Social Status In Things Fall Apart

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The tripartite novel “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, published in 1958 focuses on the changes taking place in Nigeria, as a result of colonization during the 20th century. Chinua Achebe’s pragmatics when writing the novel focused on changing the perspective of Western readers with regard to African society. He mainly wanted to falsify the assertions in books such as “Heart of Darkness” which he claimed gave people of African descent a dull personality. Social status is one of the novels’ main themes. Chinua Achebe successfully incorporates the importance of social status, giving readers the impression that for the Ibo society, social structure consists mainly of a hierarchy of both skill and strength. The significance of social status in “Things Fall Apart” is huge in the characterization of key characters, and it provides insight into how the Ibo clan is structured. Achebe further uses the theme of social structure to guide his characters a certain way and to guide the readers through the plot of the novel. From the very beginning of the novel Achebe introduces “social status” to the readers as a very important aspect of the book. From the very first line- “Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond” – us readers come to an understanding that the main character, Okonkwo, is of high social status and that this tale will most likely be about him and his personal achievements.…show more content…
Chinua Achebe uses it so as to convey certain traits for his characters, and build upon the readers’ opinions on them. He further uses the concept of social hierarchy to drive his characters towards a certain direction. The Ibo society functions in way such that it is largely dependent on the idea social status, therefore. Without the theme of social status the plot of the novel would be completely different, and possibly Things would not Fall Apart for
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