The Dangers Of Change in Things Fall Apart

analytical Essay
1794 words
1794 words

Turning and turning in the widening gyre.

The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things

fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy

is loosed upon the world

This is an excerpt from the Poem "The Second Coming", which is the basis for the novel "Things Fall Apart". This title is significant to the many themes that are explored throughout the story. I feel that the story is broken into three different themes in order to arrive at the main theme. The themes of tradition, social appearance and belonging, and fear and anger, are blended in such a way as to bring to light the main theme of the story. This idea is that though throughout life one can train themselves to think that they have absolute control over all things in their lives if they will it to be so, they really don't. The author shows the reality that through these ideas, we brainwash ourselves to believe that if we master these things and gain control over them, life as we know it will always be the same. The danger of thinking in this fashion is that in doing so you never prepare yourself for change, and if you are not prepared for change everything in your life can fall apart. The conflict among these issues shows that though we may have momentary control of ourselves and or family and even our culture, we do not have complete control over change, it is inevitable.

The story is set within the Ibo tribe of Umuofia, which is one of the nine villages that combine to make one large clan in Nigeria. These tribes are ones that hold courage, strength, tradition and customs extremely high. The theme of tradition is examined by

The Dangers 3

showing that they are a prideful people, who rely solely on the will of "their gods" to direct their paths in life, which in turn brings them great strength and prosperity. This is

evident through a dialogue that takes place in the text detailing what happens when a member of the tribe disobeys a law made by the gods, "You are not a stranger in Umuofia. You know as well as I do that our forefathers ordained that before we plant any crops in the earth we should observe a week in which a man does not say a harsh word to his neighbor.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the poem "the second coming" is the basis for the novel "things fall apart". the themes of tradition, social appearance and belonging, and fear and anger are blended to bring to light the main theme.
  • Analyzes how the story is set within the ibo tribe of umuofia, which is one of the nine villages that combine to make one large clan in nigeria.
  • Describes a true warrior who holds high levels of respect within his village.
  • Analyzes how establishes the conflicting relationship between strength and prestige vs. fear and anger.
  • Analyzes how intertwined the elements of social appearance, belonging, and fear and anger together to show how in the life of the main character one element cannot exist without the other.
  • Opines that the reader must look deep within concerning one's beliefs, fears and need for accomplishment, and how they place on the spectrum of change. all of these factors create great weakness and defeat, if we allow it.
  • Analyzes how the story is brought to life through the trials and tribulations of the main character, okonkwo.
  • Compares "the yellow wallpaper" where the protagonist and the antagonist are in a constant battle to hold on to everything that he believes is controllable.
  • Analyzes how chose colonialism and christianity as the vehicle for change because they were elements that swept african countries by storm without invitation. the coming of europeans and the west marked the beginning of the end for traditional african society.
  • Opines that the things we desperately try to control and hold on to begin to consume us because we have not prepared ourselves for change. instead, we fight an unsuccessful battle until we are overwhelmed and succumb.
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