Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

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The realistic fiction novel Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, depicts the life of Okonkwo, a descendant of Igbo heritage, during the imperialistic times in Africa. The story follows through the village of Umuofia, present-day Nigeria, and places significant ties between the historical background in this time period. During the story, the tribe is bombarded by the white man’s religion, and while Okonkwo is away in exile, their culture begin to fall apart. Torn by the woman-like behavior of his clan upon his return, Okonkwo can’t bear the idea of living with such change, and hangs himself. Like Okonkwo, John in Brave New World also takes his own life because of the changed society. Many of the same factors in Brave New World and Things Fall Apart led to John and Okonkwo’s downfall.
From Okonkwo’s father, he had learned one thing: not to be anything like him. Unoka, his father, was a man of many debts and was far too lazy to have ambition to one day pay them back. As soon as Okonkwo was of age, he moved away and created a title for himself. He became a great warrior of Umuofia, and gained a seat with the elders. “Okonkwo’s prosperity was visible in his household. He had a large compound… Each of his three wives had her own hut… and long stacks of yam stood out prosperously in it” (Achebe 14). Okonkwo was a man of great fortune, and he stood very proud of this. After returning from his banishment of several years, Okonkwo believed his people would have been thrilled and had a large feast prepared, but they took little notice, as their tribe had been burdened with the white men. Many converted over to Christianity, and one day a convert killed an egwugwu of Umuofia. An egwugwu was seen as an ancestral spirit represented through a ...


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... great power overtook the society and cast a new mindset. For Okonkwo, it was white man’s Christianity. For John, it was World State’s soma. Either way, it enacted change in their people. When no one else seemed to care, both men couldn’t find themselves in the new reality, and simply left. Even in two completely different settings, the same kind of scenario was presented, and the same outcome occurred.
Although, today we live in a civilization embracing any advances for a more modern future, it can be a downfall to the people. Like soma and religion, technology has overcome the average person. We don’t go a day without an interference of fancy screens or social media. Hypnotized by the ideas of Twitter or Instagram, we could eventually allow something greater than us overcome our modern society. It’s important to allow change, but we must be cautious of the effects.

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