Turning And Turning Into The Widening Gyre Essay

Turning And Turning Into The Widening Gyre Essay

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Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

How does the epigraph by W.B. Yeats (at the beginning of the book) relate to the novel?

The epigraph by W.B. Yeats relates to the novel because it alludes to the coming colonization of Umuofia and as such the imminent undoing of Umuofia 's traditional African customs. For those involved, the world familiar to them will fall apart and anarchy will ensue.


Why does Achebe spend considerable time on showing life in Umuofia before the arrival of the colonizers?

I believe that the author, Chinua Achebe spends a considerable amount of time showing life in Umuofia before the arrival of the colonizers to showcase the lifestyle of the natives prior to the changes that are likely to occur once the colonists arrive. The ancient customs and traditions of Umuofia are certain to be looked down upon by the colonizers and having the reader spend the first thirteen chapters of the novel exploring these customs and traditions would serve to emphasize how drastic the differences between the two cultures are, further allowing the reader to understand the clashes and difficulties that the natives will have to face.


What kind of character is Okonkwo?

Okonkwo is described as a strong man and an ideal figure in his clan’s society - as a young man, he had nothing, but through determination, hard work and perseverance he turned his fortunes around and became a wealthy individual in possession of land, a high societal rank and the acknowledgment through respect and fear of his village and family. Okonkwo however, demonstrates insecurities that drive his entire being - all of the successes an...


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...of emotion caused them to fear him which inhibited him from displaying his love for them and instead, only allowed him to manifest his feelings in the worst ways possible. I found this character to be very interesting - he was a good man, but the way he went around in his daily life only hindered his connections with others and possibly his own well-being. In a sense, Okonkwo was a victim of the societal pressures of his clan and the image of what he thought a man a should be. Today in the real world, we still see signs of these behaviors in which men are conformed to certain roles and a man deviating from these roles or demonstrating certain emotions are frowned upon. Of course, in the present-day this is far more tolerable than the setting of “Things Fall Apart”, but I still don’t believe that it is as widely accepted or focused on as a societal issue as it should.

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