Essay about Literary Criticism And Review : Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart

Essay about Literary Criticism And Review : Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart

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In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, the author poses many perspectives for literary criticism and review. This work emphasizes many different cultural aspects that were considered controversial at the time of publication in both African and American culture. This novel’s focus on feminine roles, religion, and cultural norms give readers a glimpse of life in the village of Umuofia while allowing them to think critically about the thematic topics posed.
Feminism is currently a high priority movement in America, however women did not always have the input in matters of any concern. In fact, most countries still do not allow women to have roles when it comes to crucial or even trivial matters. Things Fall Apart was published in the United States in 1958; just thirty-nine years after the passing of the thirteenth amendment giving women the right to vote and thirteen years after the second World War which was the first war that allowed women to join the armed forces non-combatively. Feminism was still a highly controversial topic at the time of publication allowing much feedback from Achebe’s audience. In this novel, Achebe creates a traditional plot line with a male hero, Okonkwo, and portrays women as they are seen in Nigeria: of little to no worth. Okonkwo sees women as weak, along with the rest of the men in the village of Umuofia, and strives to be the opposite of his father of whom he views as feminine (Strong-Leek, 29). He even despises the fact that his own daughter was not born a male. Instead of affirming her bold personality, he wishes that she had been born a boy to bring their family name honor. Even though “She has the right spirit” (Things Fall Apart, 61), she can never supply the satisfaction or worth that a boy in th...

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...village as a whole, but also, on a microscopic level, in Okonkwo’s household. As the culture in Umuofia begins to shift, the predecessors of the current generation heavily rely on the cultural norms initiated by their father’s fathers. While tradition should be honored in a society, it should also be modified; this concept is not fully grasped by the older generations of Umuofians.
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is a novel that set a standard in not only African literacy, but also global literary agendas. The monumental spotlights on feminine roles, religious views, and cultural standards in this novel revealed to audiences that controversial topics can be approached respectfully from both ends of the literary spectrum. Achebe’s work is truly an influential read on individuals and cultures transposing through all barriers into the heart of humanity: recreation.

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