Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

731 Words3 Pages
I believe it was the great and powerful Napoleon Bonaparte who once said, “In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit”. Bonaparte was not merely referring to the fact that the spirit of the people is stronger than the might of the sword, but he was also referring to the fact that there is no such thing as true oppression. It is this same misleading oppression that we can see happening in the modern day continent of Africa. The African people have lived through “the complexes of denigration and self-abasement” (Achebe). In Chinua Achebe’s book, Things Fall Apart, he tries to help his ‘society regain belief in itself and put away’ these complexities. For Achebe the African image still has hope, and it is through the deliverance of his novel that he successfully shows his people what a strong society can accomplish, and moreover he shows his people whose fault it was for leading them to the situation that they are currently in.
To begin, Chinua Achebe helps build up the self-confidence and spirit of his people by strongly emphasizing and reflecting on the accomplishments of the Igbo society. Achebe begins to describe the superiority and adornment of the Igbo people when he introduces us to the Protagonist of the novel Okonkwo. He describes his arrival to a neighboring village by saying that, “Okonkwo of Umofia arrived at Mbaino as the proud and imperious emissary of war, he arrived with honor and respect” (Achebe 12). Achebe chooses to describe Okonkwo in such a way so that to emphasize how strong the Igbo society once was. For Achebe, Okonkwo is a metaphor of the success of the Igbo people, the things in which the Igbo excel in are also seen in Okonkwo, in this case they were strong, disciplined, and most important ...

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...rned from his mistakes (Achebe 97). The “birds agreed that he was a changed man, and they each gave him a feather” (Achebe 97). Later on however the birds come to find that the Turtle was a person of deception and trickery, so the birds united with one another and took back what they gave him; in this case they each took back a feather. The above story is clear example of Achebe’s emphasis on who the enemy truly is. Achebe in this case tries to show his people that the true enemy is one of trickery and deception. Such an enemy in his case sneaks his way into the community of the people and steals from them little by little. In context the Turtle snuck his way into the bird’s community and stole from them their feathers and food. In short Achebe tries to show his people that in order to fight an enemy they must unite with one another and take back what was theirs.

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