Cover image for Understanding Things fall apart : selected essays and criticism
Understanding Things fall apart : selected essays and criticism
Iyasẹre, Solomon Ogbede, 1940-
Publication Information:
Troy, N.Y. : Whitston Pub. Co., [1998]

Physical Description:
155 pages ; 24 cm
Introduction--Things fall apart : an African classic / by Solomon Iyasere -- The mouth with which to tell their sufferings : the role of narrator and reader in Achebe's Things fall apart / by Angela Smith -- The search for values theme in Chinua Achebe's novel, Things fall apart : a crisis of the soul / by Willene P. Taylor -- Rhythm and narrative methods in Achebe's Things fall apart / by B. Eugene McCarthy -- Narrative techniques in Things fall apart / Solomon O. Iyasere -- The sphinx and the rough beast : linguistic struggle in Achebe's Things fall apart / by Julian N. Wasserman -- Sophisticated primitivism : the syncretism of oral and literate modes in Achebe's Things fall apart / by Abdul Janmohamed -- Okonkwo's walk : the choreography of Things fall apart / by Russell McDougall -- Eternal sacred order versus conventional wisdom : a consideration of moral culpability in the killing of Ikemefuna in Things fall apart / by Damian Opata -- Okonkwo's participation in the killing of his "son" in Chinua Achebe's Things fall apart : a study of ignoble decisiveness / by Solomon O. Iyasere.
Reading Level:
1440 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR9387.9.A3 Z93 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Although these essays and criticisms evaluate different linguistic and thematic aspects of "Things Fall Apart," and they vary in scope and depth of treatment, they do share common distinguishing features—they are provocative, informed and lucidly written. Collectively, they provide a maximum of interpretation of the crucial elements in the work at a maximum level of significance. Iyasere includes a critical introduction, a selected bibliography and an Index to Proverbs. This volume provides a full range of the most perceptive criticism of Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" and will appeal t o both the generalists and specialists of African, African-American and Comparative Literatures.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The most commonly read sub-Saharan African novel, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is set just before the turn of the 20th century in the Ibo land of southeastern Nigeria. There, the Ibos, Achebe's ancestors, lived lives full of wise proverbs, colorful rituals, and hard work until the arrival of the white man, who came in the name of the lord and changed things all around. The central figure--impetuous, even careless Okonkwo, son of a shiftless drunkard--wants to prove himself a true man. His temperament will be his downfall and when things begin to fall apart with the white man, they fall apart for Okonkwo as well. This collection of critical essays deals with a number of facets of the Achebe diamond: speech and linguistics, narrative techniques, culture, colonialism, and choreography. Despite some good, intelligent writing, the book requires one disclaimer: it is not for the casual browser or newcomer to Achebe. Neither a handbook nor a glorified "masterplot," this is a collection of serious critical essays for college and graduate libraries. It includes a small but useful bibliography and a collection of the proverbs used in the novel. A useful source of critical opinion on a book that has become the Western gateway into the world of African literature. P. W. Stine Gordon College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. viii
Introductionp. 1
The Mouth with Which to Tell of Their Suffering: The Role of Narrator and Reader in Achebe's Things Fall Apartp. 8
The Search for Values Theme in Chinua Achebe's Novel, Things Fall Apart: A Crisis of the Soulp. 27
Rhythm and Narrative Method in Achebe's Things Fall Apartp. 40
Narrative Techniques in Things Fall Apartp. 59
The Sphinx and the Rough Beast: Linguistic Struggle in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apartp. 77
Sophisticated Primitivism: The Syncretism of Oral and Literate Modes in Achebe's Things Fall Apartp. 86
Okonkwo's Walk: The Choreography of Things Falling Apartp. 106
Eternal Sacred Order versus Conventional Wisdom: A Consideration of Moral Culpability in the Killing of Ikemefuna in Things Fall Apartp. 119
Works Citedp. 128
Okonkwo's Participation in the Killing of His """"Son"""" in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: A Study of Ignoble Decisivenessp. 129
Index to Selected Proverbs in Things Fall Apartp. 141
Selected Bibliographyp. 145
Indexp. 152