Romantic Ecologism: Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and the False Eco-criticism Tributes (Published)
Colonial and postcolonial environmental criticisms of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (TFA) have attributed to the novel eco-critical consciousness of significance, apparently ignoring the concern for environmental sustainability that is the foundation of current arts and humanities endeavour into the environmental discourses. On the strength of representations of human and non-human nature in the novel, critics have adjudged the novel to be a quintessence of the ecocritical ideal. Against some of the conceptual underpinnings of foremost ecocriticism postulations, ecological consciousness attributed to TFA are contested in this present study as false and misleading. The utilitarian values of ecocriticism and the remediating goal of literature in environmental studies, which are absent in the primary text and many of its secondary readings, are recommended as the basis for attributing ecocritical consciousness to texts. Natural entities and practices in the novel are contested as contextualization devices, employed by the author, for situating characters and events in their organic, pre-colonial African setting, and are described in this paper as the lost ecological values of Africa that are decried by contemporary critics of the global impacts of the science and technological cultures on the environment. This study employs ecocriticism as its theoretical basis.