Reflect on and Locate Chinua Achebe’s Post Colonial Novel, Things Fall Apart

Let’s enjoy this informative interview with Nigerian author Chinua Achebe that was recorded fifty years after the publication of his novel, Things Fall Apart. View this interview and take notes on a few items. First note what was Achebe’s first motive to write this novel. “What needed to be done,” according to Achebe? Also reflect on the universal themes that Achebe discusses.

We’ll then discuss during another day in class Chinua Achebe’s influence on Novelist Chimamanda Adichie. What motives do they share? Do you realize that they are writing in different eras? While we only have a short period of time to discuss the summer reading, we will focus on how Achebe uses elements of modernism (remember your spring term in English III?) to create a post colonial story. We’ll also be mindful that he influences other African authors today. Do you know of other authors besides Chimamanda Adichie who pay tribute to Achebe’s influence? 

Homework: To start a conversation on the blog before we meet in the classroom, listen and reflect on the value of Chimamanda Adichie’s lesson about moving beyond one story in her TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story.” What is the most important part of her TED Talk? Please cite a phrase, sentence, or paraphrase some of her TED Talk that informs your opinion. In order to draw out the writing process here, compose this comment to the length of 4-6 sentences in Standard English in a word document first. Then read it out loud and look over your prose carefully as a way to revise your prose in isolation. Then paste your prose below in the comment thread.

Here’s a great way to locate what we mean in an English classroom when we discuss issues of post colonialism:

Again, what other African novelists besides Chimamanda Adichie have taken up Achebe’s role and have tried  to tell  the story of their generation? Please research and post a thoughtful comment in Standard English below this post.


About bsullivan35

I am an English teacher working with great students at an independent school in Ct.
This entry was posted in Design Thinking on HMK, Disposition of a Critical Thinker, Summer Reading, Things Fall Apart. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reflect on and Locate Chinua Achebe’s Post Colonial Novel, Things Fall Apart

  1. George says:

    One of the most important things from the TED talks was that there is never a single story about anything or anybody. The key idea of the speech was to demonstrate how diverse and interesting people and places are. Stereotypes should drive our minds and we should not judge people based on their origin or the way they look. There is always something bigger than it seems in every person and any background. She repeated this phrase multiple times, but it is worth saying that again:”If only she knew”. That reflects the idea of the speech.

  2. Owen Kinne says:

    “I had read a novel, in which a character was a serial killer that he was some how representative of all Americans”

    I believe this was the most important part of her speech because it puts what she is saying into perspective how she feels then she is believed by many to have grown up in a poor community in Africa. This line, in context, was meant to be a joke. She pokes fun at Americans and just because one American was a serial killer, she joked that all were serial killers. This is the same kind of judgment that all Mexicans are illegal immigrants or that all Africans are poor and do not know how to speak English. Her overall message was that not one person represents a culture.

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