Cultural Adherence in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

Cultural Adherence in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

Length: 770 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

To truly understand a culture and any person within it, one must first understand the family dynamics present. This understanding becomes exceedingly important when one is trying to understand a culture that is starkly different from his own. However, because of human nature, there are relationships that are common to all cultures, though the dynamics of these relationships may be different. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s extreme cultural adherence creates very distinct family dynamics as evidenced by the father-son and husband-wife relationships in the novel. Though his relationships are distinct, aspects of them are still present in today’s society.
Throughout his life, Okonkwo’s greatest wish is to be seen as the opposite of his father Unoka. “When Unoka died he had taken no title at all and he was heavily in debt. Any wonder then that his son Okonkwo was ashamed of him” (8). Okonkwo wants to be seen as strong, a provider, a leader. The desire to be better than one’s parents is still present in today’s society. Unlike Okonkwo, though, an increasing number of people are satisfied with bemoaning the sins of their parents and blaming everyone else for their problems instead of directly confronting the problems as Okonkwo did. In contrast to Igbo society, modern society is shifting to the mindset of reduced personal responsibility.
As with any family, relationship problems in Okonkwo’s family trickle down the generations. Just as Okonkwo is ashamed of his father, he is also ashamed of his oldest son Nwoye. Okonkwo fears a laziness in his son that was present in his father. However, Nwoye did receive one extremely important character trait from his father: determination. Nwoye is secure enough...


... middle of paper ...


...ving. Abandonment is the force behind almost all outrage, from fiction and Okonkwo to reality and modern families.
All families have problems, even the seemingly perfect ones. Okonkwo attempts to create what he believes is the perfect life throughout the novel but falls short because he fails to see the importance of his actions in familial relationships. Thus, he has no foundation on which to build his success. Families in modern society often encounter the same problems. They lack the ability to effectively establish, and change when necessary, their relationships in order to produce success. However, both in fiction and in life, the important idea is that families never stop trying. Okonkwo ultimately fails to keep trying, but the majority of actual families continue to persevere. This perseverance creates the distinction between fiction and real life.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

- In the book by Chinua Achebe called Things Fall Apart (1959) gender roles are clearly defined by the cultural traditions. Religion is also an important aspect in this society where the characters worshiped various gods and goddesses, and this was challenging and a clash of cultures with the arrival of the Christian missionaries. With moments of anger, rage, murder, and domestic violence makes this story one of a character having father psychological and masculinity issues. There are various times when a son has such dislike for his father and believes his father is less than masculine for being labeled as lazy, wasteful and died with great debt was the greatest motivational force for wanting...   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Gender]

Better Essays
1530 words (4.4 pages)

Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essay

- Things Fall Apart, a novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe is a story about an Igbo village in Nigeria and a man that once was a powerful influence in the tribe, but begins to lose his influence as Nigeria is colonized and Christian missionaries come to evangelize. A deeper look at the novel, with a feminist critics point of view, tells a lot about the Igbo people as well as the author’s thoughts about women in the novel. Feminist critics look at female authors, and female characters and their treatment as well as women’s issues in society....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe]

Better Essays
1833 words (5.2 pages)

Things Fall Apart Essay

- The book “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe is a fictional look at the social and cultural life of an African tribe of the lower Niger River region. It depicts the every day life of the tribe and its members. It also shows the culture and customs of the tribe. The book focuses on one of the tribe members, Okonkwo. He is a well respected member of the tribe. Okonkwo is a good example of a respected member of the tribe who also has great renown. He is known as a great wrestler and warrior of the nine villages of the tribe....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
801 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Cultural Comparison Of Things Fall Apart

- Cultural Comparison of Things Fall Apart Even though Things Fall Apart is a fictional novel, it still seems to accurately depict the Igbo culture of that time. Things Fall Apart was written by a Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe (Achebe). Things Fall Apart is set in the country of Nigeria and more specifically, the southeastern portion of Nigeria (“Nigerians” 420). Things Fall Apart is basically about an Igbo tribe in the village of Umuofia. The story focuses on the life of a very wealthy and strong warrior named Okonkwo....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Igbo people, Chinua Achebe]

Better Essays
2315 words (6.6 pages)

Essay about Cultural Collisions in Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart

- Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart both take place in the imperialist era. Authors Joseph Conrad and Chinua Achebe, respectively, created main characters that came from different continents, but experienced similar cultural clashes. Although Marlow and Okonkwo have different lifestyles, they are both led to question their identities and make life-defining decisions. The most prominent difference between Marlow and Okonkwo is their cultural backgrounds. Marlow has no family, only his shipmates to accompany him....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Things Fall Apart]

Better Essays
906 words (2.6 pages)

Cultural Change Explored in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

- William James, a famous American philosopher, once stated, “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives”. This quotation effectively illustrates how change in one’s attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs can alter the environment in which one lives. This concept is clearly demonstrated throughout the novel Things Fall Apart, authored by Chinua Achebe, by establishing a connection through the development of its characters and the change in traditional African tribal villages seen in the Nineteenth Century....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Better Essays
1874 words (5.4 pages)

Cultural Rape in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay

- Cultural Rape In Things Fall Apart In Things Fall Apart, Achebe shows the ruthlessness of the missionaries in pursuit of new converts. Domestic support for the missions depended in large measure upon the tangible success of their preaching, 'success' being reflected in the numbers of conversions. This relentless focus on "success" caused the "cultural rape" of the people of Umuofia.             Achebe even hints at their use of bribery and blackmail in their endeavours. He tells us, 'the white missionary had set up a school to teach young Christians to read and write' (126)....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Better Essays
1370 words (3.9 pages)

Universal Symbolism in Things Fall Apart Essay

- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a novel written to highlight the intriguing lives and misconceptions that are often identified with African culture. Achebe writes Things Fall Apart from the African view, a foreign perspective that sees westerners as the outsiders and Africans as the insiders. Focusing on a clan in lower Nigeria, Achebe profiles the clash of cultures that erupts when white Christians colonize and spread their religious ideals. Achebe is able to make his book so popular to the entire world because of his expert use of symbols like drums, locusts, and fire....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Better Essays
1172 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Existentialism in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

- Existentialism in Things Fall Apart          Chinua Achebe presents his audience with an interesting twist to a contemporary school of thought in his work Things Fall Apart.  This post-colonization narrative incorporates several traits that revolt against normative philosophic systems and tralititious theories and beliefs of the existence of man and his place in the universe.  Achebe's efforts are characterized by a small diverse group of writers that purge realizations of predestination, and instead define man's existence by identifying his independent choices throughout the life course.  Achebe's style, although peculiar in one sense, can be defined in relation to the school of...   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]

Better Essays
1633 words (4.7 pages)

Conflict and Tradition in Things Fall Apart Essay

- Conflict and Tradition in Things Fall Apart The book Things Fall Apart successfully expressed how Chinua Achebe had succeeded in writing a different story. It pointed out the conflict of oneself, the traditional beliefs, and the religious matters of the Africans. Throughout the novel, Chinua Achebe used simple but dignified words and unlike other books, he also included some flashbacks and folktales to make the novel more interesting and comprehensible. Things Fall Apart was about a man named Okonkwo, who was always struggling with his inner fear although he was known for being a strong, powerful, and fearless warior....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Better Essays
745 words (2.1 pages)