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Things Fall Apart Historical Context

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Historical Context

Tribal Society

Things Fall Apart was published in 1958 just prior to Nigerian independence, but it depicts precolonial Africa. Achebe felt It was important to portray Nigerians as they really were-not just provide a shallow description of them as other authors had. The story takes place in the typical tribal village of Umuofia, where the inhabitants (whom Achebe calls the Tho, but who are also known as the Igbo) practice rituals common to their native traditions.

The Tho worshipped gods who protect, advise, and chastise them and who are represented by priests and priestesses within the clan. For example, the Oracle of the Hills and the Caves grants knowledge and wisdom to those who are brave enough to consult him. No one has ever seen the Oracle except his priestess, who is an Tho woman who has special powers of her own. Not only did the gods advise the...

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This section contains 1,259 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Things Fall Apart Study Guide
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Things Fall Apart from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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