Stereotypes In Things Fall Apart

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Many stereotypes of African culture have emerged due to western literature and media and first hand accounts of explorers. Things Fall Apart offers a view into the truth and reality of African cultures, which are often misconceptualized by these stereotypes. Acebe shows how African society functions well without assistance from foreign travelers. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe counters the imperialist stereotypes of Africa by keeping certain words in the Igbo language, as opposed to translating them into English, to fight back against the spreading western culture and to embrace their own way of life. He also counters the imperialist stereotypes of Africa by using Igbo proverbs to show how their culture values many of the same things that western…show more content…
The proverbs in Things Fall Apart allow for a deeper look into the Igbo culture and their beliefs. Sayings that initially seem to drive Western and African societies further apart end up pushing them together when the meaning is deciphered. An example of this is the proverb, “Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break” (19). Basically it's saying that as long as everyone's equal all is well, but as soon as someone decides to takeover let them have bad luck. This shows that the Igbo people value honesty and equal opportunities. This is also a common thing that is valued in the majority of cultures and by most people. Other proverbs such as, “A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the very day it hatches” (57) and “When mother cow is chewing grass it's young ones watch it's mouth” (61) deal with how children take on traits from their parents and how setting a good example for them is extremely important. This is an obvious similarity between the two cultures, as we all would like to raise good children that will benefit the future. All three of these proverbs and the rest of the proverbs chosen by Achebe help to further connect African and Western cultures by showing the similar beliefs and values that they both
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