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Things Fall Apart - Essay Example

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The protagonist Okonkwo, despite his fury and apprehensions, completely values the Igbo way of life by which the Umuofia tribe had to stand for. That way of life embodies bravery,…
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Things Fall Apart
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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart tells about the Igbo Land in the eastern part
of Nigeria, in the turn of the twentieth century. This novel visualizes the life of the Igbo
people in Umuofia, its culture, values, beliefs and social structures. Moreover, it gives its
readers a better understanding of the diversities and predicaments between the Igbo
instituted practice and the European traditions. Achebe’s novel does not only dramatize
the whole Igbo civilization. Rather it tells of the Okonkwo’s misfortune. Okonkwo is an
Igbo hero who fights to uphold the cultural dignity of his community in opposition to the
overpowering influence of the colonizers.
Okonkwo stubbornly resists change that he cannot even accept it in others.
Strangely enough, Okonkwo frequently defies the customs of the Igbo natives through
his personal morale of aggression. Consequently, despite the fact that he manages to
reach supremacy in his society, he becomes alienated from that society. The same
values that gave him a heroic status also led to his downfall.
In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is portrayed as a perfect Igboman and principally
concerned with the obsession of authority and its impacts among the Igbo tribe. This
novel is a native representation and condemnation of the culture and institutions of a
disparaged people with emphasis on both their strong points and flaws, and
devoid of any trace of regret or shame. Achebe attains this by constructing a dispute
and convincing impression in the lives and vocations of several significant individuals
and the rise and fall of units of society, such as, the family, government, morale,
bylaws, and international relations.

Things Fall Apart challenges the relationship of Igbo and European ethnicities and values. The protagonist Okonkwo, despite his fury and apprehensions, completely values the Igbo way of life by which the Umuofia tribe had to stand for. That way of life embodies bravery, prudence, control, impartiality and compassion. However, Igbo culture does not lack in human mistakes, vulgarity, disasters, sanctions, and severity. That sense of balance between good and bad, assures an agreement with the laws and punishment for those who risk into impunity that breaks time-respected standards. It is through this maze that Achebe directs his readers, using the Igbo viewpoint, traditions, and lingo to emphasize a harmony of common human values even to those who criticize African cultures of their prejudiced and untold beliefs (Obaze & Momah).
Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is perceptive and very opinionated. Achebe has to be credited for his mysterious capacity of writing a novel that not only deals with history, but with the present and future, foreseeing things to emerge. The novel is educational and conventional as well as biased, sociological, and historical. While its argument is the poisonous collision of Umuofian religion with the introduced foreign government of the colonizers, it also validates that at the same time as African culture, and literature may have been manipulated by European culture, similarly, European culture has also gained from African cultures (Obaze & Momah).
Captivating as it is, the novel’s title of Things Fall Apart is confusing, for the reason that Umuofia does not really fall apart. It does not stand with Okonkwo and oppose change with hostilities, but fittingly adjusts for survival. Umuofia people or Igbo tribe are constantly searching the common sense of what they do and why, measuring up to the neighboring communities, and history. In Things Fall Apart, the only thing that falls apart is Okonkwos life, because of his stubbornness to adapt. The Umuofia people adapts and changes with the world, unlike Okonkwo who prefers to stay behind and perish.

Works Cited
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Ballantine Books, 1959.
Obaze, Oseloka and Chike Momah. “Chinua Achebe and Things Fall Apart –
Fifty Years Later.” Kwenu Culture. 3 December 2009.
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