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“There is no story that is not true.” And Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, uses proverbs (“. . .the palm-oil with which words are eaten”), a compelling tragic hero, and historic events, to engage readers in the truth of his story of the culture clash between an African society and European colonialism. Here’s a study guide that does justice to the novel, that teaches, focuses attention on key events and concepts, and asks readers to make connections.
- Part I, chapters 1-13, focuses on Igbo cultural values and beliefs. Readers contrast the various villages’ practices to Western traditions, and consider their personal responses as well.
- Part II, chapters 14-19, asks readers to look at Oknokwo as a classic tragic hero and to examine the similarities and differences between the religious beliefs of the Igbo and the Christian missionaries.
- The final portion of the study guide, chapters 20-25, considers the European colonial presence and asks readers to consider how and why things fell apart.