Things Fall Apart

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A story with the title that says it all, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, is a novel of a man’s life falling apart. The publisher of Things Fall Apart is by the Anchor Books and the book was first published in the year 1959. This novel is a tragedy of a historical fiction story. Things Fall Apart has multiple themes such as the struggle between tradition and change, varying interpretations of masculinity, and languages as a sign of cultural difference. Things Fall Apart portrays the life of Okonkwo, a leader and the infamous wrestling champion in Umuofia. It focuses on his family, his culture, and how the British colonialism and Christian missionaries influenced his community. One of Achebe’s purpose of Things Fall Apart was to explain the other side of history of the Africans. He believed a lot of people misunderstood about Africa and inaccurately portrays African culture. He carefully portrays the traditions of the Igbo culture to its contact with Europeans; however, he is careful not to stereotype the Europeans. Things Fall Apart sets in the lower Nigerian villages of Iguedo and Mbanta in the 1890s where the conflict is between Nigeria’s white colonial government and the traditional culture of the Igbo villagers. The narration is in third person who focuses on Okonkwo, the protagonist, but also switches often from character to character of their thoughts and motives such as Ezinma, Nwoye, and Mr. Brown. The tone is ironic, tragic, satirical, and fablelike. The mood is usually somber and tragic with moments of joy during celebrations. Since the novel focuses on the downfall of Okonkwo, it conveys a sense of loss and extremely dramatic. Okonkwo is a respected warrior of the Umuofia clam. Unoka, Okonkwo’s father, died with unsettled debts and was a failture. Okonkwo, because of his father, became to hate the lazy and weak. Okonkwo considers his oldest son, Nwoye, lazy and worries that his son will end up in a failure like Unoka. Umuofia wins a boy, Ikemefuna,...
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