• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine Achebe's narrative techniques in the novel "Things Fall Apart" - how far do you find it an attractive feature of the book?

Extracts from this document...


Examine Achebe's narrative techniques in the novel - how far do you find it an attractive feature of the book? The language of the novel is simple but dignified. When the characters speak, they use an elevated diction, which is meant to convey the sense of Ibo speech. Achebe has fabricated his novel sound like it is a narration of an Ibo character and has achieved this through the application of short sentences as well as typical Ibo proverbs and images. His short sentences are used straight away and he wastes no time for the reader to become aquainted with the Ibo language and sentence structure. His first sentence has a mere 11 words and goes as follows 'Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond'. Within these short sentences, Achebe explains an incredible amount of information required to understand the text. Within the first paragraph, we are supplied with an outline of the character of Okonkwo as well as an introduction to the wrestling - an indispensable part of Ibo culture. ...read more.


And so, the simplicity of the words used, combined with the imagery reinforces strongly the simplicity of the sentences and creates the impression that one is totally immersed in the world of Ibo society. This impression is only further elevated by the use of proverbs in the novel. Achebe believes that "proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten" and he has used them continuously throughout the novel. Proverbs are wise sayings, which embody some supposed truth or moral lesson. The Ibo society is non-literate and uses proverbs as an every day means of communication. Proverbs were used as a form of polite conversation (this can be seen when Okoye is trying to prompt Okonkwo to pay his debts and Okoye 'said the next half a dozen sentences in proverbs'). Ibo proverbs are also taken from Ibo beliefs and experiences. For example 'the lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did'. ...read more.


Also, the tale of the Mother Kite in Chapter 15 warns against attacking before knowing the strength of one's enemy - thus heightening the tension for the reader. The use of proverbs and folk tales is yet another way in which Achebe adds truth to the Ibo atmosphere in the novel. To omit them, or to use extensive tricks and flourishes of more advanced written language would have created a book from which the reader is looking into the Ibo culture from the outside. Achebe's style adds life and heightens the tension in his novel. Proverbs are used to help us understand the character's feelings. The use of short sentences helps the reader see the sentence structure and the way the Ibo people spoke in a small, yet significant way and thus helping us identify with the characters more. Overall, I would say that Achebe has made use of an African style of writing in an extremely attractive way as it helps us identify and enter the Ibo world, instead of merely reading the book and imagining what it could be like. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Chinua Achebe: Vultures section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Chinua Achebe: Vultures essays

  1. Chinua Achebe's main concern in "Things Fall Apart" is to portray the effect white ...

    early on in the novel. The wider world consists of the group of nine related villages which comprise of Umuofia and certain other villages like Mbaino. The conflict between Umuofia and Mbaino in chapter two shows a fair and logical justice system.

  2. To what extent do you feel that Achebe intends the reader to be sympathetic ...

    Even as a boy he resented his father's failure. "His fame rested on his personal achievements". He was very successful within the Ibo tribe and had gained a very high standing within the tribe. It was a goal of his to become an elder in the tribe, and it looked as though he was going to achieve it.

  1. Giving Things Fall Apart a Rhythm: Achebe’s Method and Purpose of Manipulating his Novel’s ...

    A change in the novel's pace can be first observed in Part II when Okonkwo enters his exile. As this is the first disturbance of the character's sense of normalcy, the increasing rapidness of the novel's timeframe is logical. This section of the book spans less than thirty pages (as

  2. Vultures by Achebe is a very vivid and memorable poem. It has evocative images ...

    the word `offspring� is applied when we talk about animals, so this word in a way shows that the commandant wasn't very loving towards his children. The word 'tender' is used to describe is normally used to describe soft meat.

  1. Chinua Achebe's novel of life in colonial-era Nigeria, "Things Fall Apart".

    He put it down to his inflexible will." (Things Fall Apart 24). The determination, persistence, and labor paid off for Okonkwo in the end, as his rewards became a barn full of yams, three wives and many children. All of Okonkwo's actions begin in fear of his not being like his father.

  2. How does Achebe's style of writing convey Ibo culture and tradition in chapter five ...

    However this makes the novel clearer and is a technique often used by great novelists to create suspense, dramatic imagery, irony or simply to make the novel easier to understand. An example is where certain characters feelings may not be obvious, and through the tool of exaggeration are easily highlighted.

  1. Haggard's King Solomon's Mines and Chinualumogu Achebe's Things Fall Apart written within a century. ...

    The novel perceives the natives as being violent brutal men who lust for killing and blood. There they stood, the hands twitching, the lips apart, the fierce features instinct with the hungry lust of battle, and in the eyes look like the glare of bloodhound when after long pursuit he sights his quarry.

  2. Do you agree that Achebe shows an "awareness of the human qualities common to ...

    Achebe uses this technique to provide some simple, vivid visual imagery for the reader, while making them aware of traditional African foods such as kola nuts. This type of sentence perfectly illustrates Achebe's intentions of making this novel 'uniquely African'. Henrickson suggests "Things Fall Apart uses language and structures ...

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work