Analysis Of Things Fall Apart

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1. Setting/Matter - Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is set in a region of Nigeria called Umuofia, one of the nine villages in Nigeria, where the people live in huts in family compounds and grow yams and harvest palm nuts to live. It is set just as European colonialism of Africa is being introduced to the area. The author set it here to show the interactions between the white colonialists, almost all of whom are missionaries, and the native African peoples. The setting shows the culture of the Nigerian peoples before and after colonial contact and how the colonists caused change in Nigerian society that had been unchanging for many years. The book, published in 1959, was probably written in order to protest the British control over Nigeria…show more content…
Plot - In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the main character adopts a son from another village as payment for the killing of a “daughter of Umuofia.” Three years after later Okonkwo even says he loves Ikemefuna more than his own son. But it is then decreed, by the village spiritual leader, that Ikemefuna must die. Many people walk together and take him out to the woods, but Okonkwo himself ends up being the one to carry it out. Here is Okonkwo killing Ikemefuna: “He heard Ikemefuna cry, “My father they have killed me!” as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe 61). His action causes him much internal turmoil and grief. It also causes him to push away his oldest son, Nwoye, who feels pressure to be great from his father, Okonkwo, who had father/son issues of his own. This shows that Okonkwo is a very traditional person that does not tolerate change and will go to any length to protect the traditional ways and that his pride is his greatest fault. Another key moment is the death of Ezeudu’s son. Okonkwo kills him accidentally when his gun explodes, because of this Okonkwo and his family is banished. He travels to his mother’s homeland of Mbanta, where they encounter the missionaries. The encounter with the missionaries is the first clash of culture in the book and of it Okonkwo says this, “Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the…show more content…
Narrator and Point of View - Things Fall Apart was told in third person omniscient point of view. I think that this was in part to widen the reading audience. If the book had been written in first point of view, then the book would be very hard for an English speaker to read. It was probably written in third person omniscient to show the events from the perspective of many people. The reason he would do that is because if just the narrow beliefs of any one of the characters were the only lens we saw the story through the impact would not be as great. One great example of using multiple lenses in Things Fall Apart is an excerpt from the end of the book, “He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger” (Achebe 209). In this instance the author portrays the story through the arrogant, ethnocentric, point of view of the white missionary. His point of view was very opposite of the rest of the book which gave the reader the experience of living with the culture and in the minds of it’s people to make a decision for yourself on the strengths and weaknesses of your culture. He’s trying to show you that the western middle class white point of view isn’t the only one. This contradiction at the end of the book is trying to make the reader think about how narrow minded the missionary’s view of their culture is and how it’s much more dynamic than just the bad things that stick out. The specific use of third
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