Things Fall Apart Setting Analysis

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Setting and themes in Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart is a novel written by Chinua Achebe. It was first published in 1958. The novel is about the Igbo customs and traditions. Moreover, it also shows the African perspective on the British colonisation. For showing this African perspective, the setting is very important. The setting has a huge impact on the central ideas and themes presented in Things Fall Apart, Achebe achieves this through the use of characterisation, placing the novel in a clear context and his style of writing.
Firstly, characterisation and the contrast between characters give a good insight into the Igbo culture. In Things Fall Apart Okonkwo is characterised as powerful and fearless, Nwoye is characterised as weak and
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One of the first things the reader notices is the use of Igbo words throughout the novel. Words as ‘agballa’, ‘obi’ and ‘egwugwu’ make the Western reader realise that they are reading a novel about a completely different culture. Due to the omniscient narrator, customs can also be explained to the reader, an example of this is: ‘’Among the Igbo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.’’ This shows that the Igbo see language as a form of art. Unlike the Western society they take the time for a good conversation. Palm-oil is a frequently used cooking oil, so the quotation is a metaphor for saying that proverbs are necessary for a good conversation. Just like palm-oil is necessary to cook food. Achebe also uses the story of the locusts, which is allegorical for the arrival of the white missionaries: ‘’And at last the locusts did descend. They settled on every tree on every blade of grass; they settled on the roofs and covered the bare ground. Mighty tree branches broke away under them, and the whole country became the brown-earth colour of the vast, hungry swarm.’’ This passage is from the beginning of the novel and foreshadows the arrival of the whites and that things are going to fall apart. To conclude, Achebe’s use of language such as Igbo words, metaphors and proverbs introducing Igbo traditions and allegory which foreshadows the arrival of the white missionaries shows the Igbo culture to the
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