Table of Contents Plot Overview Okonkwo is a wealthy and respected warrior of the Umuofia clan, a lower Nigerian tribe that is part of a consortium of nine connected villages. He is haunted by the actions of Unoka, his cowardly and spendthrift father, who died in disrepute, leaving many village debts unsettled.
The following entry presents criticism on Achebe's Things Fall Apart For further information on his life and works, see CLC Volumes 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 26, and Things Fall Apart is one of the most widely read and studied African novels ever written.
Critics have viewed the work as Achebe's answer to the limited and often inaccurate presentation of Nigerian life and customs found in literature written by powers of the colonial era. Achebe does not paint an idyllic picture of pre-colonial Africa, but Things fall apart part one essay shows Igbo society with all its flaws as well as virtues.
The novel's title is taken from W. The novel focuses on Okonkwo, an ambitious and inflexible clan member trying to overcome the legacy of his weak father.
The clan does not judge men on their father's faults, and Okonkwo's status is based on his own achievements. He is a great wrestler, a brave warrior, and a respected member of the clan who endeavors to uphold its traditions and customs.
He lives for the veneration of his ancestors and their ways. Okonkwo's impetuousness and rigidness, however, often pit him against the laws of the clan, as when he beats his wife during the Week of Peace. The first part of the novel traces Okonkwo's successes and failures within the clan.
In the second part he is finally exiled when he shoots at his wife and accidentally hits a clansman. According to clan law, his property is destroyed, and he must leave his father's land for seven years.
He flees to his mother's homeland, which is just beginning to experience contact with Christian missionaries. Okonkwo is anxious to return to Umuofia, but finds upon his return—the third part of the novel—that life has also begun to change there as well.
The Christian missionaries have made inroads into the culture of the clan through its disenfranchised members. Shortly after his return, Okonkwo's own son leaves for the mission school, disgusted by his father's participation in the death of a boy that his family had taken in and treated as their own.
Okonkwo eventually stands up to the missionaries in an attempt to protect his culture, but when he kills a British messenger, Okonkwo realizes that he stands alone, and kills himself.
Ironically, suicide is considered the ultimate disgrace by the clan, and his people are unable to bury him. Major Themes The main theme of Things Fall Apart focuses on the clash between traditional Igbo society and the culture and religion of the colonists.
Achebe wrote the novel in English but incorporated into the prose a rhythm that conveyed a sense of African oral storytelling. He also used traditional African images including the harmattan an African dust-laden wind and palm oil, as well as Igbo proverbs.
In an effort to show the clash between the two cultures, Achebe presented traditional Christian symbols and then described the clan's contrasting reactions to them. For instance, in Christianity, locusts are a symbol of destruction and ruin, but the Umuofians rejoice at their coming because they are a source of food.
The arrival of the locusts comes directly before the arrival of the missionaries in the novel. Transition is another major theme of the novel and is expressed through the changing nature of Igbo society.
Several references are made throughout the narrative to faded traditions in the clan, emphasizing the changing nature of its laws and customs.
Colonization is a time of great transition in Umuofia and the novel focuses on Okonkwo's rigidity in the face of this change. Other themes include duality, the nature of religious belief, and individualism versus community. Critical Reception Reviewers have praised Achebe's neutral narration and have described Things Fall Apart as a realistic novel.
Much of the critical discussion about Things Fall Apart concentrates on the socio-political aspects of the novel, including the friction between the members of Igbo society as they are confronted with the intrusive and overpowering presence of Western government and beliefs.Read this Religion Essay and over 88, other research documents.
Things Fall Apart. How Things Fall Apart There was a man who dreamed as a child of being well known and respected throughout /5(1).
The Power of Fear in Things Fall Apart Essays Words 5 Pages The Power of Fear in Things Fall Apart In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the theme of the power of fear is presented throughout the whole book and is mainly expressed in the main character, Okonkwo.
Things Fall Apart essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Essay `` Things Fall Apart `` By Chinua Achebe. benjaminpohle.com other times, they can used to foreshadow later events.
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, is a splendid example of the use of folktales, ascribing the stories a greater meaning than what initially meets the eye. Things Fall Apart is a novel with literary merit—and lots of it.
Part of the novel’s appeal lies in its compelling themes which strike chords that resound throughout time and across linguistic barriers.
1. Why did Achebe choose to take the title of his novel, Things Fall Apart, from William Butler Yeats' poem "The Second Coming"? 2. What is the narrator's point.