Things Break Down and Universal Appeal
Things Fall Apart-Universal Appeal Faced with a worldwide mindful filled with hazy, negative conception of the African reality, horrified with such one sided works as Heart of Darkness and Mr. Johnson, Chinua Achebe identified in 1958 to “inform the outdoors world about Ibo cultural customs”1. One can appreciate then, Achebe’s inclusion of universal themes and ideas in is novel as a way of bridging the cultural gap with his audience and reiterating that Africans remain in the end, human, just as members of any other race.
Woven throughout the text of Things Break down are universal themes in the type of images, principles, and scenarios. “Does the white man understand our custom-made about land? How can he when he does not even speak our tongue?” (154) Achebe locations significant emphasis on language appoint of cultural difference. Language barrier is a universal theme, every culture is familiar with the babel-fish failed sort of situation in which language barriers and misunderstandings end up being deadly. Demonstrated throughout the text is the saphir-whorf concept which holds that the languange of a culture shows the attitudes of that culture.
The prevelent Igbo usage of sayings, referred to as “the palm-oil with which words are consumed”, clashes with the British mindset and is related to by the District commisioner roundabout and silly. Scenarios in which sayings are used, such as the conversation between Okonwo’s dad and a debtee, “use insight into the misunderstandings that happen in between the Igbo and the Europeans”. 2 Moreover, sayings represent wisdom, and the idea of wisdom is Universal. Achebe starts the unique with a description of Okonkwo as a Self made man. 4), a figure familiar to Western eyes with a particularly American immigrant feel. In this way, Achebe is able to make Okonkwo decent in the eyes of the books numerous capitalist- minded, materialistic readers while contrasting the function product ownership play in the Igbo versus the Western societies, the previous being one more generous. Especially, Okonkwo is born of a father who is an artist, a character which parallels with the Western figure of the lazy bard sort, or the skilled problem on society.
The notion of the kid who does whatever in his power to avoid resembling his daddy (Okonkwo) is one familiar throughout cultures. Furthermore, Okonkwo’s struggle with his own son represents the familiar battle of old versus brand-new, very first generation immigrant versus, 2nd generation offspring. Okonkwo and his convictions represent vintage custom while his child embodies imperialistic assimilation. Thing Fall Apart’s similarity toward a greek disaster likewise affords it universal appeal. A disaster is a story in which the central figure makes every effort towards noble ends however is prevented by their own myth defect.
Here, Okonkwo transfers to protect the integrity of his village but is warded off by his tendency toward hyper- masculinity. Similarlly, the village itself is warded off by its unfaltering adherence to customs which castaway and murder without extensive description. Achebe makes use of the tortoise in chapter (chapter 11). It appears that Achebe does this to strengthen the principle of cultural barriers: folktales and myths around the world feature the tortoise; however the nature and function of the tortoise varies across cultures. Thus, while one may see familiar things, they might not suggest the very same thing; i. though we see the Igbo praise idols, this may not have the meaning we believe it to. Likewise, locusts, a well acknowledged sign seen in the Bible, are not a prophecy to the Igbo however are in the western world. We see that the Western significance subdues the indegeounous, as the Western existence brings an ill fate to Igbo culture. Throughout the unique, we see the lady is continually scolded and esteemed concurrently in a manner consistent with the Western “Cult of Womanhood”. females need to close their legs. Yet Achebe draws a difference between the two.
While females are thought about weak, are beaten, and anticipated to sit with their legs clothing (as the exchange between Okonkwo and his child demonstrates) the bride price practice is opposite of the European dowry and a more liberal policy worked out relating to premarital chastity. Some might hold that the novel is not a universal one, spotting inexplicable, foreign practices Achebe includes in the book without totally describing them, (e. g Unoka’s technique to his debtor, the unmentioned laws of apology/ the kola nut), if he suggested to provide the novel a universal appeal, why did he consist of strange practices particular to Igbo culture?
One need to not forget that one intent of Achebe was to present Igbo culture through more objective eyes, and likewise through native eyes as had yet to be succesfully done. By leaving the reader to draw rational conclusions of their own with these matters, he likewise succeds in challenging his reader to examine such peculiarities of his own culture, as is demonstrated in the discussion in between the chief and initial missionary Mr. Brown in which Achebe juxtaposes wooden idols and masked gods with the holy trinity. The success of Things Break down can be credited to the methods Achebe employs in his story telling.
Achebe succeds in maintaing the his goal- accurate representation of Ibo life, while providing the info in a manner relatable to those foreign to the culture. He also handles, in the process, to highlight a few of the reasons behind the collapse of African cultures and assists us find those things lost in translation. 1Chinua Achebe: Things Break Down Research Study Guide, Notes by Paul Brians, Department of English, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-5020. 2Sparknotes. com- Essential quotes http://www. sparknotes. com/lit/things/ answers/quoteexp _ 3. html