Set in Africa in the 1890s, Chinua Achebe's ‘Things Fall Apart’ is about the tragedy of Okonkwo during the time Christian missionaries arrived and polluted the culture and traditions of many African tribes. Okonkwo is a self-made man who values culture, tradition, and, above all else, masculinity. Okonkwo’s attachment to the Igbo culture and tradition, and his own extreme emphasis on manliness, is the cause of his fall from grace and eventual 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...
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.
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. It will be established how various characters demonstrated by the author throughout the novel exemplify how change in one’s attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs can alter the environment in which one lives addressed by William James’s quote above. First, by analyzing Achebe’s development of Okonkwo’s character through his initial character description and the emergence of outsiders, it is evident that he is portrayed as an old fashioned character that is less responsive to change. Secondly, through examining Nwoye’s character, Okonkwo’s son, it becomes apparent that the youth in the novel are more open-minded, easily persuadable and more adaptive to societal changes. Lastly, uncovering the meaning behind the arrival of European missionaries, it becomes apparent that Achebe defines this group as being a “disease”, poisoning the society in which Okonkwo lives. The author look’s at individuals as being critical and influential figures in shaping the environment to which they belong, beginning with Okonkwo.
Culture collisions are in our everyday lives here in America in our own little towns. We might not notice our culture changing because it is a part of our everyday lives. Culture collisions cause some people to triumph and some people to fail. In the novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the Ibo tribe did not see these culture clashes everyday until the “white men” showed up and influenced the Ibo to change their ways. Achebe shows how many of the characters react to this culture shock. Obierika is one of the main characters that shows his sense of identity through this culture collision.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is an African novel which happened in 19th Century. Achebe narrates the story mainly about Okonkwo’s whole life in one of the nine villages called Umuofia in Nigeria and the clashes as well as influences to the village from colonization of Europeans. The clashes include reactions and misconception after the first arrival of white people and the effect which missionaries bring about to the village from many aspects such as belief, family and culture. Beyond that, there are large amount of description of the background and details of the villagers’ daily lives are provided to readers for acquainting with Ibo culture. As a consequence, the changes which white people bring about to the village are vivid and unimaginable compared with their previous peaceful life. The conflicts generate from violence and misunderstanding between the Europeans and villagers with addition of colonial process among villages which lead to replacement of Christian domination rather than the Ibo culture.
The culture perceived in Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, is specific to a Nigerian tribe in connection with nine villages. The main character in this novel is Okonkwo. To begin to recognize who Okonkwo is, Achebe first describes Okonkwo’s father, Unoka. Pertaining to culture, Unoka was different than many in his. He was poor, and borrowed amounts of money from others, often without repaying. He also was fearful of even the sight of blood, so becoming a warrior was not in the cards for him, as well as being perceived as a strong man in his village. Because of Unoka’s weak and lazy way of life, Okonkwo grew up ashamed of how his father lived, forcing him to develop opposite traits and goals for his own life. He has three wives and several children. Although Okonkwo grows up much stronger and angrier than his father, there are times that threads of Unoka’s characteristics show through.
Things Fall Apart is an English novel by the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe which was published in 1957. Throughout the book the role of customs and traditions is very important and decides the fate of men, women, and children. Some of the customs practiced in this culture would certainly be frowned upon in the West yet are perfectly acceptable. It talks of the Ibo society. The protagonist of the novel is Okonkwo. He is a respected and influential leader within the Igbo community of Umuofia in eastern Nigeria. He first earns personal fame and distinction, and brings honor to his village, when he defeats Amalinze the Cat in a wrestling contest. The first part of the book deals with the proof of tribal life in Africa and the rise in power and authority of Okonkwo. The author highlights his strengths as well as his obsession with success. Okonkwo does not show any love in dealing with his three wives and children. This part reveals that Okonkwo actions are often irrational and imprudent, which will be the cause of his eventual fall. We learn about the traditions, superstitions and religious faiths of the villagers.
He transferred his fears into the context of Umuofia and the traits that society valued, but what was really the driving force in his decisions “was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father” (17). The values of Umuofia resembled the polar opposite of what Unoka was and Okonkwo twisted his motivations around in his mind and presented them to himself and the community as derived from Umuofia’s traditions. From this delusion, Okonkwo established his ultimate goal of becoming a revered member of the village, possessing many titles, and achieving anything necessary displaying his prominence in the
When I read Things Fall Apart, I had a clear mind of what a life could be like Okonkwo’s. For the rest of the reading, a question was contacting me in different places of the novel. Okonkwo was an angry man in front of his Nigerian tribe and changed when Christian missionaries came to the Ibo village; also, I responded to the book, and my personal applications to a different culture were related to a missionary trip that was a powerful one back in 1956 in Ecuador.