michaelgriffith (michaelgriffith) wrote,

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Things Fall Apart

We had an excellent concluding tutorial on Achebe's Things Fall Apart (in second year). Thank you all for your creative input. Yes, once one has read Things Fall Apart it is possible to be more sympathetic towards Achebe's thrashing of Conrad (my hero!). While Conrad's heart is definitely in the right place, it is true that he doesn't have Achebe's insider vision. Achebe obviously has a first-hand, intimate knowledge of tribal life, its highs and lows, its vision, wisdom and cruelties. So we see the essential humanity of Okonkwo's tribe (with its failings); and so we can see with more understanding just how devastating was the impact of Western ideologies on this country. I think however that we needed Conrad to turn a sharp critical gaze at the damage caused by Empire, but we then needed Achebe to take us deeply into just where that damage was most critical. Thank you all again. And keep watching this space for news about next semester's units.

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