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Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
There are many novels in this world that seek to capture history, emotion, or simply a piece of the human experience. Within the novel entitled Things Fall Apart, author Chinua Achebe is able to succeed at presenting all three of these aspects which is perhaps one of the reasons why this book has achieved such acclaim and global success…
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Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
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Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe

Download file to see previous pages... In reviewing Things Fall Apart, it is important to focus on Achebe’s background, purpose, points, views, and overall goals with this particular piece. The background of this book is important to note in order to understand the plot and its Achebe’s overall points and purpose. Historically, this novel is set in the late 19th century. This is important to note in terms of how the characters live and their relationships with other race, particularly the tensions between whites and blacks. According to an article entitle “Things Fall Apart” on Western Michigan University’s website, Chinua Achebe wrote this book in 1961 which was right in the middle of a lot of turmoil for the United States in terms of the Civil Rights Movement(“Things Fall Apart”). Although the novel does not directly relate to the Civil Rights Movement, it is an important book as the main characters are black which placed a minority at the forefront when they had often been neglected in literature before this. Achebe likely wanted to share the African culture, which is often misunderstood, while presenting real, complex, and three-dimensional black characters which were lacking during this time period. The evidence that Achebe utilizes in order to support his purpose/point is with characters and setting. The setting is particularly important as it really paints a picture of the African landscape: “He loved this season of the year, when the rains stopped and the sun rose ever morning with dazzling beauty”(Achebe). This is important in establishing that Africa, and specifically Nigeria, is a place full of rich beauty and culture. Additionally, the main character of Okonkwo who is full of flaws and strengths adds to the complexity. Okonkwo is a person of esteem within his village as he is a warrior and somewhat wealthy (Achebe). The story follows him as he struggles to overcome his father’s bad reputation. Things become more complicate when he is charged with watching over a prisoner named Ikemefuna who he eventually kills. After being sent into exile for the killing, he returns to find that his village has been changed by Caucasian Christian missionaries (Achebe). Okonkwo and other men within the village are very upset about this and burn down one of the churches. Okonkwo kills a court messenger and ends up committing suicide which is considered to be a major sin in his village and he become something of an untouchable just like his father was (Achebe). The themes within a novel are helpful in determining what the author’s purpose was and there are several different themes within this piece. Perhaps one of the biggest themes is the transition from old traditions and ways to new ones. This is especially seen in the changes the village experiences as a result of coming into contact with Christian missionaries. Before this contact, the villagers had a certain way of doing things, but after converting to the new religion, their habits and traditions were forced to change. Okonkwo experiences this when he burns down the Christian church and sees that he does not have much support in going after the white men who have caused this change. This is an important theme as it plays into Achebe’s purpose of illustrating the changes that the world was experiencing at that particular moment in time in the 1960’s and connecting this turmoil to the changes experienced by a small African society nearly 70 or 80 years prior. It would appear that Achebe was trying to show that no matter what time period a person is in, no matter what the color of their skin is, and no matter where the person lives, humans face the same basic struggles. This ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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