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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Bamikole, Lawrence
Author Role
Presenter
Author Affiliation
Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosophy
Paper/Section Title
African Existentialism: Reflections on Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
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Proceedings Title
Uncovering connection VI: Cultural endurance between Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean
Date of Meeting
March 3-5, 2005
Place of Meeting
Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York
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Abstract
From birth to death, human life is marked by questions about the nature and purpose of human existence. Such questions do not normally agitate the mind of the unreflective person. However, human beings cannot afford to live at the level of an unexamined life, for as Socrates said long ago, 'the unexamined life is not worth living'. Therefore, human beings cannot but ask questions as these; Who I am? Why do I exist? Who created me? For which purpose was I created? These are universal existential questions. However, the ways in which each culture reflects on these questions vary from one to another. In this paper, the author illustrates the African responses to these questions by focusing on Chinua Achebe's seminal novel, Things Fall Apart. In illustrating the African position on these questions, it is pointed out that in Things Fall Apart , there are some African beliefs, practices and norms which are worthy of retention and transmission to other African societies in the Diaspora.....
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