Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Essay

2000 Words8 Pages
Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart” chronicles the life of Okonkwo, a strong man whose existence is dominated by fear and anger, and the Ibo tribe, a people deeply rooted in cultural belief and tradition. As events unfold, Okonkwo’s carefully constructed world and the Ibo way of life collapses. The story of Okonkwo’s fall from a respected and feared leader of the Ibo tribe to an outcast who dies in disgrace dramatizes his inability to evolve beyond his personal beliefs, affecting the entire Ibo tribe beyond measure. The “things” that fall apart in Achebe’s novel are Okonkwo’s life – his ambition, dreams, family unity and material wealth – and the Ibo way of life – their beliefs, culture and values. The greatest force that…show more content…
11, para. 2). Because the village of Umuofia is widely feared, Mbaino peacefully presents a fifteen year old boy and a virgin to Umuofia as retribution for the killing, and it is decided the boy, Ikemefuna, will stay with Okonkwo until the elders decide his fate. “Ikemefuna's stay in Okonkwo's home was supposed to be a temporary arrangement -- until the clan decided what was to be done with him -- but he ended up living as a member of the family for three years” (Akwani, 2011, para. 11). Okonkwo places Ikemefuna in the home of his most senior wife, who is also the mother of Okonkwo’s oldest son, Nwoye. Ikemefuna is very well-liked by Okonkwo and his family, and becomes a mentor and best friend to Nwoye. Okonkwo feels dismay that Nwoye is taking on the torpid characteristics of his grandfather, Unoka, and is quite pleased that Nwoye is thriving and maturing under Ikemefuna’s guidance. “Okonkwo was inwardly pleased at his son’s development, and he knew it was due to Ikemefuna” (Achebe, 1958, p. 52, para. 2). Okonkwo’s pride, and fear of demonstrating any perceived sign of weakness, does not allow him to show any favorable emotion to Ikemefuna; he treats him with the same severity he does the rest of his family. “Even Okonkwo himself
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