1. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    Things Fall Apart

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Alex_Hartman, Sep 13, 2008.

    I had to read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe for my English class. I personally don't understand why it's so "life changing" and the most amazing book ever. I wasn't dragged into it. Is there something that I'm missing?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It wasn't the most amazing book ever, but it's good. It's about colonialism. Basically, the author is showing life before and after Europeans come to "civilize" the natives. He's showing how harmful this was on the native society.

    The author wrote the novel in response to Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which portrayed Africans as sub-human and even barbaric. A little background helps when reading something like this. Perhaps you may want to look more into colonialism from both the viewpoints of the Europeans and the Africans to get a better grasp of what this novel is about.
     
  3. aphonos
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    aphonos Member

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    Yes.

    There's a lot of historical significance to the book, and it's a good read to boot. I wouldn't say it's life-changing, but what book really is? I know it's not a very good answer, but I don't know how it was taught (or what grade it was taught in) so I can't really go into more detail without sounding like a pretentious wanker.
     
  4. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    It was just given to a bunch of young kids starting high school over the summer. We were told to read it, along with three other books, because we would be using them in the very beginning of the year. I was just reading the back of the book and it was saying how amazing it was and that it sells tons of copies every year. I was just a little confused about why.
     
  5. Last1Left
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    Last1Left Active Member

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    I thought it was a decent book. It gives you the perspective you'll need if you're studying World History, so that's something. Then, if that doesn't mean anything, make as many jokes about yams as you can with your friends.
     
  6. aphonos
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    Ah, so going into 9th grade... I'd have put the book at around 10th grade with classroom support myself. No offense, but it's a bit much for the 13-15 crowd.

    Admittedly, I read it in 9th grade, but that was in a progressive, integrated school during a unit on Africa, and I was the only 9th grader reading it. Even then, I didn't properly appreciate it until a few years later when I re-read it.
     
  7. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    I think I have an issue with the way women are treated in it. I realize that's the culture and everything, but it's really annoying.
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes, I agree with you Alex. Sometimes, the portrayal of women in that book made me cringe, but I had to accept the fact that this was their culture.
     
  9. BatCountry
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    BatCountry Senior Member

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    I read the book for my Social Studies class in 7th grade. It was a pretty good book about different societies, I didn't enjoy reading about him beating his wives and daughters and sons. And the end was kind of sad, and the events that take place, like the Europeans and only the main character stays loyal. It's not life changing though.
     
  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Well, it's life changing because it gives a different view on colonialism. Back when it was published in 1959, there was still racism in the US and Africa. Thus, the view that the Europeans were helping the Africans would have been a much more accepted viewpoint. Achebe came along and wrote this book to show the negative aspects of colonialism. Perhaps it may not be life changing to those reading it today, but it was life changing back then when it was first published.
     
  11. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    I was surprised when I started reading it to find that the MC wasn't as kind as authors often make their MC's, he was more strict. But again, that's how the men in those tribes were.
     

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