Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

How To Criticize Things Fall Apart Without Sounding Like A Racist Imperialist:

1. Focus on the plot and how nothing very interesting really happens. Stress that it was only your opinion that nothing interesting happens, so that everyone realizes that you just can’t identify with any of the events described, and this is your fault only.
2. Explain (gently and with examples) that bestowing daddy issues on a flawed protagonist is not a sufficient excuse for all of the character’s flaws, and is a device that has been overused ad naseum.
3. Also explain how the main character is a generic bully, with no unique characteristics that make him interesting to the reader. Crack joke about Achebe stealing Walt Disney’s How To Create A Villain checklist and pray no one beats you to death for it.
4. Do not criticize the rampant misongyny present in the book. It is part of the culture, and is therefore beyond criticism by you because you are not in a position to understand or comdemn what you have not experienced directly.
5. Do not say that the frequent use of untranslated words and names that were often very similar made the story and characters hard to keep track of at times. Achebe is being forced to write in English, a foreign tongue, because he is a post-colonial writer and the fact that the book is written in English stresses his role as a repressed minority, something that you are incapable of understanding, you racist imperialist!

Verdict: one out of five stars

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