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Colonialism and Beyond

Satisfactory Essays
Colonialism and Beyond in Chinua Achebe's An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness, No Longer at Ease, Things Fall Apart, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Emmanuel Nelson's Chinua Achebe, Postcolonial African Writers, Willene Taylor's A Search for Values in Things Fall Apart, Colin Turnbull's he Lonely African

This course on colonial and post-colonial literature satisfies my cravings for thought and literature that falls outside of the mainstream of the Eurocentric view of things. Achebe, Walcott, Arundhati, and Kincaid etc. the so-called marginalized- third-world writers provide another perspective, another glimpse of reality as they see and experience it. Hopefully this journal will juxtapose colonial and post-colonial perspectives. I'm also interested in the struggle between the 'old' and the 'new' (tradition vs. modernity) and how this represents itself in African culture and African literature.

One of the most well known post-colonial writers is Chinua Achebe. He was born in Ogidi in eastern Nigeria on November 16, 1930, to Isaiah Okafor Achebe and Janet Achebe. Even though his parents were devout evangelical Protestants, they still managed to instill in him many values of their traditional Igbo culture. "He attended mission schools, but remained emotionally close to many of his relatives who were not Christians. These early negotiations of cultural duality would later enable him to develop a necessary distance from the competing and conflicting forces that shaped his sense of self and formed his worldview" (Parekh 19)- a distance that he now affirms as a prerequisite to see the totality of life "steadily and fully" (Morning Yet on Creation Day, 68).

In 1944 Achebe enrolled in the Government College in Umuahia and four years later, he entered the London-affiliated University College at Ibadan. He graduated from Ibadan in 1953 and published his first novel, Things Fall Apart, 1958. It was published reluctantly, because Heinemann editors were uncertain if the West would purchase a novel by an African. But the novel was a stunning success and remains Achebe's most widely read work. Achebe has also published four other novels as well as essays, short fiction, and poetry. He has become one of Africa's most outspoken intellectuals.

Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart is the search for values in a world that is constantly beset by change.
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