A Deleuzian Analysis of the Concepts of Identity and Becoming in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

Department English, Faculty of Humanities, Islamic Azad University, Arak Branch, Arak, Iran

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine the transformation of two generations in accepting or rejecting change. Drawing upon Gilles Deleuze's definitions of "becoming", this study aims to explore the difference between the characters in the novel Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe,  in their susceptibility to change and the adaptation of generations in the face of fundamental individual and identity changes. Achebe’s novel has researched the entire campaign of conflict and confrontation between two generations in accepting or rejecting change, and why and how the change is possible in a highly traditional and colonized land.  Gilles Deleuze is one of the most important contemporary post-structuralist philosophers whose ideas represent the removal of any structure and centrality. Deleuze considers "becoming" as a revolution that leads man to a new life and new way of thinking. Therefore, according to the nature of the novel and the atmosphere of confrontation and conflict that governs its characters, as well as Deleuze's reading of it, the two approaches of no change or individualism are in conflict with the acceptance of change or deterritorialization. The approach of individuality destroys any kind of hierarchy and does not accept the existence of any supreme principle to explain existence. In contrast, deterritorialization considers existence as an unknown structure that needs to be discovered.

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