Analysis Of Igbo Culture In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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“Things Fall Apart”, a novel written by Chinua Achebe about Africa through the character Okonkwo, a man who Achebe uses to illustrate the complexity Igbo culture, contrary to what the Europeans portrayed Africa as. One main focus of the book is to counter the single story, which is the idea that an area is represented by one story, similar to a stereotype. However, differing from a stereotype a single story often completely misrepresents something, and in this case Africa. Europeans had been the only ones writing about Africa, describing all the culture as problematic for being different, rather than looking at what African culture really is. Achebe was one of the first to write about African culture for westerners to read about, making Things Fall Apart a true innovation in writing. Achebe’s goals for Things Fall Apart is to counter the single story and portray a more cultured and complex of Africa opposing westerners ideals with the inclusion of Igbo folktales, Igbo proverbs, and 3rd person narration.

Igbo folktales are an important piece of what makes Igbo culture complex, and unique. One Igbo folktale from Chapter 11 tells the story of a greedy tortoise who wants to join some birds in the sky for a feast. He tricks them and tells them his name is “All of you” then the birds say the meal is for all of you the tortoise takes all the food. The bird then punishes him by taking his feathers to fly away, the tortoise tells the birds to deliver a message to his wife. The
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