Essay on Investigating Why the Book is Entitled Things Fall Apart

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Title Analysis of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

I believe that the title Things Fall Apart refers to the fact that without proper balance, things do fall apart. The notion of balance in the novel is an important theme throughout the book. Beginning with the excerpt from Yeats' poem, The Second Coming, the concept of balance is stressed as important; for without balance, order is lost. In the novel, there is a system of balance, which the Ibo culture seems to depend upon. It is when this system is upset that "things fall apart." Okonkwo, the Ibo religion, and ultimately, the Ibos' autonomy were brought to their demise by an extreme imbalance between their male and female aspects. These male
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He was very successful, soon becoming one of the leaders of his tribe, with many wives and children. His big ambition was to become one of the powerful elders of the tribe, for what could be manlier than that?

Unfortunately, everything was not perfect. His son, Nwoye, seemed to not be showing the characteristics of a real man. He preferred to stay with his mother, listening to women's stories, rather than to listen to his father's tales of battle and victory. Later, when missionaries came to the tribe, Nwoye was attracted to their Christian religion because of its unconditional acceptance of everyone, much like a mother's unconditional love. Of this, Okonkwo reflects that "fire begets ashes"; where fire is the powerful, destructive, male force, and ashes the inert, weak, female force. Okonkwo is ultimately defeated when he realizes that his physical strength alone is not powerful enough to overcome the white man's influence, and, unable to accept this, he hangs himself.

The Ibo religion falls in much the same way. This religion is centered on the worship of male gods and ancestors. The female deity among these is the Earth goddess, but Okonkwo even offends her several times in the story to save his masculine image: once when he beats his wife
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