The struggle between custom values and conversion is a universally applied theme to Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The fable like, tragic tone of the work was set off from the very first page. The verb FALL APART has 4 senses to lose one's emotional or mental composure, go to pieces, break or fall apart into fragments, and to become separated into pieces or fragments. These are all exemplified in the novel Things Fall Apart. Okonkwo is a tragic hero in the traditional sense. His fate was decided for him and was unavoidable. Okonkwo’s inability to act rationally and express his feelings in a anthropological manner leads to his inescapable demise. Okonkwo exhibits the characteristics of a tragic hero not only by encompassing an unexceptional flaw. Okonkwo not only developed this flaw because of his erroneous equivalence of masculinity with being filled with relentless fury, vehemence, and impetuousness, but also because he leads to his own self-annihilation.
Culture makes us who we are. Each individual has their own culture from their experiences in life and is developed from societal influences. The various cultures around the world influence us in different ways which we experience at least once in our lifetime. There are occasions, especially in history, where cultures clash with one another. For instance, the English colonization in Africa changed their culture. Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart, portrayed this change in the Igbo people’s society, especially through the character Okonkwo in the village of Umuofia; the introduction of Western ideas challenged him. In the novel Things Fall Apart, the author Chinua Achebe introduces to us Okonkwo whose character’s response to the
In the novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, a cultural clash between Ibo culture and Western culture was assessed through fictional literature. Several characters reacted to this in their unique ways, either by accepting or rejecting European beliefs. However, the character Okonkwo, a proud, strong and well respected warrior in the Igbo Society had a significant reaction to the new culture. When the new, western culture comes to Igbo society, Okonkwo, of Clan Umuofia, responds by using violence as the only choice. This decision carried dire consequences, and lead to Oknonkwo’s death.
Things Fall Apart: An Evaluation In “Things Fall Apart,” Chinua Achebe tells two different stories at the same time. One is of Okonkwo, the villager whose rise to power is halted because of all of his misfortunes. The other is of Okonkwo’s village, Umuofia, and its struggle to hold on to its cultural tradition while facing colonialism from the West. The title, “Things Fall Apart,” describes perfectly what happens to both Okonkwo and his village. Okonkwo’s life falls apart and as a result, he commits suicide by hanging himself. The cultural tradition of Umuofia falls apart, and becomes influenced by the West. In “Things Fall Apart,” Achebe uses Okonkwo and the village’s falling out to show how African culture, as well as other cultures around the world, suffered as a result of Westernization. In the book, Achebe focuses mainly on the character of Okonkwo. Okonkwo’s story follows the general pattern of a Greek tragedy. He experiences many successes in the beginning, but everything eventually comes crashing down on him. His early life is the typical success story. He starts poor, but works hard to earn everyone’s respect. From the beginning he is disgusted with his father. He is a lazy old man who borrows money and never pays it back. Okonkwo realizes that he does not want to be like his father, and it is this hatred that drives him to work hard. After his father’s death, Okonkwo pays off his debts, and starts his long journey to the top of the clan. In a short time, Okonkwo...
Okonkwo is the main character within the book, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo is an individual whom has many different personalities that are portrayed in different situations. He can be a nice and welcoming individual but also an abusive and harmful individual. Before returning to Umofia, in which the missionaries had invaded, Okonkwo had grown up upon resenting his father’s laziness, devoting his time in proving that he was much better than his father. That he was more respectable and masculine. These were qualities in which Okonkwo’s father had lacked. Upon reaching Umofia, Okonkwo becomes more passive than he has ever been. While watching in sorrow and grief of the coming of the missionaries as he is unable to anything about. The missionaries had turned Okonkwo into a completely different individual. Changing him for the worst.
In the novel Things Fall Apart, suicide plays a major role in the outcome of the story. Everything that the main character, Okonkwo, once knew had changed drastically resulting in his suicide. He was a well renowned warrior and was one of the many chiefs in his clan, he had land, 3 wives, and upwards of 25 children between them. But, all the changes started when a white missionary visited his village. After the white man shows up everything goes south for Okonkwo and his family, Okonkwo accidentally kills a man and is banished for 7 years and he lost everything including his land and his title. Okonkwo is devastated by the loss of his social status and is struck by grief. Achebe wrote, “ Work no longer had for him [Okonkwo] the same pleas...
The Berlin Conference of 1902, concentrates on the way European countries can go about colonizing Africa. Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, follows a man through the colonization of his clan in Umuofia. Throughout the novel, there are specific references to how the European powers were able to take over and settle in Africa. The main cause of European colonization is the use of religion and their missionaries. Christianity uses three tactics to colonize Africa: gaining ground through outcast converts, the setup of a government, and the economic value that the church brings.
In Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is an extremely complex character who experiences a variety of emotions which he has a difficult time controlling. He experiences a never ending battle of psychosomatic symptoms, starting with his obsession over the conflict of the past with his father, Unoka. Okonkwo portrays himself as a heroic, strong warrior, only to mask the feelings of intense anger, fear, and selfishness that provokes him, which inevitably leads him down the same path as his father. He feels a strong hatred towards his father because he believes that his father had no masculine qualities, he owed everyone money, and owned no titles. Achebe states:
When the messengers come in and are prohibiting a meeting of the Umuofia people and their leaders, it breaks Okonkwo. “‘ The white man whose power you know too well has ordered this meeting to stop.’” (Achebe 204) The power had been taken from the village and when the people that toolkit tried to to force the power they to Okonkwo could not take it any more.After Okonkwo had killed the messenger he know that it was over and no one would help. “Then they came to the tree from which Okonkwo’s body was dangling, and they stopped dead.” (Achebe 207) His village was full brave people, but everyone in now afraid of the white man. The only person that tried to stop it acted up, but no one followed him and gave up on everything. Because of outside forces pushing in, the village fell apart, but it was not from the outside forces it was the people on the inside not pushing back.
Things Fall Apart (Ch.7, Ikemefuna)
For three years I lived with Okonkwo and his family. By now the elders seemed to have forgotten about me being their sacrifice, which is a relief to me.
As the years go by I have grown rapidly like a yam.