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The IUP Journal of English Studies :
Man and Nature: An Ecocritical Analysis of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
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This paper examines the need for an ecocritical method of analyzing literary texts. It explores various studies on the subject and identifies a method of analysis based on a system of classification propounded by Nirmal Selvamony. He defines three types of oikos: the integrative, the hierarchic, and the anarchic, each with distinct characteristics. The paper seeks to explain how this classification can be taken up as a tool for analysis of literary texts. The paper also analyzes, using Selvamony’s classification, Chinua Achebe’s path-breaking novel Things Fall Apart and explains how Christian colonization irrevocably changed the integrative oikos of Umuofia into the anarchic oikos.

 
 
 

Ecocriticism has emerged as a major critical tool in recent years. However, it does not offer a unified single principle of criticism. Critics differ on its definitions and range. Ecocriticism implies more ecological literacy than its advocates now possess. It is derived from the Greek words oikos and kritis, which together mean “house judge” (Howarth 1996, 69). Glotfelty (1996, xviii) defines ecocriticism as “the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment . . . ecocriticism takes an earth-centered approach to literary studies.” Kerridge (1998, 50) defines ecocriticism as seeking to evaluate texts and ideas in terms of their coherence and usefulness as responses to environmental crisis. Borthwick (2009, 63) has a similar suggestion:

 
 

Journal of English Studies