A Thought Provoking Novel

1474 Words6 Pages
Things Fall Apart is a captivating work of fiction. The book’s original publishing

took place in 1958. Chinua Achebe describes, by means of his own experience,

the spirituality and struggles of an African Tribe, the Igbo. It centres on a warrior

in the tribe, Okonkwo, and his part in the changes of their culture. The title

accurately represents the unfolding of events in the story, as the tribes beliefs are

put in to question and the main character’s life is thrown into chaos. Things fall

apart is a one-sided and insistent view of Imperialism.

Okonkwo, an Igbo in the land of Umuofia is a highly respected and successful

man of his own accord. His reputation is a great one- he is an accomplished

wrestler and warrior, and a wealthy farmer. He built his comfortable life from

the ground as a young man- His fear of becoming soft hearted and unproductive

as his father was drove him to become great. Therefore, he works toward being

the polar opposite of these things. It shows in his harshness toward his three

wives and children. He is a callous and violent man, and he acts too proud to

express any positive emotion toward the ones he loves. However, Okonkwo’s

stable life becomes unhinged when a daughter of his tribe is murdered, and the

neighbouring village who is to blame must sacrifice a young man, Ikemefuna,

who his sent to live with him. Okonkwo grows to love Ikemefuna. In fact, he

favours Ikemefuna to his own son, though his actions do not show it. The boy

begins to refer to him as his father and truly becomes a part of Okonkwo’s family.

Three years pass without mention of Ikemefuna’s fat...

... middle of paper ...

...past and present, and


Things Fall Apart was a very stimulating read with an omnipresent theme. It

shows us that, although a change is relevant and that things could be improved

upon, people are often steadfast in their ways and do not accept change well- their

beliefs and lifestyles were challenged, and not all will react in a positive way. I

would like to see a novel from another perspective- The Christian side of the

story. I recommend Things Fall Apart for Europeans and others outside of Africa

who haven’t studied Imperialism. I feel that Achebe wanted to show the

remarkable and devastating effects that assimilation had on the assimilated and

the impact that losing a culture has on everyone. If this was what the book was

intended for, the author more than achieved his purpose.

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