What Contributes to ‘Things Falling Apart' in Umuofia?

Topics: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Igbo people Pages: 3 (894 words) Published: October 29, 2006
‘Things Fall Apart' is the novel written in 1959 by the Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe. The novel itself is ironic, tragic and satirical where the author at most describes the conflict between the traditional society of Umuofia with the new customs brought by the white people. Another theme of the novel is contributed through the protagonist, Okonkwo, who struggles to be strong, masculine, respected family man, rather than his father, Unoka - weak, effeminate, lazy and poor. Through this novel, Chinua Achebe tries to prove that faith has always been a guiding force in man's life. He chooses the period of eighteenth to nineteenth century in Africa, the time of white men's arrival to the desert land. Exactly then, Christian religion was first introduced in Igbo community and had a turning effect on the further life of Igbo people. Igbo tribe had its own language and beliefs that were followed for many years. The typical system which always explained the existence of Igbo people was no longer as strong as at times of its creation. Younger generation was unable to understand the violence which their parents had inherited from their ancestors. Children were more interested in discovering love and joy, the magnificence of music, rather than strict discipline, hurt, sorrow and pain. Consequently, there were many people who accepted the Christian religion and were converted to the new God. Nwoye was one of them. As ancestors said, the men who washed his hands could eat with kings. It can be clearly seen that Okonkwo washes his hands, in other words, lives his life to be different from his father. He washes off all of the possible memories about him, aiming to prove that he doesn't have any genes of his father. By contrast, Nwoye never aimed to prove his manhood to the clansmen. He never saw a war, he never fought to survive, and therefore he never felt any necessity in active participating in village life. On the other side, it is very possible that the feeling of...
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