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Ethnographic and communication components of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

Okpoko, P.U., Okpoko, C. and Afamefuna, E.P. (2016) Ethnographic and communication components of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Nsukka Journal of the Humanities, 24 (1). pp. 97-130.

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“Things Fall Apart” is a multifaceted work, which traverses many subject areas, as it narrates the sudden encounter between a hitherto closed Igbo society and the colonists, and the inevitable culture shock it engendered. It portrays the actual and ideal African society as one with undiluted or unadulterated cultural values prior to western impact. Indeed, the narrative began with pre-colonial times and navigated through the point when the missionaries and colonial masters came and ‘polluted’ the African society, destroying the very things that make us who we are and mark us out at the international scene. The work has been aptly described as an ethnographic masterpiece. Another area covered by Achebe, and which forms a significant part of this paper is traditional communication, which has long been part of the life of the African people. This was lucidly captured, as far back as the 1950s, in various parts of the novel. This work looks at the ethnographic contents of ‘Things Fall Apart’, with a view to understanding those inherent values that make us Africans. It further examines the communication components of the book; the essence of which is to showcase the traditional modes of communication and how they served the needs of an African society prior to colonization. The work uses an exploratory research method to study the subject matter so as to highlight its very relevance in today’s African society.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: University of Nigeria. Faculty of Arts
Copyright: © 2013
Publisher's Website:
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