Objective: In this paper I will discuss the text Things Fall Apart while analyzing the characters, events, and the historical relevance of the story. Also, I will summarize the story while expanding on the major themes of the book.
Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, is a tragic story about the rise and fall of Okonkwo. The story takes place in Umuofia, a cluster of villages in Niger during the 1890’s. the Umuofians are known for being a notorious war clan with many members, advanced social institutions, and phenomenal traditions. Chinua Achebe educated his readers throughout the novel by capitalizing on historical importance’s in Nigerian history, like when the Europeans invaded Niger as well as basic history about African culture and traditions.
In the beginning of the novel, Okonkwo and his father are the general focus and the readers begin to see their father – son relationship. Okonkwo is always criticizing his father as being lazy, weak, and unmotivated to do things. Okonkwo views these characteristics as feminine, so he never really sees his father as a real man. Ever since he was younger, Okonkwo has known he never wanted to grow up to emulate his father. He wanted to be a better man and respected by everyone in Umuofia and beyond. Since then the only emotion he has expressed is resentment and anger. Growing up, his success came from defeating an undefeated wrestler in their community named Cat. The novel really picks up after Okonkwo’s fathers death, which has left an enormous debt to his neighbors. Okonkwo never felt any remorse about his father’s death because he does not express any emotion now besides anger and aggression in his quest to become a great, well-respected man.
As the novel continues, Okonkwo not only has evolved into a well respected man but his village is also respected by their neighboring clans however, one night his village and another village were put to the test. All of the men in Okonkwo’s village were asked to meet...
Bibliography: Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor Books, 1991.
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