Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Things Fall Apart

One of the first African novels to hit the Western mainstream, Chinua Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' details a large Nigerian community at the point when Western colonialism starts to erode its traditional ways. Centering on Okonkwo, a respected warrior and fiercely ambitious patriarch, it unflinchingly shows the good and bad aspects of indigenous life. For the most part, it navigates a fine line of objectivity expertly allowing us to see a culture that is not necessarily better or worse, just different. Okonkwo in particular is a masterful creation, all male bluster and insecurity. Priding himself on his fearlessness, he is ironically riddled with fears; of losing face, failing in his career, showing emotion, etc.. Of course, the 'objectivity' is shed a little towards the end in the service of righteous anger, but Achebe's cause is just. Presented as a collection of linked anecdotes, 'Things Fall Apart', presents a lucid pen picture of a world that has not so much died as been replaced by a more wily version of itself.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home