Stereotypes In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

678 Words 3 Pages
Humans are curious by nature. They want to learn about the world and the people in it. Unfortunately, if this curiosity is about other places or groups of people, then it can be hard to satisfy it. Travel costs a lot of money, so many curious people choose to rely on a few vague stereotypes to get an accurate image of foreigners. This is especially true for Americans or Europeans learning about African countries. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is an Nigerian novel that portrays Africa realistically and helps eliminate stereotypes. Achebe’s novel changed the minds of those who thought Africa was only home to poverty and disease by developing strong, dynamic characters. His novel is an important addition to the plethora of books about African nations because it gives another side to the story of Africa.
If Things Fall Apart had not been
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It was unique in many ways, the most important being that the author was actually African himself. Most novels about Africa were written by Americans or Europeans up to this point. Because these American and European authors hadn’t grown up in Africa, they relied on stereotypes. Achebe was able to use his life in Africa as inspiration, producing a complete and accurate depiction of a Nigerian clan. He developed characters with lots of personality traits. For example, Okonkwo, the main character, is primarily aggressive and hardworking. However, he is also caring, insecure, anxious, and strong. All of these traits make it impossible to say that Okonkwo is “just another African man”. There are many other personality types in Achebe’s novel. Characters get married, celebrate, dance, and laugh. They never sit on the ground and complain about having nothing to eat, like an American or European author might have one of their characters do. Dynamic characters, such as those in Things Fall Apart, can help portray people of foreign countries

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