Essay Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

Essay Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Chinua Achebe is extremely successful in developing a new and distinct African English. The text which is written in English contains figurative language, such as proverbs, folktales, similes and metaphors from the African culture. Additionally, other writers feel since the novel is not written in Achebe’s native tongue, then it should not be considered an African novel. In Decolonizing the Mind, Thiong’o feels that language is viewed as communication and culture. So by Achebe writing in English he is losing part of his culture and background. However, many agree with Achebe as his African English helps American cultures with understanding the view of Africans and their way of life.
Achebe includes proverbs and folktales within Things Fall Apart that relate to the African culture. Proverbs and folktales are often sayings spoken by those who are older and have experiences that younger generations have yet to go through. On page 45 Obiageli said, “People should not talk when they are eating or pepper may go down the wrong way.” This proverb is basically explaining how minding the business of others can lead to trouble or evil. Another proverb Achebe uses is “A child 's fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam, which its mother puts into its palm, “which means those who choose not to obey their parents will have to face several consequences. Folktales also portray hidden meanings from Achebe’s culture that characterize African values. Chapter 9 tells a story about a Mosquito and the Ear. The Mosquito asks Ear to marry him, but Ear replies no while laughing. The valuable lesson taught is to treat others with respect because today humans are being bitten by mosquitos.
Similes throughout the novel also provide insight of the Afri...


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... combining African and European culture. Providing African terms to replace those that Europeans use gives a sense of his culture. Achebe also tells stories which leave the European culture with knowledge of the values that the people of Africa withhold. Thiong’o must understand that although they were originally punished for speaking their mother tongue, things are changing. English is a universal language that most people use within communication with others. So Achebe choosing to use the European language to install not only African culture, but his beliefs is an incredible idea. He includes insights from his background to enhance the understanding of culture for those who are not from Africa. Achebe uses figurative language to provide readers with aspects of not only the African culture but the European culture as well which correlates to cultural blending today

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