People Fall Apart in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay

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People Fall Apart in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Karl Marx believed that all of history could be reduced to two tiny words: class struggle. In any period of time a dominant class exploits a weaker class. Marx defines a dominant class as one who owns or controls the means of production. The weaker class consists of those who don't. In Marx's day, the age of Almighty Industry, the means of production were factories. But as a literary theory Marxism needs no factories to act as means of production. All that are needed are words, specifically chosen to justify an Official View of a dominating class, in our case, in a society guided by capitalism. This Official View is sometimes disguised as what we might otherwise call…show more content…
Not only did Okonkwo achieve greatness in wrestling, he also achieved greatness off the field. His life was almost like a ?rags to riches? tale. As Achebe explains on page 18, ?With a father like Unoka, Okonkwo did not have the start in life which many young men had. He neither inherited a barn nor a title, nor even a young wife. But in spite of these disadvantages, he had begun even in his father?s lifetime to lay the foundations of a prosperous future.? Hard work, determination, a sense of personal responsibility to his growing family, all these played a part in Okonkwo?s financial success, much like these same values would help an American in our capitalist society. Marxism, as an economic theory, is also concerned with capital. In Igbo culture capital was not measured in dollars but in yams and cowries. Material possessions aside from land were scarce, but there were possessions of a different sort. And it was these possessions, such as wives, children, and most importantly titles, that gave men status in society. Those unable or unwilling to conform to society in gaining possessions were cast out, and seen as failures. One such man was Okonkwo?s father, Unoka, who ?had taken no title at all and he was heavily in debt? up until he died (8). It was this sort of man who Okonkwo swore never to become. ?Okonkwo was ruled by one passion -- to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved. One of those things was gentleness and another was idleness?

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