Diverse from other African authors of his time, Chinua Achebe, the “father of African Literature”, reconstructions the stigma surrounding traditional African tribes through his ground-breaking novel Things Fall Apart. Set in southern eastern Nigeria, the novel depicts village life through the eyes of Igbo clan members prior to colonization. This fresh take on perspective allows readers to view and examine the variety of individuals that mold Igbo life through the story of a village leader, Okonkwo. Contrasting other authors of his time, Achebe takes great measures to illustrate the varied substantial roles of not only men, but women in his novel Things Fall Apart. The contributions accompanied by pivotal roles in Igbo society are displayed
Throughout history we have learned that different societies are accompanied by different customs. Amongst these customs are the rules, morality, ethnic norms and others that make a society unique.Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a novel that describes a Nigerian community Ibo, that has its own set or rules, norms and traditions. In this novel we are exposed to a community that goes through struggles between change and tradition when Christianity is introduced to the society through British colonization. The novel remains ambivalent about the courses of action that officials and missionaries used to enact Christianity in the Ibo culture.
According to David Whittaker, Achebe’s work “proved to be an immensely influential work for African writers, becoming the progenitor of a whole movement of fiction, drama, and poetry, which focused on the revaluation of Africa’s history and cultures, and on representations of the culture conflicts that has their genesis in the colonial era.” This novel became a pivotal point of realization not only for Africa, but also for the world. All at once the world, afraid of what change may bring, pushed the same question to the back their mind: “What if we have it all wrong?” Suddenly, the culture of Africa was influencing the culture of America, Asia, Europe, Australia, etc. Achebe’s novel was a catalyst in the process of nationalist renewal and decolonization of African culture as a whole (Whittaker). A principle in this novel’s thematic course is the inter-generation conflict faced by not only the village as a whole, but also, on a microscopic level, in Okonkwo’s household. As the culture in Umuofia begins to shift, the predecessors of the current generation heavily rely on the cultural norms initiated by their father’s fathers. While tradition should be honored in a society, it should also be modified; this concept is not fully grasped by the older generations of
In Achebe’s book, “Things Fall Apart”, the life of a Nigerian man named Okowkwo is depicted. At first look, it may seem that Okowkwo’s story is the main theme of the book, but upon further examination it is easy to see that the plight of his indigenous Igbo people are the main theme representing what really fell apart.
Things Fall Apart, a novel based on the cultures and the traditions of the Igbos depict a very strong sense of struggle between change and tradition. This story is somewhat an archetype of To Kill a Mocking Bird. Not just centered on sociopolitical views but also cultural and traditional beliefs, Achebe specifically defines each speck of this Eastern Nigerian culture, from the breaking of the “kola –a caffeine-containing nut of evergreen trees to the unmasking of the egwuegwu and spiritual sacrifices to the gods and ancestors. Kola, a very essential part of the Igbo culture is represented in so many ways; it signifies peace, blessing, wealth, abundance, and respect most especially. In this society, the contest for wealth, titles and success was very important, it was a great legacy to be left by any man. Okonkwo being the strongest and most powerful man in the village had more than set a standard in that village by conquering the greatest warrior of all time. He had a symbiotic relationship with his community, as much has he benefited from the community’s societal and cultural values, so did they benefit from his strength and will power to succeed.
Post colonialism deals with cultural identity in colonized societies and the ways in which writers articulate that identity. Things Fall Apart is a good novel that serves as a reminder of what Nigeria once was. It shows how a society can deal with change, how change affects the individuals of that society, and how delicate a change can be; so much so that the people themselves are surprised at the change.
The white man considered Africans to be primitive savages. They were seen as inferior, second-class citizens. Chinua Achebe was an African novelist who sought to give the African people a voice. Achebe gave a prospective of African culture that had been missing from the literature. The white man primarily composed works of literature, therefore there was a skewed representation of African culture. Achebe conveyed a greater understanding of African culture through his first novel Things Fall Apart. This analysis will examine Okonkwo’s power and lack of freedom through his wealth, property, and actions.
Well-acclaimed author, Chinua Achebe from Wes Africa, is recognized worldwide for his exquisite and intelligent usage of literary devices to bring to the limelight pertinent issues facing the African continent, more specifically Nigeria. He introduces the world to his main character Obi Okonkwo whom; through his eyes, a glimpse is given into the world of a Nigerian .In Things Fall Apart, his first of three novels, Okonkwo, upon his arrival from England is completely detached from his African heritage. From the novel, it is noticed that Obi Okonkwo slowly becomes a part of a dominant class whose corruption he finds repugnant. In an effort to choose between the acceptance of traditional values and the pleasures of a fast changing world, Obi finds himself in a tight fix .He is faced with growing pressures from the expectations of his family, his community, and the larger society around him. With unprecedented lucidity and a growing passion, Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease remains till date a brilliant account of the challenges facing Nigeria today. This paper seeks to examine the representation of the colonial experiences of Obi Okonkwo in the fiction of Chinua Achebe.
According to Webster’s dictionary, a tragic hero is a protagonist that is otherwise perfect except for flaws that are intrinsic to his or her character, which often leads to his or her demise. In Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo, the protagonist was unlike tragic heroes such as Oedipus, Iago and Beowulf, because he was not born into nobility, but had to rise to fame and earn respect through his exceptional stamina, hard work and his historic unrivaled success at defeating the famous Amalinze the Cat. Like Beowulf and Oedipus, Okonkwo shares traits that are characteristic of a tragic hero. These traits exposed his mortal fear of failure, his fear of weakness and his fear of becoming like his father who was lazy and poor. Okonkwo also possesses an unwavering pride and an irrepressible anger. Fear, pride and anger are some of the traits of a tragic hero that were inherent in Okonkwo, and this paper will seek to explore how these traits contributed to his downfall Okonkwo’s connection of manliness with rage, ferocity and recklessness eventually leads to his downfall. Okonkwo finds it difficult to accept the changes the Missionaries have brought to Umuofia. The missionaries changed the way the people of Umuofia think, leading to an irreversible division among the people.
In Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, the Ibo culture revolves around structured gender roles, from the crops that the men and women grow, to the characterization of crimes,which creates tension between the sexes and will ultimately lead to detrimental consequences. Things Fall Apart represents the hardships and struggles between females and males. For example, Ekwefi, the wife of Okonkwo, she is often beat for the things she has genuinely forgotten about . Also, we have Enzima, Okonkwo's favorite daughter, but since she is a female, she must be treated like a women. Although females are considered the weaker gender, they possess many qualities that make them worthy, such as bearing children. Achebe explained the importance of both genders and how they contribute to the society.