Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essay

Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essay

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In Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, the reader gets a look into how drastically one culture can change the traditions and lifestyle of another. The novel shows their influence mainly through the main character, Okonkwo, and his downfall throughout the story with the collision of the Ibo and Western culture. Achebe uses Okonkwo, a strong warrior and important male leader in his village, to show a person’s perspective of the invasion. He spent his entire life trying to prove that he is the strongest man, and he showed this both physically and emotionally in the beginning. He even killed Ikemefuna, a boy he called his son, and even after he was told not to have any hand in his killing by the Oracle because he did not want to feel weak by not having a hand in his killing. Okonkwo was the character affected by the arrival of the European Colonist and his downfall is shown progressively throughout the novel.
In the very beginning of the novel Achebe introduced Okonkwo, a strong, successful man, who aimed to be the exact opposite of his father, Unoka. In his younger years Unoka loved music and played the flute skillfully. But in his adult years he was a drunk and a man that used people and always asked for and borrowed things from people without paying them back. He had trouble feeding his wife and kids. He Okonkwo was very ashamed of his father because he never achieved anything or was respected by his clan, “When Unoka died he had taken no title at all and he was heavily in debt.”(17) In Umuofia, his homeland, men are respected by the titles they achieve and their status. Unoka gained no titles and was known as the town debtor. Okonkwo knew what everyone thought of his father and based everything he did in life to be the opposite...


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...ioner sends a man to stop the meeting, Okonkwo kills the man with his machete, and waited for everyone else to take his example, but they just sit there and ask why he did what he did. “He knew Umuofia would not go to war… They had broken into tumult instead of action.”(189) The fact that no one did anything after talking about taking action showed Okonkwo that it was over for him and his people. He just turned around and went home.
The character Okonkwo was affected most by the European colonist and was shown progressively throughout the novel. He faced great challenges and tried to stay optimistic up until his death. He tried to fight for his people and tried to get them to fight for themselves. Okonkwo tries to lead his people in fighting against the invasion of the new religion and culture but his people do not fight with him and he gives up and kills himself.

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