Dignity of the African People Conveyed in Things Fall Apart
In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, it is shown that the African people had their own complex culture before the Europeans decided to "pacify" them. The idea that the dignity of these people has been greatly compromised is acknowledged in the essay "The Role of the Writer," which is explanatory of Achebe's novels. A writer trying to capture the truth of a situation that his readers may know little or nothing about needs a sense of history in order to appropriately address the topic. It is not enough "to beat" another writer to the issue. Writers should make the attempt to express a deeper understanding. Without proper mental investment in a written work, the product will be a shallow representation of what it is meant to convey.
Achebe chose to write his novel realistically. He includes the beauty of the Ibo's culture, as well as the gruesome. He recorded that a man might help kill his own adopted son for fear that he would be "thought weak." He also revealed that newborn twins were thrown away. Along with the "great depth" comes tragedy, but all of the details were required to make an accurate presentation of the subject. The writer must understand that the truth is not selective to the pleasant facts. The District Commissioner believed that it was important that he "be firm in cutting out the details" and decreed that a paragraph would suffice for the explanation of Okonkwo. However, Achebe, in essence, wrote an entire novel about this character. It is arrogant to believe that the complete understanding of a human being can be accomplished so easily.
The character of the District Commissioner is a prime example of a biased ...
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...priciously without consideration to the public's attention to written news. Care must be taken and time set aside to allow for every needed aspect of a literary work to develop. Writing for expediency often excludes the "value and beauty" in the culture of the Africans. Fallacious arguments and insincere statements result from hastening a document.
Writers have the opportunity to "tell the people" the harsh realities of the past. Each one who writes about the colonial period has the choice to just write something or to write something substantial. The goal of a writer should be to influence the world for the better. With a proper attitude towards the material, knowledge of the history, and care taken for the preparation, the dignity and self-respect lost to the African people can be regained, and many can know "where the rain began to beat them."
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