Racial Discrimination In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart And Richard Wright’s Native Son

Racial Discrimination In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart And Richard Wright’s Native Son
Racial Discrimination In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart And Richard Wright’s Native Son

ABSTRACT: This research work explores Racial Discrimination In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart And Richard Wright’s Native Son. Chinua Achebe and Richard Wright depict the Marginalisation and oppression in both the Blacks and the Whites society. The researcher succeeds in identifying the discrimination of race in the Things Fall Apart and Native Son which causes pains, fear, anger and oppression, observations from the analysis of the two selected novels. The study reveals that racial discrimination is any sidelining attitude against an individual on the bases of their skin colours. Finally, study concludes that Blacks should be treated importantly as humans and not as animals. The recommendations is that the blacks should not see the whites as a natural, oppressive force and should not be hated but should be seen as an equal beings.

Racial Discrimination In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart And Richard Wright’s Native Son





In the world of today, discrimination has become serious phenomenon in the society. Discrimination is seen in the Church, School, Hospital, in politics and even in our economic life, discrimination is commonly seen.

Discrimination does not only, occur between the whites and the blacks, but is also seen among brothers discriminating their own brothers, sister discriminating fellow sisters, pastors discriminating fellow pastors, and also the rich discriminate the poor.

Wikipedia defines discrimination as “The prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category and also the actual behaviour towards members of another group”. Merriam-Webster defines “Racial discrimination as any discriminatory act against any individual on the basis of their skin colour, race or ethnic group/origin”.

With this definition, one can therefore define racial discrimination as the selecting or side lining of any individual on the basis of the skin colour or race.

Chinua Achebe in his work “Things fall apart” portrays his Igbo society, specifically at the period the white men broke into it as missionaries, traders, and administrators and that period tored the united clans apart. They did this by introducing to them a strange religion and this brought about racial discrimination as seen in Chapter Twenty-two page 147.

Mr Brown’s successor was the Reverend James Smith, and he was a different kind of man. He condemned openly Mr Brown’s policy of compromise and accommodation.

He saw things as black and white. And black was evil. He saw the world as a battlefield in which the children of light were locked in mortal conflict with the sons of darkness. Pg 147.

This extract explains how Reverend James Smith introduce to the Igbo society “Racial discrimination”. By condemning his predecessor Mr Brown that he was too open to compromise and accommodate the blacks instead of sidelining them.

In Richard Wright’s “Native Son” Bigger sees whites not as individuals, but as a natural, oppressive force – a great looming “whiteness” pressing down upon him. Bigger having grown up under the climate of harsh racial prejudice.

Coincidentally, Mr. Dalton was one of the wealthy men, he happens to be Bigger’s landlord, as he owns a company and the apartment where Bigger and his family live. He was indirectly robbing the poor blacks, he denied access to a wealthy life but still collects a huge amount from them as house rent. He tries to escape his conscience by donating money to black, schools and offer jobs to “poor, timid black boys” like Bigger.

Bigger had to seek for a job in Mr. Dalton’s house as a driver, and he got it. Soon resumes work. One day, he drives Mary Mr Dalton’s daughter out with her boyfriend Jan, they go round the citizen then to a sit-out where they get drunk. Later Bigger drives Mary home that night, Mary is very weak that she cannot go upstairs alone and Bigger has to help her to her bedroom when suddenly Mrs Dalton comes to check on Mary her daughter, Bigger is so afraid of being caught by her because to the white, it is a taboo for a blackman to move close to a white woman.

He is frustrated by racism and the limited opportunities afforded black men in the society. Bigger strikes out in a futile attempt to transgress the boundaries and limit of his position. He murders magnate, by accident. Yet the act of murder gives his life meaning, and the consequent trial and execution are incidental.

Therefore, with the use of Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” and Richard Wright’s “Native Son”, many racial discriminatory act will be analysed and also identified.


The world is full of discrimination not only between the whites and the blacks but it is also seen in every aspect of human life. Since it is a serious phenomena it therefore needs to be looked into.

This research study will therefore discuss the discriminatory culture that is very common everywhere.

Racial Discrimination In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart And Richard Wright’s Native Son


This study aims to examine racial discrimination in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” and Richard Wright’s “Native Son” using Racism to show that individual despite their skin colour as to be treated equally and with respect.

This research work aims at bringing out the effects, and pains of racial discrimination.

Originally posted on September 14, 2021 @ 9:02 pm

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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of onlineproject.com.ng. A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.