Essay about Perspective in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Essay about Perspective in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe tells the story of how one unified Umuofian community falls due to its own inner conflicts, as well as to the arrival of Christian missionaries. Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart to change the brutish image of Africa, for the Western world. The use of changing perspectives greatly aided Achebe in accurately portraying Africa as colorful, diverse and complex. For Westerners, viewing Africans as more than tribal and barbaric was a new concept, of which Achebe helped usher in. The story is told through the eyes of many Umuofians, which gives the reader a personal sense for the individuals within the tribe. When all the individual pieces of the story are brought together, the sifting perspectives creates a vast overview of the community, while also deepening the readers since for the tribe by allowing personal details to show through. Achebe captures the complexity of the Umuofia community by changing the perspective from which the story is being told frequently.
Perspective is used in Things Fall Apart to give high contrast to issues within the community, which brings out its inner complexity. When differences of opinion are highlighted, these differences show that internal pressure are causing the tribe to break down from within. Ikemefuna’s death is a point of stark disagreement among the Umuofians. Ezeudu tells Okonkwo, “I want you to have nothing to do with [Ikemefuna’s death]. He calls you his father” (57). Although Ezeudu warns Okonkwo about participating in the death of Ikemefuna, Okonkwo decides to kill Ikemefuna himself. Ezeudu’s oppinion that Okonkwo should not be involved with the boy’s death shows the reader a shade of the community that would not have been seen without highligh...


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...rough, straight from the source, individual Umuofians. The community is built by every single Umuofian, it takes all of those feelings, opinion, problems, hopes and fears to form Umuofia. A true picture of Umuofia would not have been complete without the individuals who compose Umuofia being represented. Achebe captures the color and richness of this community, and its downfall, by showing the events through the eyes of the very people who make it what it is. Achebe puts Umuofia in it’s place within the European world, with perspective as well. Europeans think Africa is merely a good story to read about. While the Africans themselves, have to live with each action and ramification that the Europeans simply read about. Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart for the purpose of educating Westerners about Africa, hopefully they will read is as more that just a good story.

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