Things Fall Apart By William Butler Yeats

3426 Words Dec 23rd, 2014 14 Pages
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Things Fall Apart refers to a situation deteriorating from an original functionality and transitioning into negative change in perspective of the experiencer. I have already read the book, so I can only give my opinion in that perspective. The phrasing itself, that things fall apart, versus ‘things are falling apart’ or ‘things can fall apart’ foreshadows the inevitability of this destruction with no chance of stopping it.

Things Fall Apart begins with an epigraph by William Butler Yeats to create a picture for the reader before commencing on a journey to the heart of Nigeria and the nature of humans. From “The Second Coming” , the title is derived directly from the poem itself.

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

Even before introducing the physical setting, Achebe skillfully places this poem at the beginning of the book to foreshadow the life parallelling ending of Things Fall Apart. By gyre, Yeats is referring to the twisting and constantly expanding spiral of chaos that will unfold. The falcon, representing the characters, no longer can hear their roots and become lost in the sea of Christianity and the invasion of the British.

As Achebe opens the fable like story, the stable life, nobility and power that Okonkwo has earned by his own hand is threatened, taking the title into mind. He has defied the legacy that his father, Unoka,…
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