Tuesday, June 10, 2014
CANNIBALISTIC OKONKWO: A DECONSTRUCTIVE PERSPECTIVE OF CHINUA ACHEBE’S THINGS FALL APART
This essay is an attempt to a deconstructive interpretation of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”. It begins by reviewing literary comments on Chinua Achebe and later dovetails an explication of the meaning of deconstruction as a way of enabling to grapple with the realities of this post structuralist critical formulation. This essay observes that Okonkwo is not only a brutal cannibal but also a barbarian. This refers to the backdrop of his penchant for killing as shown in the novel. This opinion is buttressed by Okonkwo’s ruthless habit of drinking from his first human head, which is a tilled smack of cannibalism. Based on the theory of deconstruction, it concludes that the scientific reading relies only on the text which functions as the real mirror of society which literature is all about.
Keywords: post-structuralism, deconstruction, criticism, signifier and signified
I. INTRODUCTIONChinua Achebe’s popularity among literary critics, especially literary historians of the novel genre, draws elaborately from his aptitude to use the novel to popularize the African cultures and ways of life. He broached this feat through his realistic presentation of African life-style.
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