut is offered to guests to break, chalk, toe Chapter 2 • What was Umuofia’s utimatum? • Agadi-nwayi: – name for old medicine woman • Oracle of the Hills and Caves • Mabaino • P. 13: Why does he rule household with a heavy hand? • Agbala: – old woman and man with no title – Also name for the oracle Nwoye • 12 • Father thinks he is lazy • Who does he resemble? Proverb A proverb is “an adage, saying, that expresses conventional truth.” • Proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are spoken. – They help the speaker say what they mean without seeming offensive – They help words go down smoother – They help “deliver the point” p. 7 • What does Unoka mean: “Our elders say that the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.” • What does he mean in the context of this quote? – I will take care of my big debts before my small ones.