Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.
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Nthepa Segage reviewed on 22 Jul 2016
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Things Fall Apart is a portrayal of the clashes between the Igbo people and Nigeria’s white colonial government. Chinua Achebe did a fine work in showing a clear picture of Africans, different from what we read most of the time as a colonial account of Africans. At the end of the novel it says that the District Commissioner plans to write a book where he would write a paragraph on Okonkwo and he says how “one must be firm in cutting out details”. This shows the different perspective or account of stories before and during colonial times and writers like Chinua Achebe do justice in revealing details fairly by representing both Africanism traditions and history, and colonialism in a clearer and balanced light. Things Fall Apart shows a struggle between change and tradition. It is still something that many individuals face, whether one should abandon traditional values and practices in the name of change. Some of the village members are excited about the opportunities that come with converting to Christianity and so they abandon their traditional beliefs and practices. The story also shows us the perceived idea of manhood through Okonkwo’s character in how he thinks rashness and anger equate to bravery, strength and manliness. The story is a true window through which we get to learn about the difficulties of abandoning ideals and beliefs and adopting new ones, about culture, traditions and language as important parts of identities and how history has been shaped.