Examples Of Heteroglossia In Things Fall Apart

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Throughout his masterpiece Things Fall Apart, Achebe accentuates the African cultural existence through heteroglossia. The term heteroglossia was first created by the Russian philosopher and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin. In his Dialogic Imagination, Bakhtin defines heteroglossia as "the internal stratification of any single national language into social dialects, characteristic group behavior, and professional jargons, generic languages […] language of the authorities, of various circles and of passing fashions, language that serve the specific sociopolitical purpose of the day." (262-3) Achebe has been an advocate of using the English language opposing that opinion of a foreign language cannot describe the African culture. He declares that the use of English language introduces "a new voice coming out of Africa, speaking of African experience in a world-wide language." In Things Fall Apart, Achebe has succeeded in introducing the Igbo's cultural proverbs, vocabulary, and concepts in a novel written in English. In seek of reaffirming the African cultural…show more content…
The most prominent character in the novel is that of Okonkwo. He is depicted as a strong man who is ''well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond." (1). Okonkwo is a man of strong will and persistence who resists fear and detests failure. However, Okonkwo needed his village "Umuofia" to remain as it is, where no change or progress can be noted, as his value and self- meaning are measured by its traditions and rooted customs. Therefore, when the structure of Umuofia has changed by the arrival of the white man, Okonkwo has failed to adapt with this new world "he deeply grieved. It was not just a personal grief. He mourned for the clan, which he saw breaking up and falling apart" (183) Consequently, Okonkwo met his tragic

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