Research Article

Religious Identity in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart


  • Abubakr M. A. Abdu-Alhakam Ph. D Candidate, English Department, College of Languages. Sudan University of Science and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan


This paper aims to investigate illustrations of religious identity in Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart. It explores types of identity dimensions and other cultural factors that influence the formation and maintenance of religious identity portrayed in the novel. It also attempts to study the effect of religious identity on the relations between the characters in the novel. The paper takes a qualitative approach for its textual analysis, and it adopts the descriptive discourse analysis (DDA) method guided by the intercultural communication theory (ICT). The study concludes that religious identity is depicted by stereotypical concepts and religious-based actions, i.e., actions that have pure religious motivations. The natives' masculine identity strengthens their religious identity. Their racial identity does not affect their religious identity, while ethnic and class identities have some weak positive impacts. The personal attitude of the protagonist is opposite to the native communal mainstream. The results also reveal that religion is the base of almost all the characters’ actions. The study confirms the validity of applying the ICT on fictive data and reinforces the bidirectional influence between identity and communication as identity is conceptualized through the confrontations with others. 

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

3 (7)





How to Cite

Abdu-Alhakam, A. M. A. . (2020). Religious Identity in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 3(7), 163–175.



Identity, religious identity, intercultural, communication, fiction