“As human beings we do change, grow, adapt, perhaps even learn and become wiser” (Wendy Carlos). Although true, this statement isn’t ubiquitous. Some cannot change and unfortunately there are repercussions. In “Things Fall Apart,” by Chinua Achebe, this is the case. The story discusses the lgbo community of Umuofia in Nigeria. The story concentrates on a respected member, Okonkwo, as he deals with making a name for himself in his community and ultimately dealing with the perceived threat of white men looking to spread their religion. The focus is on Okonkwo’s internal struggle with how he perceives the environment around him and whether he can change as a result. Through close examination of Okonkwo, particularly his internal fears, actions, and mindset, one can see that he has not made any progress in coming to terms with himself and his surroundings until it is too late. Okonkwo’s inability to change and him being at odds with his community represent how he has not made progress in understanding what is happening around him. Okonkwo’s hamartia is his reluctance to change. He believes that violence will solve the problem with the white men. This leads him to behead one of the court messengers. “Okonkwo’s machete descended twice and the man’s head lay beside his uniformed body... [Okonkwo] knew that Umuofia would not go to war. He knew because they had let the other messengers escape. They had broken into tumult instead of action. He discerned fright in that tumult. He
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Okonkwo soon learns about this and confronts his son, Nwoye about his secret meetings, Okonkwo soon becomes enraged and disowns his son after hearing about his experience not before abusing him of course. This action causes an effect which ultimately leads to Okonkwo’s downfall. Okonkwo enraged by the spread of Christianity within his own village self-proclaims war on the “white man”. Okonkwo eventually was detained as a result of his actions towards the “white man”. After he was released from detainment Okonkwo killed a courier and began to truly understand he was a rebel without a cause as his fellow Tribesmen would not help him with his internal struggle. Okonkwo knowing, he would be caught and executed for his crimes, instead decided to ultimately end his own life by hanging himself. Okonkwo’s major downfall in the story was his inability to co-exist with the white man and began his own personal vendetta against the Christian missionaries. Throughout the story the main essential theme Achebe tried to relay to us would be the fact that even though individuals may be of different religions, skin color, and have different personalities there is a realization that
Post colonialism deals with cultural identity in colonized societies and the ways in which writers articulate that identity. Things Fall Apart is a good novel that serves as a reminder of what Nigeria once was. It shows how a society can deal with change, how change affects the individuals of that society, and how delicate a change can be; so much so that the people themselves are surprised at the change.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a story about personal beliefs and customs, and also a story about conflict. There is struggle between family, culture, and the religion of the Ibo, which is all brought on by a difference in personal beliefs and customs of the Igbo and the British. There are also strong opinions of the main character, Okonkwo. We are then introduced to the views of his village, Umuofia. We see how things fall apart when these beliefs and customs are confronted by those of the white missionaries.
“He had a large barn full of yams and he had three wives. And now he was going to take the Idemili title, the third highest in the land” (12). Okonkwo was a successful man in his culture and lands far beyond Umuofia. He was prideful of what he had accomplished from a very young age, his culture meant everything to him as he had made his way to the top. He had everything he ever needed, the honor, he was a warrior, and he had made it to the top from absolutely nothing that his own father did for him. Sadly, towards the end of the book, Okonkwo had broken clan rules on purpose and killed himself. “Then they came to the tree from which Okonkwo’s body was dangling, and they stopped dead.” (Achebe 207). In this quote, it explains that Okonkwo had hung himself on the tree killing himself even though it went against everything he believed in; bravery, customs, and masculinity. Okonkwo’s personal pride was his response to the cultural collision because he was to stubborn to change his culture. He had shown resistance but also went against the clan rules. Okonkwo’s response to the colonizers shapes the meaning of the work as a whole by his suicide signifying things falling apart since it was the first time he purposely had broken the clan law. This shows that he had been struggling with any type of change in the book and finally he couldn’t adapt to any change. He was a
Who are you? Have you ever wondered where you get your identity; what exactly defines you as a person? The obstacles in our lives shape us people, Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart illustrates the circumstances one man and his son face in an Ibo village in Nigeria. Okonkwo, the protagonist/antagonist has a tragic flaw, the fear of weakness which ultimately causes him to expect more from his son, Nwoye who never falls short in disappointing him. The relationship between the two is not the most desired seeing that they both do not show the affection most father-son relationships do. Traditionally, most sons follow their father's footsteps, however, this is not the case for both
However, when Okonkwo retaliate back against society, there are dire consequences. In his first act of defiance, Okonkwo strikes down his adopted son, Ikemefuna, killing him. Even though the elders instruct him not to do so, or even partake in the killing, Okonkwo meets the consequences of his action with extreme guilt and depression. While this lasts for weeks, Okonkwo’s next act of defiance causes much more severe consequences. He is sent into exile, turning him into what the opposite of what he wished to become, a disgrace like Unoka. His goals of not being his father goes to ruins as he further caters for his personal needs. However, even when returning back to the society from which he was exiled, his personal emotions still get in the way. When angered at “the white man’s power”, Okonkwo “drew his machete…Okonkwo’s machete descended
The excerpt taken from Chinua Achebe’s Things fall apart comes from the end of the book, where the commissioner finds Okonkwo’s body dangling from a tree. This passage serves as closure for the novel, as the traditions of the past die along with Okonkwo. Achebe uses this specific scene in the novel to express both his views on the inevitable death of Igbo culture in the lower Niger (specifically Umuofia), as well as his perception of the portrayal of its people in western literature. In addition, Achebe continues to use this scene to drive the idea of cultural difference between both the inhabitants of Umuofia, and the missionaries that inhabited the land.
What effects can fear have on a person? And how can these effects influence that person? Fear is defined in the Oxford dictionary as ‘an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm’. The tragic novel “Things Fall Apart”, written by the renowned Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe, is an incredibly influential text. The novel is also an example of how fear can be utilised as an approach to characterisation. Achebe composed his novel in a manner, which portrays a complex and dynamic community to represent Nigerian cultures to a western audience. Achebe was able to attain this through the Ibo communities and the main character Okonkwo. In the beginning of the novel, Okonkwo is represented as a man of pride, success, and hard
All throughout history and even still today, inequality has been a huge problem for our society. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe conveys the idea of gender roles as wrong and extreme. Men and women have been driven to act differently and expected to be a certain way; affecting the society as a whole. Things Fall Apart unveils a theme of do not take anything for granted because one day it could all be gone. Women are treated differently because for as long as time has been recorded men have been superior.
Umuofia is a village in Africa, and the inhabitants there are usually united. However, when the Christians arrive and permeate the village, the clan changes but also falls apart. The novel in which this story takes place is called Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The story is about a well-respected man named Okonkwo who has three wives and many children, the oldest being Nwoye. Okonkwo is banished for seven years from Umuofia, and during those seven years, Umuofia is changed fundamentally by the Christian faith. Many people are converted, but the whole clan is in conflict. This novel demonstrates that Christianity destroys but also guides the Ibo culture in Umuofia.
The description given early in the novel clearly establishes his character as being a strong and wealthy man who is well respected among the rest of the tribe due to his superior fighting abilities and his influential personality. Having achieved such elite status within the Umuofia clan, Okonkwo appears to be old-fashioned as it is seen in his approach in raising his family and tribal people. However, Okonkwo’s character changes incrementally with the emergence of a boy, Ikemefuna, from a neighboring village, who was brought to him because of his brutal attack against his wife Ojiugo during the ‘week of peace’. Amongst the Umuofia clan, the ‘week of peace’ is a tribal ritual whose conditions are not to complete any evil sins in a certain week span. After having accepted Ikemefuna into the family, Okonkwo experiences a shift in his mental state. Shortly hereafter, he questions this change, which demonstrates his lack of willingness to change which is clearly demonstrated in the book in several different ways like in chapter Eight, Okonkwo proclaims to himself, “When did you become a shivering old woman, you, who are known in all nine villages for your valour in war” (Achebe 56). This represents that his character has become a weaker, less influential individual amongst the nine tribes where he is well known. Symbolically, this depicts a fragile reputation in Okonkwo’s status within the community to which he belongs.
The North and South Americas were colonized by the Europeans in the fifteenth century, while Africa and Asia became imperialized in the eighteenth century. Colonization is taking full control of each region, establishing a code of behavior for the colonized. With colonization, there is a belief of the Europeans that the native peoples of the land are capable to govern themselves, or profit from any resources, therefore, occupation of Africa began the Europeans are governing for them. Berlin Conference started by Bismarck to divide Africa. The Europeans divided Africa into fifty irregular countries, causing cultural problems between each country. Asians and African were not invited due to that the Europeans felt like they are not needed. The African countries were divided up by the Europeans and almost fully controlled by them. Europeans needed resources from the Africans states. Most of the African and Caribbean colonies served as plantation settlements, growing crops, which contained resources of economic value in the trade market. The setting of Chinua Achebe’s terrific novel takes place in the nineteenth century Nigeria. That being said, the main character, Okonkwo, experiences the dramatic cultural changes of the Igbo’s cultural identity from the precolonial as well as post- colonial era as a result from European colonization. Some, like Okonkwo, furiously rejected to adhere to the new code of behavior of westernizing the Igbo tribe he used to traditionally rule himself.
Change impacts everyday life, to the big picture in people's lives. People have dealt with change for ages. It is a challenge that people must face at some time in our lives. In Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart, he shows the effects of change on a civilization of people and their ways of dealing with it. It shows the story of the Igbo people and their story of change from colonization. From the arrival of Christian missionaries, things began to change for these people, they had to learn to deal with a new culture, turbulent results followed. Achebe portrays a positive change through constructive institutions and a peaceful religion, however with negative tradeoffs such as racist hierarchical problems.
The book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, is a story of a demise of a great man by the name of Okonkwo and the Ibo culture in Africa due to a cultural misunderstanding and intolerance of the clanspeople all the while leaving snippets of wisdom and lessons for readers to interpret and live by throughout the book. “Among the Ibo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.” (7) In other words proverbs and the lessons the Ibo teach or speak enhance their understanding of words their meaning in everyday life. Storytelling also has a great place in the culture among mother and child and in their culture just as conversation. Throughout the book many valuable lesson are taught and to be lived by but a reader should ultimately take away from the proverbs, to be respectful of all people, if you really want something you’ll find a way to get it and to not allow a stranger to change your ways.