Exam 1 Essay Question- Things Fall Apart
In Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”, one of the main themes is progress and masculinity. As the story get’s deeper, and deeper into its context, these themes and other subthemes start to tie and play in. In William Butler Yeats’ “The Second Coming”, the imagery he gives is very strong and violent. Some of the main themes in his poem revolve around self-destruction, change, and chaos. Confusing from the character being displayed is somewhat similar to the main character, Okonkwo, from Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”.
Yeats’ poem illustrates a lot of horrific images that tie in to the theme of self-destruction, chaos, and change. The first image we see is of disaster. It says, “ The falcon cannot hear the falconer;” meaning it cannot hear warning signs and starts to get out of control. Then it mentions, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;” meaning that the centre of the spiraling of the falcon is an example of a society out of control. This relates to Okonkwo and his clan to where he is bringing his clan up and also due to his ignorance is bringing it down without knowing, no signs. Other images that are portrayed through his writing are seas and oceans of blood where the best are apathetic and the worst are the ones that are with “passionate intensity”. This image and idea can be referred to by Yeats as a society heading towards self-destruction and chaos, turning its society upside-down. This is similar to the situation where Okonkwo comes back after exile but realizes that things have changed. As the poem goes along, Yeats reminds us that it is in one’s nature to seek change when needed. This is when he brings in the Christian concept of “the second coming,” referred as “Spiritus Mundi” in this poem. Yeats feels that change is needed and even if it is a good change, it is an uncomfortable change. This is related to “Things Fall Apart” when the Christians try to bring religion in to their clans and change...
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