Things Fall Apart study guide contains a biography of Chinua Achebe, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, essay on things fall apart by chinua achebe, and a full summary and analysis. He had grown up in Ogidi, a large village in Nigeria. His father taught at the missionary school, and Achebe witnessed firsthand the complex mix of benefit and catastrophe that the Christian religion had brought to the Igbo people.
In the 1950s, an exciting new literary movement grew in strength. Drawing on indigenous Nigerian oral traditions, this movement enriched European literary forms in hopes of creating a new literature, in English but unmistakably African. Things Fall Apart is set in the 1890s, during the coming of the white man to Nigeria. In part, the novel is a response and antidote to a large tradition of European literature in which Africans are depicted as primitive and mindless savages. The attitudes present in colonial literature are so ingrained into our perception of Africa that the District Commissioner, who appears at the end of the novel, strikes a chord of familiarity with most readers.
He is arrogant, dismissive of African “savages,” and totally ignorant of the complexity and richness of Igbo life. Achebe’s depiction of the Igbo, seems hollow and savage. Digression is one of Achebe’s most important tools. Achebe takes any opportunity he can to digress and relate anecdotes and tertiary incidents. The novel is part documentary, but the liveliness of Achebe’s narrative protects the book from reading like an anthropology text.