Thamir R. S. Az-Zubaidy

With Haydar Jabr Koban

Representation of Environmentalism: A Postcolonial Ecocritical Study of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart


The narratives of African writers who have experienced living in a colony and being colonized subjects have played a significant role in shifting the universal perspective towards African literature. This paper focuses on the environmental tropes in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart (1958) and explores the realities of colonial exploitations of land and people. Thus, it examines Achebe’s novel in the context of the postcolonial ecocritical premise. The primary interest of this paper is the representation of interactions between people who may not identify themselves as environmentalists and their immediate local environments. Achebe’s novel portrays Africa before colonization as a society with a strong bond with land and determined to preserve this sacred affinity against colonial endeavors. As suggested in the novel, land plays an influential role in indigenous traditional customs and beliefs. Land is thought to be intimate, sacred, spiritual and, eco-friendly. Accordingly, any unfair conduct toward land is never tolerated. The novel conveys how the settlers’ policies that sought to manipulate indigenous land as part of their colonial project of territorial conquest and forced assimilation provoke African people against colonization and exploitation of the land. In addition to casting light on indigenous people’s affinity with land, the paper points out the role of storytelling as a technique through which indigenous people cope with and also undermine colonial narratives of land.


Thamir R. S. Az-Zubaidy is a senior lecturer at Wasit University/ College of Education for Human Sciences / Department of English since 8 June 2008. He is a PhD holder from the School of Arts/ University of Leicester, UK, 2018. He specialises in contemporary Australian drama. He is interested in literary form and genre, and much of his research has focused on postcolonial studies. His research interests centre on diaspora, identity formation, feminism, multiculturalism and Iraqi post-war drama and fiction. He has published a number of papers including  ‘The Retrieval of Women’s Voices, Resistance and Empowerment in Anna Yen’s “Chinese Take Away”’, The Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia, Vol.8 No.2, 2017.

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