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Research Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences
Year : 2020, Volume : 11, Issue : 1
First page : ( 79) Last page : ( 82)
Print ISSN : 0975-6795. Online ISSN : 2321-5828.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2321-5828.2020.00013.3

Restructuring the African Identity through Language-An Analysis of Achebe's Linguistic Tools in Things Fall Apart

Pattnaik Kunal1,3,*, Baral Bhabani S.2

1Assistant Professor of English, Department of Basic Science and Humanities, Gandhi Institute for Technological Advancement, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

2Retired Professor of English, VSSUT Burla, Sambalpur, Odisha, dr.b.s.baral@gmail.com

3Research Scholar of Humanities and Social Sciences, ITER, S ‘O’ A Deemed to be University

*Corresponding Author Email: kunal.pattnaik@gmail.com

Online published on 27 April, 2020.


The article discusses Achebe's intentions while writing his novel Things Fall Apart, his choice of language and vocabulary in the novel and essentially, the linguistic choices he makes while writing his African narrative in the English language. Growing up in pre and post-colonial Africa, Achebe had a first-hand experience of the turmoil that his people went through at the hands of the Europeans and how there was a gradual but continuous subjugation of the native at the hands of the colonizer. This experience shaped his African narrative and gave him a better insight into the mind-set of the African individual. He recognised the growing importance of English in his Nigerian community and saw the changes that it brought about in Africa; and wanted to use it as a realistic concept for his novel. Achebe's use of English language is refashioned by a blending with the indigenous languages. He brought in a wide range of Igbo vocabulary and loan words to his writing style as well as a third person narrative voice to give his readers a realistic perception of Nigerian life. The plot construction of Achebe is the extrinsic structure by which he showcases the different responses to the influence of English and European colonialism in Africa.



Diglossia, Post-colonialism, Nativity, Linguistic Identity, Eurocentrism.


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