Things Fall Apart Analysis

Decent Essays

Cultural critic and literary theorist Edward Said once said that exile is an “unhealable rift” as well as “a potent, even enriching” experience. Although these two statements seem to contradict each other, Said is correct in his assertion. An example of this heartrending situation is seen in the novel Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo, the main character and protagonist of the novel is exiled from his village for seven years after accidentally shooting a young boy in his clan during a funeral ceremony. Okonkwo’s exile results in him feeling depressed and alienated from his tribe, yet it also provides him with the time and opportunity to reflect on his life so far and reconsider his preconceived notions. An impulsive and often aggressive man, Okonkwo was considered one of the strongest men in his village, Umofia. Okonkwo’s father, in contrast, was lazy and debt-ridden, achieving very little in life. Okonkwo was determined to be nothing like his father and make his mark in the tribe and from a young age did very well farming and climbing to the top of the tribe’s social ladder. However, once Okonkwo is exiled to his mother’s village everything he had worked so hard for was taken away, and he no longer has the opportunity to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming one of the lords of the clan. At this point, Okonkwo falls into a state of despair and depression. During his exile, Okonkwo’s maternal uncle, Uchendu, who he is living with, notices Okonkwo’s

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