The Problems Facing the Ibo People in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

The Problems Facing the Ibo People in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

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Things fall apart is a story about a man’s life before and during the European invasion and colonization of Africa. Okonkwo, the main character and protagonist of the story, is a highly respected warrior and wealthy leader of the Umuofia clan. His victories and military prowess will forever bring great honor to the village that he lives in. Throughout the story, however, Onkonkwo and his fellow leaders of the village will face problems that could potentially put their tribe into great danger.
Okonkwo’s father was a lazy man who basically shaped the future of Okonkwo’s life. Because of the life Onkonkwo’s father lived, he fears weakness and laziness and, in turn, becomes the exact opposite of his father. He becomes “manly,” therefore dominating and controlling his children and wives. Over the years, Okonkwo becomes a violent man. He harshly beats and shoots his second wife Ekwefi because she mishandled food for an important feast. He also punishes his youngest wife Ojiugo during the week of peace because she forgot to prepare an evening meal, which upsets his community. Ogbuefi Ezeuder, the eldest man in the village, receives a message from the Oracle that his son Ikemefuna needs to be sacrificed to Gods after the killing of a young girl somewhere among the tribe and that Okonkwo shall not be a part of it. Instead of listening to the clansmen, Okonkwo partakes in Ikemefuna’s sacrifice to show that he is “manly,” which upsets the people of his clan.
During this time in the book, Okonkwo goes through a great amount of trouble. His daughter, Ezinma, who he is very fond of, is dying. Chielo, the priestess of the clan, sends a message from the Oracle of the Hills and Caves to Ekwefi that she must see her daughter Ezinma right away. B...


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... the people of the clan. People start to rebel against the missionaries and burn down the church. This upsets the District Commissioner. He gathers the leaders of Umuofia and throws them in jail. After they are released, the clan leaders organize a clan meeting. During the clan meeting, however, five messengers of the court approach them and demand that they discontinue the meeting. Okonkwo becomes filled with rage and kills their leader.
When Okonkwo realizes that the other clan members let the rest of the messengers escape, he learns that his clan does not want to go to war with the white men and will soon surrender to them. Everything falls apart in Umuofia. Eventually, all of the existing villages of the Ibo tribe including Okonkwo and the leaders of Umuofia surrender to the white men, letting them completely change the way of life for the people of Nigeria.

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