The Post-Colonial Reality in Chinua Achebe’s Novel Things Fall Apart (1958)


Literature, as an impersonation of human activity, often portrays a picture of what people think, say and do in the society. In literature, we find stories intended to depict human life and activities through some characters that, by their words, actions and responses, transmit specific messages for the purpose of education, information and stimulation. Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is probably the most authentic narrative ever written about life in Nigeria at the turn of the twentieth century. When it was first published, Achebe declared that one of his motivations was to introduce a real and dynamic society to a Western audience who perceived African society as primitive, naive, and backward. Unless Africans could recount their side of their story, Achebe believed that the African experience would forever be "mistold," even by such well-disposed authors as Joyce Cary and Joseph Conrad who have described the continent as a dusky place dwelled by people with stolid, primitive minds. Achebe, perhaps the most authentic literary voice from Africa, he wrote not only to record the African, especially Nigerian, life but to analyze the reality experienced by the native people in different times and situations. The novel Things Fall Apart describes the Igbo people at a truly seminal stage in their history and culture: as colonial forces apply pressure, their entire way of life is at stake. These looming colonial forces basically declare the end of everything they know, representing huge changes to the way they exercise religion, their family unit, the roles of gender and gender relations and trade. Colonial forces don’t just mean foreign control; rather there’s an impending doom which is instantaneous and calamitous and which is something that Achebe examines head on. In this regard, the paper is an attempt to show Achebe’s endeavor to portray the post-colonial African reality in all its varied colors and textures and to find out the extent to which this novel faithfully mirrors the postcolonial impress that shadow the hopes and aspirations of the community that he belongs to.

Authors and Affiliations

Fatima Zahra El Arbaoui


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  • EP ID EP457011
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How To Cite

Fatima Zahra El Arbaoui (2018). The Post-Colonial Reality in Chinua Achebe’s Novel Things Fall Apart (1958). International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 1(2), 7-13.