The titles things fall apart and tamas agree highly symbolical as both of them mean the darkness at the time of disintegration. Bhishamsanhi took the title tamas from “upnishad” .tamas means the darkness of hell . the tile is appropriate as the novel is woven around the darkness of partition between India and Pakistan in 1947. Achebe has taken the title from W.B. Yeats poem “the second coming”. His title is also very appropriate as he tells us the story if the disintegration of the Igbo culture.
The novels are biographical in the sense that the two novelists have written about real incidents that took place in their small provinces like Rawalpindi and Ogidi. The novels are full of pathos as the writers elucidate the deplorable and pathetic conditions of the people who became victims of the disintegration of their respective cultures and societies.
The major themes of the novels deal with british colonisation of India and Nigeria. The people of these counties became easy prey to the colonisers as the countries were poor, unstable and insecure. The colonisers used the sharp sword of religion to set people at loggerheads. In India the Britishers provoked the religious sentiments bv telling them that the two communities would be at peace if there were two nations. The people of India belonging to Hindu,Muslim and sikh religions were blinded by the subtle sleight of the colonisers. The results were gruesome. Hindu’s and Muslim’s turned enemies full of nationalistic fervour. BhishamSanhi gives a touch of irony and satire by showing that the demarcation between India and Pakistan was sparked off by a mere incident of killing of a pig.
In Things Fall Apart the found and secure Igbo culture was reduced to ashes under the plea of the missionaries that the Igbo culture and Igbo gods were false. To make their point stronger they emphasised the weaknesses and backwardness of their culture where women were beaten and superstitions were the order of the day. The effects were tragic as the people belonging to the Igbo culture too went through a communal divide and the people started embracing Christianity but it is the irony of the people like Okonkwo who can never give up their roots an in consequence had to walk on a dangerous path. The outcome of his tragic faith ends with his tragic suicide where he will not b given any burial place as suicide was considered as a sin in Igbo culture.
The novels also highlight the infallibility of men. It is the irony of human kind that a man as strong as Okonkwo becomes a victim to his flaw in the wake of the forced conversers. Hindu’s and Muslim’s that stand as the pillars of Indian community were blown away by the mere wind of communalism. The tragedy lies in the fact that the people did not become victims to their faith but the cunning of the foreigners. In the wake of the riots the British authorities sit content. The British deputy commissioner to India, Richard, enjoys nectar at the expense of the hindumuslim division knowing fully well that the British rule is secure in India as long as the people are divided. On the other hand, the district commissioner gets an opportunity of giving a vent to his writing skills on the tragic demise of Okonkwo. Thus the two novelists show at large the way the foreigners played with the sentiments of people. The conclusion of the novels is heart rending in that Nigeria suffers from the loss of a tribe; and India from a split nation.
The novelists have followed a common narrative style making frequent twists and turns in the story. They have been able to give an episodic nature and cinematic quality to the plot development. Their writing style is simple but it foreshadows an impending disaster.
All the characters are part of the real world as much as they are part of the fictional world. The characters are introduced and described in great details. The reader can feel them as the writers have given the life like descriptions of the insecurities, complexities, and weaknesses of the characters. With the passage of the story, when these life like bubbles burst one by one, it is then that the power of the stories I felt. The writers have etched their characters with care and artistry, and have been successful in depicting them with psychological realism.
The novelists have a good grip on language so that they can handle different emotions and situations in their novels in an arresting manner. Though by a large their style is very simple and telling, it has its varying rhythms, tones and shades of their characters and their conditions. Through their mastery over language the novelists can evoke a sense of horror also- for example Nathu killing the pig and Okonkwo killing Ikemufena. The stories are spun in such a simple and penetrating manner that the sufferings of innocent Nathu an Okonkwo make us feel their agony besides empathizing with them.the writers have used different dialects in the novels. For example BhishamShanhi has used a number of hindi Sanskrit and Urdu words. On the other hand although Achebe has written the novel in English, the novel is replete with words fro the contemporary Igbo culture.