The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe discusses the rise of an Igbo chieftain who came from great poverty to power and the eventual loss of Igbo traditions, rites, and the influence of his clan through his eyes due to western imperialism and colonialism. The intended audience for this novel is very broad, but if we tried to define it would primarily be people who have not experienced the Igbo culture and westerners or people who speak English. In this essay I will be focusing on the last six chapters: chapters 20 to 25. These chapters highlight the loss of power and customs of the Igbo people who have succumb to colonial rule. I fell Achebe is rhetorically effective and
Okonkwo is motivated for his desire of wealth and recognition. The wealth of a man in Umofia is measure by yams, size of the farm and number of wives. Okonkwo did not inherit any land or yams to start building up a farm. Okonkwo needs so
Okonkwo is initially introduced as a proud, hardworking, successful warrior. He is described as "clearly cut out for great things" (6). But he is the son of a ne'er-do-well father; though genial and inoffensive, Unoka must certainly have been considered a failure. He is lazy and does not provide for his family. Not only is this disgraceful, but life-threatening as well. He is dependent on other members of the clan and must have been considered unsuccessful. Okonkwo chafes under such disgrace and his success is a consequence of his desire to be everything his father is not; society's vision of an exemplar citizen. The fact that Okonkwo is able to rise above his poverty and disgraceful paternity illustrates the Igbo's acceptance of individual free will. But Okonkwo's fate and his disharmony with his chi, family and clan are shown to cause his ultimate disgrace and death.
It was for this man that Okonkwo worked to earn his first seed yams.” (18-19) The quote shows how polygyny plays a part in the igbo culture. The quote also explains how Okonkwo viewed Nwakibie as a role model for his success and wealth which earned Nwakibie a higher rank in society, rather than his own father, Unoka. Okonkwo did not inherit a farm from his father like many young men in Umuofia did. Father-son inheritance was the beginning of becoming a man in Umuofia, the son helps with the farm then inherits the farm along with starter seeds. Unoka was not able to provide a future for his son Okonkwo because he was broke, lazy & irresponsible as explained in the novel. “With a father like Unoka, Okonkwo did not have the start in life which many young men had. He
The novel “Things Fall Apart” written by Chinua Achebe, is a tale based on the traditional beliefs and customs of an Ibo village during late 1800’s Africa. Through the telling of this story, we witness the remarkable depth of Igbo culture through its functions of religion, politics, judiciary and entertainment.
In 19th century, british men had begun to adventure into Africa and imperialize. In Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, it follows the story of Okonkwo; a clan leader in Umuofia, Nigeria. His world begins to collapse as the british start to change the clan's traditions and religion. The invasion of the missionaries struck terror into the clans. With the building of hospitals and trading centers, the people of Umuofia struggle to understand the forced entrance of the white men. The effects the white men leave change the clans way of life.
In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, the Igbo culture experienced tremendous changes before, during, and after the colonial period as clearly illustrated by the writer. For instance, at first, we notice that there were well established social-economic and political structures in Nigeria based on their traditional customs. They had clansmen, members of the can and village elders. Each of these individuals played a particular role in the community. The Igbo people had a unity of purpose as well as a strong believe and faith in their traditional way of life. However, this was not the case when missionaries invaded their ancestral land. Enormous changes were witnessed. Among them include the conversion of people from their traditional beliefs and customs to Christianity, building of schools so as to introduce education to Nigerians, interference of roles, and gender relations among various families members just highlight but a few. Thus, in this paper, my primary objective was to vividly explore the changes that were experience by the Igbo in the Things Fall Apart during colonization and antithetically compare them in a very comprehensive manner with the concept of international development in the contemporary society i.e., past the colonial period. I have therefore made a hypothesis that the changes which took place in Nigeria Igbo community during and after colonization were of two types: there were those that significantly contributed to development, as well as those whose
‘’Things Fall Apart’’ novel tries to re-erect cultural, social as well as spiritual basics of traditional Igbo (Ibo) existence from the year 1850 and 1900. Conversely, the novel cannot be inferred like truthful societal and political olden times of Ibo society since it is a work of invented story. However, the novel describes disagreements and apprehensions in Igbo society. It also depicts changes initiated by colonial ruling and Christianity. The author asserts that European colonialism operates as a powerful as well as well-built mediator of the change within Ibo society (Achebe, 2000). Additionally, Christianity attracted the trivial associates of the Igbo society. Igbo and other societies were altered considerably due to this variety of deal with Europeans. A few societies expanded in dimension and authority as marketable centers, whereas others go through great losses in the course of slave invasion. Hostility get higher, and conflict tactics distorted due to the coming of weapons.
1. Okonkwo endeavors to measure up to the traditional Igbo standards of masculinity, for which his culture highly regards and esteems. Epitomizing and personifying the ideal heroic qualities in the Igbo culture, an industrious Okonkwo experiences not only social but financial success which is driven and fueled by a passion of loathing “everything that his father Unoka had loved” (13). His idle, imprudent father owes nearly every neighbor money as a debtor and is too poor to provide his wife and children with a steady food supply. For that reason, regarding Unoka as a failure, Okonkwo refuses to bear any resemblance to his despicable father. On a daily basis during planting season, Okonkwo works on his farms “from cock-crow until the chickens went to roost” (13). Revered his hard-working attitude and resilient mind, he commands high honor and prestige from tribesmen within his fatherland, the village of Umuofia. Through the irritating vexations and arduous journey in which Okonkwo endures, he paves the way for a prosperous future, a foundation Unoka failed to establish before his death. In contrast to his father, a young Okonkwo transforms into a wealthy farmer with two barns, marries three wives, and holds two titles despite having not inheriting anything but shame from his father. Okonkwo’s personal achievements and rise to prominence derive from his perseverance and unwavering mentality.
First, Okonkwo starts off as a poor child, as shown when the book states, “Okonkwo did not have the start in life which many young men usually had, he did not inherit a barn from his father. There was no barn to inherit” showing that Okonkwo and his family were penurious, compared to others in the Igbo tribe (Achebe 16). Eventually, through his hard work and effort, he became a noble leader, which emphasizes his role as a tragic hero. Throughout the story Okonkwo goes through many challenges, but “In the face of futility, however, he maintains his nobility of character”(Gaydosik).
Okonkwo, being a firm believer in this idea, worked relentlessly to not only provide for his family but to also earn the higher titles of the clan. Okonkwo wants to be embraced and revered by his fellow clansmen unlike his weak and lazy father who was not able to provide for his
Okonkwo is well-known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements (Onuemelukwe). The people in the surrounding villages see him as a hero. Okonkwo is respected for his hard work as an achieved warrior of the Umuofia clan. “Okonkwo worked daily on his farm from cock-crow until the chickens went to roost” (Achebe) and never seems to tire from his work. His three wives are not as strong and did not have the same amount of stamina; his children did not take after him either. Okonkwo uses techniques such as beating and nagging to try and change the poor work ethics of his family members (Achebe). “Okonkwo was not a cruel man, but his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness.” Okonkwo wanted to be completely opposite of what his father was and live his whole life being
Okonkwo, whom Things Fall Apart is centered around, starts out his life at a disadvantage; his father was lazy, and “he neither inherited a barn nor a title, nor even a young wife” (Achebe 18). It was this set of circumstances which drove him to be incredibly hardworking, driven, and determined, to the point that “he had begun even in his father’s lifetime to lay the foundations of a prosperous future” (Achebe 18). His willingness to work hard is demonstrated in the cultivation of his yams, despite bad luck and weather. This continues from his youth until his old age. Even during his exile, “Okonkwo and his family worked very hard to plant a new farm” (Achebe 131). His drive and determination are demonstrated by the expansion of his compound and his gradual movement up the ranks in his society; “His life had been ruled by a great passion—to become one of the lords of the clan” (Achebe 131). All of these qualities are ones which should have brought Okonkwo a life of great prosperity, and they nearly did. He had lesser qualities as well, such as his violent temper and his stubbornness, and these traits held him back. He
This paper reflects the novel “Things Fall Apart” written by Chinua Achebe in 1958. Achebe gives an overview of pre-colonialism and post-colonialism on Igbo, detailing how local traditions and cultural practices can “fall apart” in some scenarios through some introduced, externally created hassles elevated because of colonization. The protagonist named Okonkwo mentioned in the story is a proof showing the lifestyle of the tribe. My main objective and focus is to lay emphasis on Africa specifically the Igbo society, before and after the arrival of the Europeans in Umuofia community; the results of their arrival concerning Igbo culture, thus leading to the clash of cultures between the two categories. I will also draw on post-colonialism with respect to globalization.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe was wrote in 1958 as a response to European Literature viewing Africans as savages who were then enlightened and found peace and safety by the Europeans. Chinua describes the Igbo people and showed the culture and showing the way of life of the Igbo people. This book shows this powerful and eye opening look into the complex society of these tribes and villages and how law and order is run. The major theme that is I will focus is that traditional development of the Igbo tribe alone and with the influence of the Europeans.