Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essay

2071 WordsDec 21, 20169 Pages
History is full of the tragedies that befall indigenous peoples when their lands are invaded. Chinua Achebe’s book, Things Fall Apart, is a work of historical fiction that focuses on one man’s demise within the colonization of the indigenous Igbo people by the white Nigerian government. Through telling the story of Okonkwo, a famous wrestling champion, who is beset with his own problems and psychological baggage, but resists the colonization of his people, Achebe is able to capture a personal glimpse at the real-life, individual consequences of the invasion of the white government. This story is all too familiar for indigenous peoples who have suffered invasion and colonization by white people. Things Fall Apart is set in the 1890s in the indigenous Igbo tribe of Nigeria. The protagonist, Okonkwo of the Umuofia clan, is a famous warrior not just in his village, but in the surrounding villages, as a wrestling champion and enjoys a position of status in his village, something he is proud to have earned on his own. Okonkwo’s identity is largely reactionary, caused by a deep desire to be the opposite of everything his father was: weak, effeminate, and cowardly, dying in shame with many unpaid debts. By contrast, Okonkwo is hyper-masculine, courageous, wealthy, and consumed with making dramatic shows of strength. When someone in a neighboring tribe kills an Umuofian woman, Okonkwo wins the killer’s 15-year-old son, Ikemefuna, as well as a virgin. Whereas Okonkwo feels

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