Shattered Culture of IGBO in Chinua Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' and Joseph Conard's 'Heart of Darkness’

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Historical fiction explores and uncovers paradigm, and helps readers to connect past and present in psychological and physical aspects. In straightforward and evocative prose, Chinua Achebe’s 'Things Fall Apart' portrays how Igbo –a community known for its cultural richness is destabilised by the advent of British colonialists and European Christian missionaries. The focus is on the loss of customs, rituals and cultural pride of the indigenous people, replaced by European value systems, ideas and traditions. Achebe tried to convey the complex societal structures and bountiful culture of African people as a reply to Joseph Conrad in his novel 'Heart of Darkness' where he dehumanizes people of Africa. For quite some time western mindset has represented Africa as a land of hunger and undernourishment; while on the contrary the people of Africa encompass their country as a vast continent in terms of geographic variation and immense cultural diversity and comprises numerous ethnic groups with unique customs, languages and beliefs. In this paper, we critically analyze the downfall of Nigerian Igbo culture using both the novels to assess the hypothesis that postcolonialism erodes the local culture of native Nigerians.

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