There is this perceived need to stand up for African and other previously colonized indigenous cultures. In this project, I endeavour to critically analyse Chinua Achebe's exploration of colonialism and its impacts on the African society, particularly referring to his first novel, his seminal work, Things Fall Apart. The Igbo society, as depicted in the novel, going through the throes of change due to colonialism becomes symbolic of the entire Africa itself. Analysing the novel closely, I shall look into the contradictory sets of critical views that have come the writer's way, where some critics look at his novel as a simple depiction of a certain society without providing any critique whatsoever while the others appreciate this very style of writing as critiquing the hitherto set Western ideas regarding literary works and their reception. I have also tried to understand Achebe's novel better by studying his non-fictional discourse on colonialism--- essays and interviews, for instance, which have been discussed further in the chapters mentioned.
“Decolonising the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature”, written by the Kenyan writer and post colonist theorist, presents the personal testimony of an author who has fought a long battle of his own to undo the colonization of his mind. Decolonising the Mind can be called as Ngugi’s contribution to the debate on the choice of language in a post-colonial country. In this book he argues that Africa will be able to break free from the clutches of Western control over its resources and culture only when the use of European languages is replaced by native languages. At the same time the book presents a historical analysis of imperialism and underdevelopment; and of the use of language as an instrument of subversion of personal
The works of Achebe and Okri have been a subject of great academic interest. Along with the various book length studies, there are also available numerous articles on different aspects of their writing. Critical View on Chinua Achebe 's "Arrow of God" (1986) by Catherine Lynette Innes is a critical book which discuses about various emerging perspectives in Nigerian Literature. Malignant and Beneficent Fictions: Constructing Nature in Ecocriticism and Achebe’s Arrow of God (2001) an article by Michael Lundblad is an attempt to explore the ethical implications of speaking for nature. Author also emphasized on the need to raise the significant question about how ecocritics will continue to define ecocritical theory and practice.
Chesnutt also uses African American folklore to celebrate his black identity throughout telling these stories. My research concentrates on Chesnutt 's representation of superstitions and folklore as traditions of African American culture in The Conjure Women. The Conjure Women is collected seven conjure stories that talk about magic works and superstitions. Uncle Julius is an ex-slave who is the narrator of the conjure tales. Uncle Julius narrates tales of antebellum plantation life in order to entertain the white couples, John and his wife Annie.
A few Ewe also live in Benin. According to Ewe oral history, the Ewe migrated to their present lands from what is now Benin and Nigeria in the mid-1600s c.e. The Ewe people speak the Ewe language, which has several dialects. The Anlo Ewe dialect has become the main literary language of the Ewe. The Ewe language is the most widely spoken of a cluster known as the Gbe languages, which includes the language of the Fon people.
After the fall of the Songhai Empire the remains of the Mali Empire also fall. In 1599, Mali lost to the Moroccan forces, and begin to collapse, just like the Songhai Empire. Most of Africa did not have written language before the arrival of the European missionaries, there were certain Africans who did develop written languages, such as the Egyptians hieroglyphics. The kushites develop the Meroitic script, which was influenced by the egyptian hieroglyphics. In Ethiopia there was the Ge’ez writing script, which was also influenced by the Arabian alphabet.
There are 4 types of languages spoken in Ethiopia, the semitic languages ( spoken in the central, northern, eastern side of Ethiopia), the Cushitic languages ( central, southern and eastern side of Ethiopia), the Omotic languages (spoken between the southern rift valley and Omo river according to http://www.ethiopiantreasures.co.uk/pages/language.htm), and the nilo-saharan languages ( western side of Ethiopia and at the border of sudan). The difference between semitic and Cushitic language are the characters and alphabet used. The semitic languages use the ge’ez script ( an ancient written language that came from sabean alphabet). The Cushitic language uses both ge’ez and roman alphabet. The 2 most widely spoken languages are Oromo and Amharic.
north-western Tanzania (Karagwe and Kyamutwara), Rwanda and Burundi, and eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC. Sometimes, the Kitara Empire historically is known as the Bachwezi/Chwezi Kingdom. In accordance with the work of colonial agricultural officer in Bunyoro (1954–1955), Dunbar (1965: V) in his preface, wrote that the Bunyoro is the ‘remnant of the ancient and extensive kingdom of Kitara which covered the greater part of western Uganda, in east central Africa, between latitudes 2° 20' North and 1 ° 0' South and longitudes 30° 0' and 33° 0' East. This kingdom stretched southwards to the River Kagera, southeastwards over Singo, Bulemezi, Buruli and Bunyara (Bugerere), eastwards and northwards to the River Nile and westwards beyond Lake Albert and the River
Following the ‘canon’ novel, Heart of Darkness, a wide range of misinterpretations of Africans were established by Westerners. Some Westerners, those without any direct ethnic background, actually believed Heart of Darkness’ author, Joseph Conrad, when he described the Africans as “black shapes crouched, lay, sat between the trees, leaning against the trunks, clinging to the earth, half coming out, half effaced within the dim light, in all the attitudes of pain, abandonment, and despair.” Author Chinua Achebe made it his mission to develop a novel that would show the beauty of the cultural ideals and the people of Africa. Through Things Fall Apart, Achebe would not debunk Conrad’s descriptions by focusing solely on the positive aspects as there cannot be life without hardships and controversial acts; he would go on to undermine the beauty of Africa and its people through the truth. As providing an ‘exclusive’ insight to what the African culture truly brought forth; the plot took little importance, while the culture and all its intensities was the main focus. In order to clearly show that intensity while making it a comprehendable read for Westerners, Achebe had to be meticulous about how he would achieve this newfound perspective for the foreign readers.
Chinua Achebe, a world-renowned Nigerian novelist, poet and professor, was born in 1930 and died in 2013. Hailing from southern Nigeria, Achebe wrote one of his most popular novels, Things Fall Apart, in 1958 focusing on the Ibo tribe; their traditions, rituals and ill-fated colonisation by the Christian British. With this novel, Achebe proves that "their societies were not mindless but frequently had a philosophy of great depth and value and beauty, that they had poetry and, above all, they had dignity." It is also important to note that the allegories and symbols Achebe uses in the novel are significant to the Ibo tribe as the stories and tales transferred were mainly done orally. This adds to their noteworthiness in the Nigerian culture to understand the complexity of the people and their rich history, which has been passed down to numerous generations.