Things Fall Apart Essay

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Derrick Phillips
4/10/13
APLIT B-3

THINGS FALL APART ESSAY

Things Fall Apart, a pivoting novel written by Nigerian native Chinua Achebe. The novel is set in Nigeria, Africa, and encompasses the adversity of a once prosperous village leader known as Okonkwo, and the Igbo people. The novel depicts the rise and fall of the Umuofia tribes, culture and society, as it conforms to the onset of White Europeans descending upon the continent. Not only does Africa change, Okonkwo does as well. Due to his constant fear of weakness, and an accidental murder that he is guilty of committing, his world quickly crumbles. Achebe uses symbolism to convey the extinction of tribal culture by using Okonkwo’s life as an example. The death of tribal life is foreshadowed by the Okonkwo’s multiple homicides, the locusts that annihilate the tribes crops, and his banishment for beating his wife during the sacred Week of Peace.

Okonkwo, the main character in Things Fall Apart, adopts a son named Ikemefuna, after another tribe is forced to give him up after someone from their tribe murdered someone from the Umuofia (Okonkwo’s) tribe. He is a 15 year old boy who treats Okonkwo as his own father, however Okonkwo does not feel the same way to him. Ikefuma is the centerpiece in which Okonkwo’s anger flows out. Ikemefuna is constantly the subject of the blind wrath that his faux dad enacts upon him. “He [Ikemefuna] could not understand what was happening to him or what he had done. How could he know that his father had taken a hand in killing a daughter of Umuofia?” (Ch.2 Pg.20). This shows how Ikemefuna’s fear stems directly from his adopted dad anger and fear, even though he is totally innocent, he is Okonkwo’s outlet for his own pain and misery. Eventually he murders Ikemefuna with a machete out of the fear of being weak. This was the first foreshadow that African culture was slowly receding. Even though it is quite normal for tribes to...
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