Things Fall Apart Literary Analysis

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Things Fall Apart Analysis
In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe employs imagery, symbolism, and themes to reveal the story of Okonkwo. Throughout the novel he weaves in these things to really tell us the tale.
With imagery, Achebe really is able to set the setting and the feel of the scene even deeper. "The drums rose to a frenzy. The people surged forward. The young men who kept order flew around, waving their palm fronds. Old men nodded to the beat of the drums and remembered the days when they wrestled to its intoxicating rhythm." (Page 47) There is a lot of excitement here, everyone is really showing how they all enjoy the show. Achebe makes the mood a happy one and he even talks about the old men who used to fight as well, it's all a big enjoyable thing before the big fight. Which can be compared to the many other instances where the scene goes from happy to sad, or vice versa. "The drums beat and the flutes sang and the spectators held their breath. Amalinze was a wily craftsman, but Okonkwo was as slippery as a fish. Every nerve and every muscle stood out on their arms, on their backs and thighs, and one almost heard them stretching to breaking point." (page 1) There is a lot of tension in this part and Okonkwo is in the middle of the event that would shape the rest of his life. With the imagery used, it makes it easier to really picture Okonkwo and kind of just be there with him while he overthrows the man that everyone fears. It helps get inside his head and see what he's seeing.

Achebe also uses symbolism to disguise important meanings. "Okonkwo was popularly called the "Roaring Flame." As he looked into the log fire he recalled the name. He was the flaming fire." (Page 153) Okonkwo himself uses the fire to represent himself. He thinks of himself as powerful, terrifying, and violent. There is deeper meaning though, there is always the possibility that maybe Okonkwo does not think of himself as such and maybe he's more scared of ending burned...
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