Wednesday, February 22, 2017

That Ending though

Achebe ends his book in a strange way. The entire book is from the prospective of the native, but the last paragraph is from the prospective of the District Commissioner. He is going to right a book about the conquest of Africa called The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger. He is going to include a paragraph about Okonkwo. This is weird because the whole book is about Okonkwo, and the commissioner is going to cut it to a single paragraph. This completely cuts out everything about the Igbo culture and their feelings about the Europeans.


Dylan Bryan said...

The ending is very interesting as Achebe decides to switch perspective from the indigenous Africans to the British colonials. Mr. Smith is thinking about publishing a book with the title "The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger." The title implies that it will report to Europeans that the African are "savages," and have an undeveloped society, needing the help of the British. Things Fall Apart is Achebe's responses to books like these. The whole purpose of Achebe's work is to show the British the true culture and society which they have already developed, and how the British actually destroyed that culture.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

I think the ending is really meta in a way. The reader had just read an entire novel dedicated to the story of okonkwo, yet the British reduce it to little more than a paragraph. In this way, it functions as a metaphor for the fact that the British really didn't have a full understanding of Igbo culture.

Bailey Taylor said...

The ending goes to show how little the British really understood the culture because they spent so much time there and were supposed to write an unbiased, informative novel, but it was actually the complete opposite. This is why Achebe added this. He wanted to show that all the novels people were reading were false.