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Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe

  • Course: English
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‘Things Fall Apart’, a novel by Chinua Achebe, has achieved textual integrity through a set of core ideas which are developed through the characters and events in the novel. The novel shows the drastic effect of white missionaries who colonise an African clan of Ibo people; bringing with them a new religion as well as laws, punishments and very different customs. Events described in the narrative highlight that a community and or an individual must at some point adapt to change and a new environment or face being marginalised by the society. Okonkwo also works very hard to show his strength, as an individuals fear of failure and social humiliation may influence their behaviour in society as well as isolate them. Particular characters in the novel manifest how religion and spirituality create a sense of safety and stability in society as well as something to fear. Achebe has portrayed these concepts in the community of the Ibo people through the coming of the missionaries and the downfall of the protagonist, Okonkwo.

A community and or individual must at some point adapt to change and a new environment or face being marginalised by the society. When the white missionaries come to the village of Mbanta they eventually build a hospital and a school, and welcome everyone to join in their beliefs bringing the isolated and the deserted together and giving them meaning in their lives. This is in harsh contrast to Okonkwo who wants to resist and bring back the familiar and known ways of the clan. “Okonkwo said that ‘until the abominable gang was chased out of the village with whips there would be no peace’”. This harsh statement conveys his unbending personality and his narrow view of the way the situation should be dealt with; as he sits contrary to his clansmen. This inability to adapt and accept the changes in his community lead to Okonkwo's ultimate downfall. “That man was one of the greatest men in Umofia. You drove him to kill himself;” The white...