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A review of chinua achebes things fall apart

BOOK REVIEW : Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

The book was first published in 1958. The motivation of the author to write the book might have arisen from the changes that were taking place in his society at the time. Things Fall Apart is set in Pre-colonial Nigeria and reflects the struggle between colonialism and African traditions.

The story line of the novel follows the life of Okonkwo, who is the main character in the novel. The author further shows how the embrace or rejection of change can either lead to a positive or negative growth pattern in society.

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Okonkwo has a great desire to be regarded as a man in his society and masculine in all ways; he identifies himself only with attributes of strength and does not tolerate any form of weakness. Chinua Achebe begins his novel with part of a poem: Yeats The poem communicates clearly on the inevitability of change. It sets out the stage for the events that follow in the entire novel. Chinua Achebe effectively uses plot in the communication of his message to the recipients.

  1. But this is a matter which we know.
  2. I also kill a cock at the shrine of Ifejiolu, the god of yams. Chapters from 14-19 are covered in part two, and from chapter 20-25 is the rest of the book.
  3. I'm really surprised that Achebe has not won a Nobel prize. I also kill a cock at the shrine of Ifejiolu, the god of yams.
  4. Okonkwo passes through many of the same stages that Man goes through in the Bible.

The novel is divided into three parts. Each part of the novel marks a significant turnover of events in the life of Okonkwo — the leading character in the novel. The author has used the life of Okonkwo in all dimensions, to bring to life the message he hopes to put across. The second part of the novel marks a change in the life of Okonkwo. He kills a fellow Kinsman and is forced into exile-Mbanta his motherlandas per the customs of his community Umuofia. He is banished from his community for seven years.

The image of his father; that of an indolent, poor man, and which he had almost succeeded in casting off, was slowly catching up with him. Once in his motherland, Okonkwo starts all over again in the process of rebuilding his life. This marks the second part of the novel. In the last part, he heads back to Umuofia, only to find major changes have taken place. In a feat of resistance to change, Okonkwo kills a messenger from the authorities.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Book Review

At the end, Okonkwo ends up taking his own life other that accepting change. He submits to the same end which he had always fought against — that of shame and defeat. In terms of the themes explored by the author, a number of them can be identified.

Apart from the inevitability of change, the author has also explored themes such as superstitions. The speaker in the novel is all knowing and employs omniscient narration in the description of the events unfolding in the novel.

  • Presumably, Achebe is making the point that those who adhere most fiercely to the ancient gods and the old traditions, those who live their lives in the grip of fear, must clear out of the way to make room for the coming of a new God and a new Way;
  • Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand;
  • On the other hand, I am not sure if this is a mistake, but on page 83, a certain element of poetic prose has slipped in;
  • There was coming and going between them, especially at festivals and also when an old man died, because an old man was very close to the ancestors.

Nothing is hidden from the eye of the narrator, which enables him to explore the characters and events going on in the novel effectively. There are a number of characters that are used by the author to relay his message in the novel. He has effectively made use of form and structure to clearly communicate the development of events in his novel.