Document Type


Date of Award



College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences (COLABS)

Degree Name

MA in English

First Advisor

Dr. Alexis Brooks de Vita


This research analyzes the work of Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God. These novels consider the extinction of traditional African cultures and the effects Europeans had on the overall African continent. It is an attempt to examine the authentic story of the African people and how it is relevant to post-colonial Africa, today. Most prior research on Achebe focuses on his novel Things Fall Apart. The previous research analyzes the depiction of the African people. Achebe refutes the ideas presented by Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness and other literature that portray Africans as savages with no language. The purpose of this research is to focus on the erosion of African cultures due to European colonization. Africa has endured torture and the stripping of its traditions. The chaos that we see today is a result of a power struggle that has been going on for over 400 years. This period of destruction began with the so called "discovery" of Africa by Europeans. Additionally, this research will consider the dark era 1 2 of Africa when the inhabitants were enslaved, having Christianity forced upon them. It is during these times of European control that new boundaries were formed and tribes were scattered, creating the tension-filled continent we see today. This research draws upon mostly primary sources by African authors including memoirs, trickster tales, and novels. I will examine these works in search of pre-colonial Africa and their traditions to substantiate the lost cultures we find in post-colonial Africa today. In addition, I will consider how this stripping of tradition creates a sense of lost identity for the African people.