Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Essay

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The classic African literary tale Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe, is a brilliant account of historical African culture and the destruction colonialism can cause upon such cultures. As the reader follows the narrative and complexity of the characters through the novel, a sense of pride, trust, and faith in history emerges. Yet, with the introduction of colonialism the characters must learn to embrace and adapt to a new culture and set of beliefs or face termination from society. The novel explores the troubles of African cultures and their adaptation to colonialism. As the novel progresses, one can also observe the influence of religion throughout history and how it has changed the face of many societies. Although many…show more content…
These values and beliefs were passed down from generation to generation through the use of songs, poems, and ancient rituals (Liukkonen, 2008). These values and beliefs helped guide African cultures in their everyday lives. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe describes in much detail the impact of daily routine and beliefs upon African societies. Some of these values and beliefs still astonish readers today, but were considered the custom for the way things were for generations before. The reader learns that the belief that men must be strong, battle tested, and leaders among men. Failure to achieve these things is considered the most dire of failures. In the novel, Okonkow believes his father was weak, he believed only the strongest of men could survive, protect, and lead the society into the future (Achebe, 1959). Okonkow states “In his day he was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable about thinking about tomorrow” (Achebe, 1959, pg.4).
Readers also explore ancient rites and beliefs throughout the novel. One such belief was how children were banished to the evil forest because they were twins. The detail and historical significance of this is fact was based on truth. The British Broadcasting Company in 2011 stated “Twins were put out to die in the bush” (BBC World Service, 2011). The question that astonishes readers is why would another society banish children to death or exile? Because it was the belief and custom of many historical
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