3/09/2010

Things Fall Apart - Chinnua Achebe

I very much enjoyed this book. It is the story of english imperialism told from the viewpoint of the people the english "civilized." Before the white man showed up, life was happy and peaceful. Bad things happened, but there was always an answer. After the white man showed up and started preaching his religion, son turned against father, traditions that had worked for all of memory no longer work, the sense of community that had led to a mostly peaceful existence was destroyed.

Okonkwo, the main character, refuses to give in to the destruction of his culture, but in the end kills himself in violation of his culture. The message being that when white man "brought civilization" to Africa, the native people were forced to join with them and turn against their culture, or not join and turn against their culture. There was no opportunity to continue their way of life that had worked fine before the europeans showed up.

One of the saddest books I have read.

1 comment:

mom/jill said...

Based on your comments on the family blog, I requested this book from the library. Based on your review on this blog, I'm cancelling my request. Just can't do sad right now. If you feel to advise otherwise, let me know.