Onomastic Precision in Things Fall Apart: The Writer as Teacher

  • Chibueze Prince Orie

Abstract

Critics have continually dwelt on Achebe's cultural foci in Things Fall Apart, but they have failed to take notice of his deliberate choice of names and naming of characters and situations. Yet, it is an area of his creative interests that are particularly, instructively significant. Achebe wrote back to the West as a way of educating them on their ignorance at African culture. He also uses it to re-educate and re-assure Africans on the popularity and remarkability of their peculiar cultural life-style. Among the cultural sites that he highlights and promotes is his philosophy about African names and naming. African (Igbo) names mean in relation to situational context of birth, history and cosmology. It is the aim of this study to examine names of characters and situations in Things from the linguistic, contextual and semantic persuasions. One shall observe that Achebe's cultural practice herewith is a consciousness-raising effort that not only tries to legitimize African cultural tradition but also could engender continental/national cultural development.

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