Dissertation >

Reading Achebe's Things Fall Apart from the Perspective of Ecocriticism

Author XuYaXin
Tutor DuZhiQing
School Huaqiao University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart ecocriticism
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
Downloads 1
Quotes 0
Download Dissertation

Chinua Achebe is one of the most prominent African writers, known as “thefather of modern African literature”. His writings are sincere and profound, reflectingthe reality of African society and colonial politics. His representative works, the“Nigeria Tetralogy”, focus on the Ibo life before and after the independence ofNigeria. Things Fall Apart, a strong response to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness,shows that African people have their own language, traditional beliefs and culture.Most critics have analyzed this novel from the perspective of politics. Howeverin this novel, there are a large number of descriptions about Ibo traditional culture andcustoms, which have not been paid enough attention to. Ecocriticism is originallyponders over the relationship between man and nature and then extends its concern tosocial ecology, advocating the cultivation of people’s spiritual ecology. Through thelens of ecocriticism, this thesis focuses on nature and the local people in the novel soas to present a new understanding of this book.In Things Fall Apart, Achebe demonstrates an ecological Ibo society by showingtheir unique belief---animism, their attitudes toward nature, the way they selecttalents, and the legal system and institutions. He also uses abundant fables andproverbs concerning life wisdom and laws of nature to show Ibo people’s substantialspiritual life. By comparison, Achebe shows the great changes of Ibo society after theEuropean colonists’ invasion. Under the influence of anthropocentrism andmaterialism, inequality and corruption appear in Ibo society and the clan is dividedand put asunder, fighting with each other. The local people start to learn a newlanguage and abandon their own belief and culture. The death of the national heroOkonkwo implies that the clan is eventually disintegrated and collapsed. As to thetragic fate of this clan, Achebe objectively represents the limitations of both sides toexpress his ecological concern and humanistic care.Reading this novel from the perspective of ecocriticism, we know it is urgent forus to establish a harmonious relationship between human and nature and preserve thecultural diversity of the world which is endangered by ecological crisis of various kinds.

Related Dissertations
More Dissertations