Things Fall Apart Essay

822 words - 4 pages

Eliminating the “Single Story” in Things Fall Apart
Negative stereotypes of the African people “mainly come from western literature”(Adichie) which does not show the African people as human beings with complex lives but instead as an “incomprehensible people, fighting senseless wars, dying of poverty, unable to speak for themselves, and waiting to be saved by the kind white foreigner”(Adichie). Stories that only depict one point of view of a person or people develops a “single story” which creates misperceptions like the negative stereotypes of the African people. Adichie advocates that one must tell the story of a people from multiple perspectives to get the true story. By telling the ...view middle of the document...

Achebe intends to further show the similarities of Christianity and the Ibo religion therefore arguing that seeing people as similar rather than different eliminates the European colonizers from their lack of understanding the Ibo and the misconceptions of a people. Furthermore, religion in all societies serves as a basis of right and wrong. The egwugwu not only provide spiritual guidance, but they also serve as judges in their complex judicial system providing a foundation of morals. The egwugwu host a trial in which they must “hear both sides of the case”(93) before deciding on their verdict, exhibiting a system based around morality. It is not exclusively the egwugwu who accommodate for morality but also the priests. The priest of the Earth goddess Ani condemns Okonkwo for beating his wife during the Week of Peace depicting that one cannot simply act as they please but they must be presented with boundaries. A religious system which provides morals and ethics, depicts the sophistication and civilized nature of their culture. They are not the “half devil, half child”(Kipling) beasts that the Europeans deem them to be. Not unlike how the ten commandments give Christians a framework for right and wrong, the Ibo religion provides similar fundamentals.
Achebe further reveals the complexities of the Ibo by emphasizing the sophisticated nature of their language to eliminate negative stereotypes. Western literature commonly features the African people as mindless and incomprehensible, but Achebe refutes this misconception by explaining how the Ibo society excels in it’s use of...

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