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Summary
Achebe Chinua, in his book ‘Things Fall Apart’, narrates the anecdote of Okonkwo who is considered as a respectable leader among the Igbo people of the Umoufia tribe. The book is an excellent interpretation of pride and ego displayed in the personality of an individual, so…
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Download file to see previous pages... The writer narrates how Okonkwo has always tried to be unlike his coward father. He gained fame as a talented wrestler and a diligent farmer. He adopts a boy, who gets killed according to the decision of the tribe. Okonkwo participates in the murder no matter how much he was attached to the boy. After he kills a boy accidently at a later point, he is exiled to another land. The Umoufia tribe gets invaded. When Okonkwo comes back, he struggles against the invasion, and finally hangs himself when he sees that his tribe is not going to be with him in the struggle for independence. The tone of this tragic story is very straightforward, without much exaggeration. Achebe leaves upon readers, many a times, to decide whether they feel emotionally attached to the characters, especially the protagonist- Okonkwo. However, Achebe shows his sympathy toward the end of the novel when he describes the brutalities the Igbo people had to suffer at the hands of the white missionaries.
Ego and fear of falling apart is the main theme of this novel. The protagonist, Okonkwo, is a depiction of such a personality whose ego is so high that he cannot see himself falling down or feeling inferior. He hates feeling weak no matter how many sacrifices he has to make. This ego and pride makes him make many poor decisions. He is worried about losing his identity. He allows his fear to control his decisions and actions. This fear makes him beat his wife, abuse his son, and kill his adoptive son. “But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness. It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of nature, malevolent, red in tooth and claw,” writes Achebe (12). Gender roles make up another important theme in the novel. The lives of Igbo people involve traditional gender roles. Women are considered as the weaker gender, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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