Eurocentrism and Artistic Creation in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
AbstractThis article goes beyond the plot of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart to codify the inspiration and moving spirit behind the novel. Eurocentrism is a philosophical and cultural construct that perceives Europe as the centre of civilization and the future of humanity. The racism that Eurocentrism engendered accorded an inferiority status to non-whites. In the quest to correct and rehabilitate the African cultural past from a sympathetic insider’s perspective, Achebe adopted cultural nationalism as an ideological frame of reference in order to affirm his people’s ethos in Things Fall Apart. As an objective and balanced imaginative writer, however, Achebe demonstrated moral integrity in portraying his people’s past with all its strengths and imperfections. In specific terms, the novel depicts such cardinal themes as Igbo festivals, ceremonial rites and worship of the gods, the people’s oral culture and other social practices, the colonial and missionary era that was both disruptive and also conferred some benefits, and Okonkwo’s tragedy that hinged mainly on his unbalanced understanding of the duality concept in Igbo cosmology.
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