Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

analytical Essay
1066 words
1066 words

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.
Achebe introduces the reader to the intricate culture of the Igbo people from the earliest chapters in the book. He describes rituals, laws, and religion of these people with great attention to detail allowing the reader to further understand and identify with the Igbo people on a personal level. An example of this is the tradition of kola nut and how it is shared when welcoming someone into a home. Achebe writes, “Unoka accepted the honor of breaking the kola. Okoye, meanwhile took the lump of chalk, drew some lines on the floor, and then painted his big toe” (Achebe, 1994, pg. 6). This is a great depiction of a common welcoming custom used by the Igbo people. Achebe continues this introduction in chapters two and three where he introduces the reader to the religious beliefs of the Igbo people and their earth goddess along with their laws when a wife is murdered in a neighboring village (Achebe, 1994). Raised in the steep traditions of his native Nigerian people, Achebe’s personal insight and familial history allows him to provide details in a manner that allow the reader to have an intimate understanding of the inner workings in the Igbo culture. This insight has the personal touch of Achebe’s familial history showing his personal ability to identify with the ways of the Igbo people allowing the reader to feel a bond with the Igbo people (University of North Carolina, 2014).
Achebe uses foreshadow...

... middle of paper ...

... man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceable with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart” (Achebe, 1994, pg. 100).

Works Cited

Achebe, C. (2012). How things fell apart. Retrieved from Achebe, C. (1994). Things fall apart. New York: Random House, Inc.
Scafe, S. (2002). Wherever something stands, something else will stand beside it: ambivalence in
Achebe’s things fall apart and arrow of god. Changing English: Studies in Reading &
Culture. 9(2). 119-131.
University of North Carolina. (2014). Chinua achebe’s biography and style. Retrieved from

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how achebe's book, "things fall apart", depicts the life of a nigerian man named okowkwo. the plight of his indigenous igbo people is the main theme.
  • Analyzes how achebe introduces the reader to the intricate culture of the igbo people from the earliest chapters in the book.
  • Analyzes how achebe uses foreshadowing to illustrate the problems that the igbo people will have leading to the cultural breakdown of their people.
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