Things Fall Apart and The Second Coming

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Things Fall Apart and The Second Coming



      "The Second Coming"

      By William Butler Yeats


        Turning and turning in the widening gyre

        The falcon cannot hear the falconer,

        Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

        Mere anarchy is loosened upon the world,

        The blood-dimmed tide is loosened, and everywhere

        The ceremony of innocence is drowned

        The best lack of all convictions, while the worst

        Are full of passionate intensity.


        Chinua Achebe based his story, "Things Fall Apart," on the poem by

William Butler Yeats called "The Second Coming." These two pieces of

literature have many similarities but no differences.


        When analyzing the poem, "The Second Coming,"  I notice that the

title of the story is included in the poem. The poem is based on changes

and it implies that when mere anarchy is in play, the whole community lets

go and things fall apart. The only reason why the society fell apart is

because the people did not stand up for their religion and government. They

let the missionaries change their ways. That was also referred to in the

poem. The poem stated that things fall apart when the center cannot hold.


        At the bottom of page 176, Obierika quoted that the white man has

put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart. I

think that Achebe is trying to give William Butler Yeats some type of

recognition because in the beginning of the book, Achebe included a stanza

from the poem.


                "The blood-dimmed tide is loosened, and everywhere

                The ceremony of innocence is drowned"


        First of all, I think this means that once the white missionaries

interfere with their religion, it could encourage the whites to feel they

could do anything to their society and the people would not say anything.

For example, After the white missionaries introduced their religion, they

tried to introduce British law and force them upon villagers. "The ceremony

of innocence is drowned" could mean that the Ibo society's culture is done

away with and can only come back if they put up with a fight.


        Although Okonkwo attempted to arrange a fight against the Christian

religion, it was always stopped. After the British convert some villagers

to Christianity, they introduce British laws and force them upon villagers.

By the time Okonkwo returns, the British have established a stronghold in

the village, and most of the people are afraid to confront them. So Okonkwo

calls many meetings and tries to organize a way to stop the British. Every

time a meeting is called, the British officials break it up. One time,

Okonkwo fought back and when the others failed to join the attack, he loses

all hope and hangs himself.


        As you can see, "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe is greatly

based on the poem "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats. These two

pieces of literary artwork show many similarities and hardly any


How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Things Fall Apart and The Second Coming." 09 Feb 2016

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