Things Fall Apart

The European and African Narrative Techniques used in 'Things Fall Apart' and 'Petals of Blood' College

The structure of the African novel is seen to be made up from two different frameworks, the external, or international, and the indigenous “mode of discourse and artistic expression.” 1 Therefore, the typical African novel contains elements in its narrative which stem from European colonisers as well as from the customs of other African writers. The African element may even contain certain Arabic influences due to the vicinity of Arab-speaking countries. One may find such characteristics concerning the way the narrative is told to the reader in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o 's Petals of Blood. The main focus of this essay shall be on determining which European or African narrative techniques are made use of in the novels and to analyze how they enhance the manner by which the story is delivered.

When looking at Petals of Blood, the reader will initially be struck by how the story is told in flashbacks from the past, rather than in narration from the ongoing present. Although nowadays flashbacks are made use of very frequently (it is said that this narrative technique originated in the Arabian Nights stories), making use of flashbacks in Achebe's and wa Thiongo's books part of the African element....

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