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Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe--Questions

Recently, my teacher--I'm a high school student--assigned Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe to my class for summer reading.  While I'm familiar with some of the writers that are on my reading list--Shakespeare, Golding, etc.--Achebe was a complete stranger to me.  My mother, a writing teacher, never heard of him either.

I'm a writer myself, and I'm open-minded.  Was I a big fan of Things Fall Apart?  No.  But, though I read it very carefully, I think that a lot of my problem was that I could not see Achebe's point.  I did my research, and he is obviously hugely well-respected.  But I did not understand what he was trying to say.  I didn't see the merits of Okonkwo's world before Europeans invaded; men were polygamists, and they often beat their wives--and don't even mention the various murders that went on.

But the Europeans were harshly presented as well, as they often are.  (I'm not saying that it's unfair for them to be treated so, just stating a simple fact.)  I saw the point of my other summer reading book, Lord of the Flies.  I'm in an AG English class, and I usually grasp the "meaning", "point" or "message" of books fairly quickly.  Furthermore, looking at the reading list my teacher assigned this year, I know that he was trying to teach us something.  I just didn't get it.

The book had a "teaching" tone to it.  It didn't read like a story, as Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice might. 

I will be assigned a paper on Things Fall Apart, so I would like to do my research and get others' opinions on the book.  What do you think?
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  • in need of recommendations

    Hi everyone! I'm writing a grant proposal where I would be writing a novella based around misogyny and how it affects men, women, and everyone. What…

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