i-Learner Education Centre

Teacher Diaries

Teacher Diaries: Mr. James – From Book to Book

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart, by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, initially attracted me because I had not read a novel with its topic of colonialism before. Through the story’s plot of a village that comes into reluctant contact with missionaries and colonialists, Things Fall Apart talks about the changes that happen in the characters’ community.

As we start the story, even though the story’s characters live in a world totally different from that in which I grew up, the characters’ personality traits and relationships are presented in a believable and very personable way. Whereas they live in harmony initially, the effects of British colonialists and missionaries disrupt local ways of life, and we see how conflicts and war take grip on the village.

What I like most about this book is that, although it is told as a story, it is deeply rooted in reality, and therefore is a book that makes you think about the world around us. It was an interesting insight into how colonialism was received in Africa in history, but also how the effect of this is still real in the world today.

I would recommend this book to secondary-level students, especially those who study No Longer at Ease (the sequel of Things Fall Apart) for iGCSE Literature at i-Learner.