2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Death and Destruction: A Postcolonial Analysis of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
Sarah K. Barger
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Chinua Achebe's postcolonial novel, Things Fall Apart (1959) centers on the Ibo tribe of Nigeria and the inevitable clash between the culture and religion of the indigenous people and that of the colonizing white Europeans. Written in response to such novels as Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899), Achebe strives to trounce the stereotypes of African peoples as being barbaric, culture-less, and socially inept beings. Achebe quells this notion held by European writers by describing the Ibo people as having a rich culture, based on a unique set of traditions, centered on religion and long-standing social norms. With the arrival of the white Europeans, the traditions of the Ibo tribe are forever altered by the forced introduction of Christianity and Western culture into Africa. This paper will focus on the struggle of two cultures clashing, and the inevitable destruction and loss of the Ibo culture by the colonizing Europeans as they rewrite the Ibo culture and history to their own colonial beliefs.

Keywords: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Nigeria, Ibo, postcolonial, culture


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 107-2
Location: VH 1320
Time: 8:15

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