achebe's things fall apart


Do NOT ask me to support your Christian missionary work.

I will never support Christian missionaries, especially white Christian missionaries.

I am all about spreading the word of God, but there’s just something very no-no-no about white people busting into non-white communities and indigenous cultures to try and “spread the word”. Something pretty obviously no-no-no. *ahem*

These people have most likely already heard about Christ. And if they haven’t, they should have other natives from that area teach them. Not a bunch of white people from a totally different culture/country. Especially not white people.

I'm just going to drop this right here and walk away.

fake movies based on literature:

↳ Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 

Following the story of an Igbo man named Okonkwo (David Oyelowo) in the fictional Nigerian village of Umuofia, Okonkwo leads life as a great fighter(nicknamed “The Cat” for he never lands on his back), and a respectable leader. The life and society of Umuofia is represented through him, his wife Ekwefi (Wunmi Mosaku) who ran away to be with him for love, and their son Nywoe (John Boyega). As Okonkwo and Nywoe’s relationship is strain due to Nywoe not following Umuofian traditionan. This causes him to favor his daughter Ezinma (Ebonee Noel), whom follows in Okonkwo’s footsteps by respecting and following society’s expectations for a Umuofian woman. Through the struggles of the family and village, happens during 19th century pre-colonial Nigeria to life under colonial Nigeria. Okonkwo learns how to uphold hid traditions, and family even while being threatened by the white men who take their village. 

Ball pythons in Igbo tradition

So I was reading “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe and came across a mention of sacred ‘royal pythons.’ I was wondering if they meant actual royal pythons as in ball pythons.

Turns out it totally was! Ball pythons are a sacred animal in Igbo tradition because they move so close to the ground they are associated with the earth goddess.

Because of this they are traditionally treated with great respect and allowed to move as they please around homes and villages, only being moved gently to the woods if they are in the way.

If a ball python is accidentally killed traditionally it would be buried and given a funeral like a person!

This both goes against the idea that ball pythons live completely sedentary live in the wild and is a great example of a culture respecting and not taking for granted wild reptiles!

@wheremyscalesslither you might appreciate this!

Literary Analysis 101: Themes

What IS a theme anyway?

A theme is an overarching message shown throughout a piece of literature or other type of media. And despite what you might have been taught in elementary/primary school, a theme is not the same thing as a moral—better known as the lesson of the story—though they can be similar. A theme most often uses a motif, such as a phrase or metaphor, used repeatedly to prove a point. The majority of a piece can be a theme for something, but they are most often found in smaller bits out of large pieces. A theme can also be what the story is about on an emotional or psychological level, but be sure to note the difference of a theme and a moral.

How do you FIND them?

The simplest way of finding themes is to simply read your piece slowly and carefully and maybe even read the piece twice. When reading, pay special attention to any scenes with high tension or when characters are introduced. I suggest highlighting sentences that sound familiar or feel repeated then continue to try and find those same kinds of phrases. Also be on the look out for repeated conflicts and subject matter! 

As an easy to start off, read the summary of the piece carefully and look for words that set the mood of the story, like “loss” or “enlightening.” Reading the short reviews on the cover will help with that too. Look for phrases like “Jane Doe writes an emotional story about the human experience and overcoming a loss,” then, with this in mind, look for the textual proof to back it up.

However, remember that there can be several different themes in a book, and it might give your essay/project an added punch if you discuss a very subtle theme, but know that that will add more work on your part for proving its importance.

What KINDS of themes are there?

Here are some themes that I have found most often in the literature I’ve read in that last few years, in and out of class:

Loss of Innocence/Growing Up: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Light vs Darkness: Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

Natural Being/Order of Society: Anthem by Ayn Rand (sort of), the Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (pictured above), Antigone by Sophocles

False Identities/Misunderstandings: The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

(Over-) Indulgence: the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

(A good way to practice finding themes is by watching tv shows with overarching plots and looking for repeated conflicts. It doesn’t have to be a drama though! Even comedies can have themes! I suggest Downton Abbey for themes like The End of the World as We Know It and Friends for, well, Friendship/Family.)

What do they MEAN though?

A theme is most often woven into a story on purpose to emphasize something without having to spell it out in black and white. When William Shakespeare makes constant references to lightness and darkness, he is not commenting on shadows and how he needs a night light, he is showing that Romeo and Juliet are from two completely different worlds and maybe don’t belong together… or maybe they do?

Or sometimes authors will use it to draw the audience back to the first time the motif was used to analyze how the meaning of it has changed. When William Golding uses the word “savage” repeatedly, he is not saying, “Whoa! Look at those crazy boissss!” He is contrasting how the boys previously felt about living alone to how they are acting now.

Anything ELSE?

Themes can be found anywhere: in literature and movies, of course, but also in paintings and music. (I suggest the works of Frida Kahlo and Lin-Manuel Miranda, respectively.) The secret to understanding themes is allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and open to the story and how the characters are feeling whenever the motif is used.

I hope this has helped all of you in some way—and please don’t hesitate to sending me an ask for further clarification! Also let me know if you’d like to see me going through a text and finding themes, etc.!

Book Recs: Books by black women (about black women)
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982), Historical fiction/ LGBT. It is a devastating, beautiful, heart-wrenching story of 14-year-old girl named Celie surviving abuse, racism, and poverty in rural 1930s Georgia. Alice Walker portrays the resilience, intelligence and strength of black women in this story while also condemning and challenging sexism and traditional gender roles. There’s also been an incredible film adaptation, Broadway adaptation, and Broadway revival.
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (1969), Autobiography. Maya tells her powerful story. As a young girl, Maya was sent by her mother to live in small Southern town, and she and her brother Bailey experience severe abandonment and racism.This book wrecked my soul at moments, but it’s also filled with a tremendous amount of power and light and hope. 
  • Color Blind: A Memoir by Precious Williams (2010), Autobiography.  Precious was handed off in a basket by her birth mother to Nan, a white 60-year-old “color-blind” foster mother. Precious is taunted and ostracized in her all-white school, and Nan could never really understand or articulate her daughter’s struggles. This memoir was brave, personal and beautifully dealt with identity and race.
  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2009), Post-Colonial/ Short Story Collection. This work has a great legacy. First it started with a 117-year-old book called the Heart of Darkness by a white male British author that dehumanized African people. Later, Nigerian author Chinua Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart which retold the narrative from a Nigerian author’s perspective. And now we have Adichie’s story, which presents a needed female Nigerian perspective. All 12 of her short stories are beautifully written and critically examine Africa and the effects of colonization.
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith (2000), Contemporary Fiction/ Post-Colonial/ LGBT elements. The novel is divided into sections, each one focusing on different characters. You have Archie Jones and his friend Samad Iqbal, and the latter half of the novel focuses on their families: Clara, Irie, Millat, and Magid. Zadie Smith challenges racism and prejudice all the way from British imperialism to casual every-day racism and homophobia while being incredibly cheeky and hilarious.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937), Historical Fiction. Hurston insisted that her novel not be “miserable” or “downtrodden.” And I think she really succeeds in her celebration of black womanhood and poor rural black communities. We get to see Janie Crawford’s growth from a silenced teenage girl into a woman with agency and power who gets to decide her own fate.
  • A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid (1988), Creative Non-Fiction/ Autobiography.  This is a series of essays, written in four sections, that expresses Kincaid’s powerful rage towards slavery, colonialism and the broken identify of her home of Antigua. From start to finish, this collection of essays was a giant f-you to colonization.
  • Beloved (and honestly anything) by Toni Morrison (1987), Historical Fiction. This book changed my life. Toni Morrison is a deeper, grander, more nuanced and just generally better Faulkner. If you like ghost stories, mysteries, stories full of rage and hope that deeply examine human consciousness, books that tear apart your perceptions of humanity, books that force you to read them over and over again to pick through all the layers of meaning, you will love this book.
Summer Reading Challenge

Throughout college I’ve tried to read around 10 books every summer that I’ve never read before. I usually am unable to do all of them (lol) mostly because I get books from the library, and if I don’t plan well they all get checked out : P 

If I combine re-reads with new reads, though, I do always end up reading 8-12 or so books every summer. I love reading, and I never get time to read longform writing during the school year (it’s always just news or articles or short stories and whatnot : P) 

Here is what I read in past summers (nf = nonfiction)

Summer 2015

New Reads: 

  1. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddartha Mukherjee (nf)
  2. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
  3. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonothan Safran Foer
  5. The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


      6-12. The Harry Potter Series (yes, the whole thing) by J.K. Rowling
         13.  Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Summer 2016

New Reads: 

  1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (nf)
  2. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
  3. The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
  4. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
  5. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  6. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan


      7. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Honorable Mentions

  1. The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Winter ‘16) 
  2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told by Alex Haley (nf) (Spring ‘15)  (everyone should read this book!!! Everyone!!! iT’s RIDICULOUSLY IMPORTAnT!!!!) 
  3. The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu (Spring Break ‘17) (it was the MIT Reads book selection so I got it from the MIT bookstore for free :D) (ridiculously good book by ridiculously good Asian American author) 

Started but never finished, and why:

  1. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (nf) (this is ridiculous as it’s very short and honestly more of a long paper, but I got back to school and got busy ;__; will finish (starting from the beginning) as soon as finals is over.)
  2. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace (nf) (ran out of time on the library loan, and had to get back to school)
  3. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (the first few pages describing the womanizer super turned me off, and I just stopped there…I feel like I’ve had enough White European Man books assigned to me in school, and so I’d like to read more diverse authors in my free time. My friend really recommended it though so maybe I should try again…) 

Summer ‘17 List

I’m quite determined to get through all 10 this time. So far, I have…


  1. The Gene by Siddartha Mukherjee (the sequel-ish to a book above) (was too popular last summer to check out)
  2. Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang (tried before, also too popular)
  3. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  4. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks


  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 
  3. Paradise by Toni Morrison
  4. 1984 by George Orwell

Inevitable Re-Read: 

  1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Suggestions welcome! Preferably I want even more than 10 new reads on my list–I’m thinking if I have loads of books on my list than any one of them is less likely to be checked out the library and maybe this year I can finally actually get through 10 new reads :3 Heavy preference to Asian or Asian-American authors, as I’ve been trying to diversify of authors of the books I read, starting with people of my own background (bizarre that practically all the books I read til now were white authors, isn’t it…). I’ve at least successfully read a few African and African-American authors by now; Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie was really great and the first book I’ve read that also really reflected on the Asian/Asian American experience, through sci-fi stories (!!!!), in a very organic way. Going to try and add to that~

anonymous asked:

Books by Black Authors: Chinua Achebe- Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God Even tho Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has shown her true colors- Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah and Purple Hibiscus Toni Morrison-Sula, Song of Solomon and Beloved There is Native Son by Richard Wright. (lot of violence against women tho)

anonymous asked:

I really recommend Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe! I read it for my English class and we had really amazing discussions about colonization and imperialism.

Chinua Achebe presents an interesting look at the dynamics of an African tribe both in its day-to-day operation, but just as importantly (and interestingly) as it confronts its downfall through the influence of (and sometimes by the hands of) European powers. Okonkwo works to elevate his own status as a reaction to his father’s low-standing in the village. But working against Okonkwo’s rise are internal and external factors. His own inadvertent actions cause him to be exiled from his tribe for seven years, and externally the tribe has reached its apex early in Okonkwo’s life and his adulthood is spent during its decline. Achebe wrote Okonkwo beautifully as you could feel the frustration of a man who believes so deeply in tribal values and is solely focused on his pursuit of reaching the top, only to miss the mark because of a single mistake and then watch those values no longer be highly regarded by his peers. The penultimate scene was the absolutely perfect way to write Okonkwo’s reaction to it all.

Masterfully done, and highly recommended.

lovelyyem-deactivated20170522  asked:

What are some of your fav books?

I don’t read a lot of books. I like articles and lectures by authors on youtube ie, Terrence Mckenna, Junot Diaz (my absolute favorite lecturer of recent years, his books not so much). Most recently here’s a good one about the business of fashion) In short, I’m all over the place. Still, here are some books that fucked me up at various stages of my life

Rohinton Mistry - A Fine Balance (made me want to go to India and i did, to study)

James Baldwin - Notes of a Native Son (haven’t looked at race in america, or myself, the same since)

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche - Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (set me on my path)

Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart (flawless storytelling, the oral tradition in print)

Ivan Van Sertima - They Came Before Columbus (how deep do the lies about our history go?)

Cormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian (aside from Baldwin’s non fiction work, probably the only time I’ve envied a writer)

Pearl S Buck - The Good Earth (flawless storytelling)

Zora Neale Hurston - Moses, Man of the Mountain ( I lied, this is the one other time I envied a writer)

Yuval Noah Harari - Sapiens (so much meat on the bone)

Marlon James - Book of Night Women (the way Moonlight made me feel as a black boy from Miami, this book made me feel as the son of Jamaican Immigrants)

Hey friends! Here are some more books I’m starting on tonight! 

 💛Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

 💛The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends & Their Meanings by Jan Harold Brunvand 

💛Guilty Until Proven Innocent by Donald S Connery 

 💛The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (I hear there’s a hot priest in this one😏) 

💛Bully: A True Story of High School Revenger by Jim Schutze 

💛 I Am No One You Know by Joyce Carol Oates

 💛Hunting the Devil by Richard Lourie 

💛True Vampires by Sondra London 

 💛In One Person by John Irving 

 Sorry this one took a while guys, this semester was a little hectic! Anyways, I’m always interested and recommendations and always down to chat about books!🌟🍒💕🌺✨ ❤️, tay