Examples Of Foreshadowing In Things Fall Apart

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Throughout Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, literary devices such as foreshadowing, irony, and others are used to give the reader a deeper understanding of the text, and convey the author's ideas and points. Examples of these occurrences include how Okonkwo is often described in terms of fire and flames. Okonkwo’s nickname was even said to be “Roaring Flame” (Achebe. Page 153), because to him, the image or thought of fire symbolizes masculinity, potential, and life.
Achebe uses is irony. An example of tragic irony in Okonkwo's suicide at the end of Things Fall Apart. Okonkwo is a proud and important man, so he is not expected to commit suicide. When Okonkwo dies, it especially ironic when considering what he regularly said after the terrible harvest year: ''Since I survived that year”, he always
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In Okonkwo's case, the foreshadowing occurs when he is exiled to his motherland for accidentally killing a fellow clansman. “In a flash Okonkwo drew his machete. The messenger crouched to avoid the blow. It was useless. Okonkwo's machete descended twice and the man's head lay beside his uniformed body.”(Achebe. Page 204.) He does not deal with this change well, and falls into a depression. His family helps bring him out of it and set him back on track, but the downfall of his character is still significant. It illustrates that Okonkwo does not deal well with change, and that depression is one of the effects that a major change has on him. This event and Okonkwo's actions foreshadow his later death. It shows us that, despite what he says about surviving anything, he can't deal with change, and he becomes depressed. So when the biggest change any clansman has ever seen occurs, the arrival of the missionaries--it is, somehow, less surprising that Okonkwo eventually kills himself as a result. This foreshadowing helps make sense of what might otherwise have been an incredibly surprising
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