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Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe

Set in Nigeria during the late 19th century, this tragic novel problematises the battle between tradition and change, the role of colonialism, religion and patriarchy. Okonkwo is a respected member of his community, the Igbo people. When white missionaries arrive, Okonkwo’s son, like many others, converts to Christianity. Tensions rise between the natives and the newly arrived colonisers and Okonkwo strongly advocates war.

The novel is suitable for interdisciplinary teaching with regard to the subjects of Music (there is a studio album by the hip-hop group The Roots named after the title with references to the text), History and Ethics.

· · 1958

Critical edition

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Penguin, 1994. 224 pp., ISBN 9780385474542

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In favour of this entry

  • Beyond the US and the UK
  • Charged with meaning
  • Classic
  • Explores historical contexts
  • Intercultural perspectives
  • Interdisciplinary or cross-curricular teaching
  • Silenced voices
  • Recommended by a federal state: Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate