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Things Fall Apart
The colonization of Africa enforced peoples of different cultures, who had lived practically separate, and who probably fought wars against each other, to accept the same political boundaries, common citizenship, one national name and a unified administration. It is a fundamental fact that the process of colonization overwhelms the whole culture of the society it possesses, inevitably leading to a hybridization of that culture. This not only applies to countries on the African continent, but all countries where occupation and suppression for economic gain has taken place. Different writers at different times have attempted to supplant the impressions of the African experience and stereotypes, portrayed by writers such as Joseph Conrad and H Rider Haggard, with their individual vision of a complex society in the process of coming to terms with the legacy of Western colonial oppression. A legacy that had forcibly divided the continent into manageable units to suit the colonizing powers, enabling them to establish political and social control. This process of divide and rule even after independence results in conflict. 'The River Between' written by Ngugi in 1965, two years after independence, parallels some of the political events happening at the time of writing, with the events in the years he is writing about. Setting the novel between two mountain ridges emphasizes the antagonism between the two native groups and their irreconcilable belief structures. "When you stood in the valley, the two ridges ceased to be sleeping lions united by their common source of life. They became antagonists. You could tell this, not by anything tangible but by the way they faced each other, like two rivals ready to come to blows in a life and death struggle for the leadership of this isolated region." Ngugi also wrote a play 'The Black Hermit' which is concerned with stamping out...
pages: 9 (words: 2218)
comments: 0
added: 08/14/2011
In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the final chapter is the last testament that things have truly fallen apart. Chapter 25 finally switches the point of view to that of the District Commissioner and the missionaries, and closes the book with the Commisioner's thoughts about his own novel, The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of Lower Niger. This title provide the contrast of he Ibo's thought of the missionaries crusade, as they interpreted it to be just an invasion of their land and culture. Pacifism is used to indicate that before the missionaries, the tribes were violent savages with heathen values. By saying "One must be firm in cutting out the details", he intends to show a biased opinion of the tribe and their culture. In the beginning of the chapter, The Commissioner was accompanied by several messengers, but later they were referred to as soldiers. His reference to Obrieka and his clansmen playing "monkey tricks" is an ignorant and derogatory statement to the Ibo tribes. He is still missing consideration for the "primitive" and seemingly unorderly tribe. When the men finally approached Okonkwo's dangling body, they stopped dead, symbolic of the Ibo culture becoming oppressed and overtaken by Christian ways. With Okonkwo's suicide, "The District Commissioner changed instantaneously" because the final barrier that protected the Ibo culture was now fallen. Okonkwo's tragic fault of opposing laziness and idleness finally caught up to him when he took his own life. Once "One of the greatest men in Umofia … he will now be buried like a dog." Achebe uses more animal imagery to portray the humiliation of the fallen warrior. Just like Okonkwo's hanging, Obrieka choked his words. By the end of chapter 25, things have finally fallen apart for the Ibo Tribe....
pages: 2 (words: 294)
comments: 0
added: 12/18/2011
The novel Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, is a story about an African man named Okonkwo who appears to be strong on the outside, but eventually crumbles within. Along with the protagonist, the African culture that is his way of life dissolves also, due to the arrival of Christian missionaries who set up a government within his village, Umuofia. Okonkwo's biggest fear is ending up like his father, Unoka, who was lazy and made nothing of himself; he was known as a coward among the African people. Okonkwo is a well-respected warrior in his village, and carries many titles, which gives him authority. One day, during a funeral, Okonkwo inadvertently shoots a boy in the heart. The only way that this crime can be forgiven, according to custom, is if Okonkwo and his family leave for seven years; so they do. When they return, they find that many villages in the Ibo society have been taken over by white missionaries, and Umuofia is one of them. This new religion attracts many people and some begin to follow, instead of fighting to save their culture; one of the followers is Okonkwo's own son, Nwoye. Okonkwo is determined to save the village and make a new name for himself, and so in anger, he decapitates one of the white messengers and later commits suicide. Umuofia then falls to Christianity and the Ibo society and traditions are therefore lost. The progressive falling apart of Okonkwo's culture is parallel to the falling apart of Okonkwo's inner self. "All was silent. In the center of the crowd a boy lay in a pool of blood…. Okonkwo's gun had exploded and a piece of iron had pierced the boy's heart (Achebe 124)." This is the event that leads to Okonkwo and his family's exile to Mbanta,...
pages: 5 (words: 1106)
comments: 0
added: 08/15/2011
Chinua Achebe was born in Ogidi, Nigeriain in1930, the son of a teacher in a missionary school. His parents, though they installed in him many of the values of their traditional Igbo culture, were devout evangelical Protestants. In 1944 Achebe attended Government College in Umuahia., he was also educated at the University College of Ibadan, where he studied English, history and theology. At the university Achebe rejected his British name and took his indigenous name Chinua. In 1953 he graduated with a BA. Before joining the Nigerian Broadcasting Company in Lagos in 1954 he traveled in Africa and America, and worked for a short time as a teacher. Achebe's first novel, "Things Fall Apart", appeared in 1958. The story of a traditional village "big man" Okonkwo, and his downfall has been translated into some 50 languages. In the 1960s Achebe was the director of External Services in charge of the Voice of Nigeria. Achebe is currently a faculty member at Bard College, a liberal arts school, where he teaches literature to undergraduates. Things Fall Apart is a story about personal beliefs and customs and also a story about conflict. There is struggle between family, culture, and religion of the Ibo people which is all brought on by a difference in personal beliefs and customs. There are the strong opinions of the main character, Okonkwo. The views of his village, Umuofia are also introduced. Finally, we see how things fall apart when these beliefs and customs are confronted by those of the white missionaries. Chinua Achebe is a product of both native and European cultures. This has a great effect on the telling of the story. When he tells the story with an understanding and personal experiences in both cultures. He does not portray the African culture and their beliefs as barbaric....
pages: 6 (words: 1591)
comments: 0
added: 11/03/2011
The society, which Okonkwo lives, Umofia, experiences a number of large changes to their traditions and Okonkwo cannot accept these changes. The Europeans are people from a totally different background challenge this society by offering Christian missionaries and government officials, which then leads to nothing but tragedy. Okonkwo becomes frustrated by the changes that he can't control, and also by some converts in his community, and especially his son, Nwoye. Okonkwo values the traditions and leadership in his society as they provide him with a high status and a strong identity in the community, but these changes that are introduced by the missionaries are threatening this. The European colonialists expose the gods of Umofia as nothing but wood, which really informs the community that their beliefs are misleading and should convert to Christianity. Okonkwo is really affected by this as losing the tradition would eliminate his identity. The religious traditions that give Okonkwo's life stability are also what he values. The seven years of exile for an accidental killing would have caused great suffering to Okonkwo, and the anger which was created from this punishment can be related to the fury he has towards the new religion. Okonkwo also laughed at a missionary as he rejects the outsider's beliefs of one god and that the gods of Umofia should be forgotten, as they are all false. The advice from others and his own experiences did not help teach Okonkwo. This is shown when Obierika and Uchende, Okonkwo's Uncle, criticises Okonkwo, and he also adheres to his own traditions and views without considering and accepting anything that life throws at him. An example of this is demonstrated when Ikemefuna was loved greatly by Okonkwo, but in his killing, Okonkwo joined in as he does not like to show his gentle side. The murder of a...
pages: 3 (words: 662)
comments: 0
added: 11/17/2011
The divine authority or heavenly power geiven to the Egwugwa and Aglaba to govern Umaformia is fear of the unknown. When asked the egwugwa do you know me the answer was sure to be how can i know you, you are beyond my knowledge. This to me showed that they needed a higher power to govern them. The egwugwa was in a sense a governing council much like our judicial system. The egwugwa were nine masked people of the umaformia tribe. It was beleived that when masked they were possessed by the ancestral spirits. Cases come before them for their review and applications of the law. The Aglaba was the priestess of the oracle of the "hill and caves" she possessed ancestral like powers also. People seeked out the priestess of the oracle of the hill of caves for answers to questions. The service that she provides is well need to the people of the clan. It is like going before a God and getting answer for your qustion when you ask it. In comparison to today's relgious society where we seek answers to moral and elitcal questions. they depened on the answers to that she rendered on every question that was asked. She gave them important answers such as when to plant, why the harvest was bad, what a dead ansector had to convey or why a women chouldn't carry a baby to full term. Human motives can be expressed through the gods inadvertenly. the masted Egwugwa where men of the clan and what they sai was Law. there was no higher authority that could be addressed. Human motives could have been expresed in the case where Uzowulu sought to get his wife (Mgbafo) back from her brothers. the brothers took Mgbafo from Uzowulu because they said that he beat her...
pages: 4 (words: 907)
comments: 0
added: 12/27/2011
In Things Fall Apart, power, strength, aggression, and force define manhood. The warriors, the workers, and the wrestlers are the most respected men in the village. The Ibo rituals and communal activities are manifestations of their definition of manhood. Wrestling tournaments in which the victor earns a title, wins a bride, or receives much respect draw the whole village, Ewefiki, Okonkwo's second wife, fell in love with Okonkwo for his wrestling skills. The Ibo war dance, an aggressive combination of foot work and rolling shoulders, stimulates feelings of force, power, and passion in the tribesman. This feeling is so ingrained in Ibo culture, that when invoked, it unites the present, future, and past into a single dance. The Ibo War Dance is the manifestation of manhood. No Ibo man can resist the rhythm. The drumbeat actually communicates with the tribesmen; it urges them to a feverish state. In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo demonstrated the urge when he danced to the rhythm. "It filled him with fire as it had always done from his youth. He trembled with the desire to conquer and subdue. It was like the desire for woman." (42). The war dance is so powerful because, with the urgent pounds of the drums, it invokes courage, aggression, and force- three characteristics that define the Ibo sense of manhood and respect. Although it is titled the "war dance" this ritual begins as a commemoration of an individual's achievement. The dance leader, donning a headdress of animal and human heads that represent his strength and power, initiates the dance. Clothing and body decorations are the primary indicators of a man's success in the Ibo culture. Warriors then join in as the tempo of the drum quickens. The dancers, their shoulders rolling and their feet side stepping to an accelerating tempo, achieve...
pages: 2 (words: 511)
comments: 0
added: 11/14/2011
Chinua Achebe's college work sharpened his interest in indigenous Nigerian cultures. He had grown up in Ogidi, a large village in Nigeria. His father taught at the missionary school, and Achebe witnessed firsthand the complex mix of benefit and catastrophe that the Christian religion had brought to the Igbo people. In the 1950s, an exciting new literary movement grew in strength. Drawing on indigenous Nigerian oral traditions, this movement enriched European literary forms in hopes of creating a new literature, in English but unmistakably African. Published in 1958, Things Fall Apart is one of the masterpieces of 20th century African fiction. Things Fall Apart is set in the 1890s, during the coming of the white man to Nigeria. In part, the novel is a response and antidote to a large tradition of European literature in which Africans are depicted as primitive and mindless savages. The attitudes present in colonial literature are so ingrained into our perception of Africa that the District Commissioner, who appears at the end of the novel, strikes a chord of familiarity with most readers. He is arrogant, dismissive of African "savages," and totally ignorant of the complexity and richness of Igbo life. Yet his attitude echoes so much of the depiction of Africa; this attitude, following Achebe's depiction of the Igbo, seems hollow and savage. Digression is one of Achebe's most important tools. Although the novel's central story is the tragedy of Okonkwo, Achebe takes any opportunity he can to digress and relate anecdotes and tertiary incidents. The novel is part documentary, but the liveliness of Achebe's narrative protects the book from reading like an anthropology text. We are allowed to see the Igbo through their own eyes, as they celebrate the various rituals and holidays that mark important moments in the year and in the people's live. Achebe...
pages: 2 (words: 531)
comments: 0
added: 12/16/2011
The thoughts of the great mathematician Aristotle, where recorded in writing The Poetics circa 330 B.C. He sought to analyze the structure of Athenian tragedy using the example of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. Aristotle believed that the classic tragedy must contain a character who plays the role of the tragic hero. Chinua Achebe plays out the plot of a tragedy in his book Things Fall Apart. The story deals with the country of Nigeria in the 1890s. The most prominent character, Okonkwo, follows in the characteristics of an Aristotelian tragic hero. Okonkwo's status in the tribe of Umofia, is that of a tragic hero. Aristotle believed that the tragic hero was to be of noble birth. This provides the story with dignity because the tragedy of commoners was not of interest to most. It also generates the feeling in the audience that if tragedy can happen to the advantaged, it can happen to anyone, therefore, producing fear. This is one of the few ways that Okonkwo differs from the set characteristic of a tragic hero. His father was far from noble. Okonkwo has no patience with unsuccessful men. He has no patience with his father (Pg.4). The hero must also be a man of great importance to his culture, possibly because that gives him farther to fall. Okonkwo is just that to his fellow Umofians. As a winning wrestler, a great warrior, and a wealthy farmer, Okonkwo is considered to be a socially acceptable and well respected person. He also has three wives and two titles to show that he is powerful (Pg. 8). Another characteristic of the classic Aristotelian hero is that he must represent his tribe. A respected and trusted man can give insight on the culture of his people to the audience, and the hero's story is generally that...
pages: 5 (words: 1136)
comments: 0
added: 12/12/2012
A theme that is apparent in the two novels, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, is the clash between two groups with different lifestyles. In A Tale of Two Cities, the conflict occurs between the high-ranking members of society and the poverty-stricken lower class. The tension between the Ibo tribe and the European missionaries is the example from Things Fall Apart. The authors use these two conflicts to create an emotional setting for their books. In the novel A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens reveals to the reader, what the lower class in France goes through and how hard life is for them. The best example of this takes place outside Defarge's wine-shop. A large cask of wine had been accidentally dropped on the pavement outside. Dickens portrays how the passing peasants scramble to lap up the spilled wine, representing numerous things, the most important being the desperate quality of the people's hunger. "The wine was red wine, and had stained the ground of the narrow street in the suburb of Saint Antoine, in Paris, where it was spilled. It had stained many hands, too, and many faces, and many naked feet, and many wooden shoes. The hands of the man who sawed the wood, left red marks on the billets; and the forehead of the women who nursed her baby, was stained with the stain of the old rag she wound about her head again. Those who had been greedy with the staves of the cask, had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth…" (Dickens, pg. 25) This quote shows the mindless frenzy the peasants were in, trying to sop up the wine. It also shows the extreme poverty they were faced with. After the wine was cleaned up, they went back to...
pages: 4 (words: 903)
comments: 0
added: 09/23/2011
A VIEW OF AFRICA An analysis of the view of Africa from Ahebe's "Things Fall Apart" and Dinesen's "Out of Africa." Africa in the mist of colonization became a land of great mysteries. A land that had marvelous landscapes and view from points so far up as if you were viewing the world from heavens. A land filled with lush foliage, and unlimited variety of animals, natural resources yet untouched from the hand of industrialization. Africa was wild country, or was it? Africa was simply a continent separated by the Mediterranean Sea from Europe. Up until the beginning of the twentieth century Africa was a continent inhabited by its natives, those that called Africa their home. They lived in tribes or communities and had their laws and traditions. They had hierarchies within the tribes and amongst them from village to village. Africa was ruled by nature, since the African natives lived and worked with the land and the animals that shared this country with them. Europe at this time was industrialized as a continent. The European countries had the marvel of technology and ingenuity, Europe was a proud region with functioning government and economically wealthy. Europe was educated as a whole, and the aristocracy left years and years of wealthy families controlling the social and economical landscape of Europe. Europeans now had it all, and when I say all, I mean power. Power to conquer the world, or in terms created by modern grammar, they were conquering third worlds. Africa was a third world at this time. Africa was simply living with nature and thus technological advancements had not yet reached the African natives. They had no trade with Europe and no economical power, thus no global voice. Europe in an attempt to create new opportunities for wealth and growth started to colonize, and the...
pages: 14 (words: 3769)
comments: 0
added: 12/11/2011
'The flaw in Achebe's vision of the past is that his protagonist is too limited to arouse the reader's concern.' Discuss this view of Things Fall Apart. Chinua Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' achieves the paradoxical effect of enabling African tribal life to be accessible to western society while simultaneously excluding it. Brians (Washington State University, 2002) states that 'its most striking feature is to create a complex and sympathetic portrait of a traditional village culture in Africa'. To label the novel, or its protagonist as limited, would be to disregard the many levels on which the novel exists. On the contrary, Achebe aims to prove, among other things, that the inhabitants of Africa are not as limited as the stereotype constructed by European and other western societies. The protagonist of the story, Okonkwo, depicts the complexities and struggles that all humans must attempt to deal with, and provides a worthy and interesting account of the human psyche. It is important to consider that 'the reader's concern' is too general; and that response to the story will be in each reader's individual perspective. The way in which readers will view Okonkwo and his tribe will depend on what level they choose to read the story at, and how they 'read between the lines'. An important aspect of the novel is what Achebe chooses not to say. In 'Things fall apart' Achebe aims to show that Africa is not the 'uncivilised, simple country' that it may be portrayed as by other cultures. It aims to enable readers to understand the tribe and assists the reader to think about the reasoning behind the beliefs that may be viewed as odd or illogical. Okonkwo and the people of Obi are limited; but no more than the rest of the human population. We are all limited by what...
pages: 7 (words: 1891)
comments: 0
added: 11/20/2011
Okonkwo generally feels that masculinity can best be expressed through aggression and anger. Because of this, he often beats his wives, sometimes even threatening to kill them: "And so when he (Okonkwo) called Ikemefuna to fetch his gun, the wife who had just been beaten murmured something about guns that never shot. Unfortunately for her, Okonkwo heard it and ran madly into his room for the loaded gun, ran out again and aimed at her as she clambered over the dwarf wall of the barn. He pressed the trigger and there was a loud report accompanied by the wail of his wives and children" (Achebe, 39). Okonkwo tends not to think about things, and he acts impulsively and inconsiderately. His relationship with his lazy father has shaped much of his violent and ambitious demeanor. He wants to rise above his father's legacy of spendthrift, indolent behavior, which he views as weak and therefore feminine. This association is inherent in the clan's language - the narrator mentions that the word for a man without an expensive, prestige-indicating titles is agbala, which also means "woman." In general, Okonkwo's idea of manliness is not the clan's. Yet others who are not effeminate do not behave in this way. Obierika, unlike Okonkwo, tends to think before acting upon his will. Obierika refuses to accompany the men on the trip to kill Ikemefuna, but Okonkwo not only volunteers to join the party that will slaughter Ikemefuna, but he is also the one to stab him violently with his machete simply because he is afraid of appearing weak: "As the man who had cleared his throat drew up and raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow. The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry, "My father, they have killed...
pages: 3 (words: 569)
comments: 0
added: 12/18/2011
Okonkwo is a well known man in the Umuofia village, famous for defeating great wrestlers nearly twenty years ago. He was a violent angry man who lashes out at nearly everything that he finds the least bit unacceptable. His greatest fear is the possibility of turning out like his father who was a lazy cowardly man who left many great unpaid debts. Late at night, Okonkwo heard the town crier saying that all the men should meet in the market the next morning. A Umuofia woman had been killed in the Mbiano market and the payment for this crime was the exchange of one virgin and one boy from the Mbiano tribe. The virgin was presented to the husband of the murdered woman, and the boy, named Ikemefuno, lived with Okonkwo until the elders decided what to do with him. Ikemefuno was scared when he first moved to Umuofia, but he soon made it his home. He made a close friend to Okonkwo's oldest son, Nwoye. Okonkwo, although he didn't show it, he was fond of Ikemefuno and was glad he was being a good influence to Nwoye. Ikemefuno lived with Okonkwo for three years when Okonkwo got a visitor from the elders who warned him not to have a hand in the boy's death because the boy called him father. Okonkwo told Ikemefuno that he was going home, but Ikemefuno knew he wasn't going home. Okonkwo and the elders took the boy on a walk. Okonkwo walked far behind Ikemefuno. When one of the other men struck the boy with his machete, he ran to Okonkwo and cried, "My father, they have killed me!" Okonkwo raised his machete and finished him off because he didn't want to appear weak. Okonkwo wasn't able to sleep for three days. When he was finally able to...
pages: 3 (words: 743)
comments: 0
added: 12/03/2011
Okwonko had nothing to start out his own life with which young men usually did. There was no inheritance from his father, Unoka. So, Okwonko had looked upon a wealthy man named Nwakibie who lived about his village. After bringing wine for the two to drink, Okwonko asked for Nwakibie's help in sparing yams for his preparation of a farm. Nwakibie agreed and was very generous giving Okwonko twice of what was expected (800 yams). Okwonko had a lot of difficulties due to the unpredictable weather in harvest. It was the most horrible year not a thing grew, but one consolation. Since he had survived the year he shall survive anything. And Okwonko's patience then was tried beyond words. If I were to be brought up in a world that wasn't so materialistic, with a father who hadn't supported me financially, where I wasn't set, I'd probably be forced to do anything to be on top and literally survive. When I say anything I mean work for what I want and need rather than just expecting what was expected for the norm. During My time being here where I actually have had awareness of what reality really is, I've learned from my parents what it takes to become successful and achieve what you want. To live in a world with no worries is impossible but to live happy is what you make of it. In order to do that you have to lead a path where you can acknowledge the fact that the choices you make always and will dictate the life you lead. My proverb-"For a man who starts out with nothing and then is granted everything, but then looses everything, still walks away with something."...
pages: 2 (words: 287)
comments: 0
added: 12/17/2011
Write a commentary on pages 96-99 of ‘Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe, commenting on:1.contribution to plot2.behavior of Okonkwo3.structure and language episode4.introduction of theme of colonial conflict Chapter 15 of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a very significant part in the story. It is important in showing how much Okonkwo has changed since being exiled from his village and going to live in his motherland. We heard in the previous chapter of his first couple of days, but this chapter is set 2 years later when he has become accustomed to the very different atmosphere of the village of Mbanta. During this chapter is his first contact with Umuofia, his old village, which comes in the form of a visit from his good friend Obierika. It is through this visit that we first hear of the white missionaries. This passage is clearly separated into three different sections. The first is before Obierika tells the story of Abame, the second occurs during the story telling, and the third is the reactions shown by the different characters to the story. These sections are very important, as they show us how Okonkwo has changed under the supervision of Uchendu, but also how he is still the same person inside with the same natural instincts and that he cannot change them no matter what the circumstances and how hard he tries. Before the story of Abame Okonkwo greets Obierika, who has been maintaining Okonkwo's crop of yams, and had brought the many bags of cowries they had earned. Okonkwo greets him warmly; taking a share of the load for the final part of the journey to his obi, then takes him to see Uchendu. He describes Obierika to Uchendu as his 'great friend', and then Uchendu refers to Okonkwo as 'my son'. This shows...
pages: 6 (words: 1482)
comments: 0
added: 04/30/2011
The main detail that stands out about the book Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, is that these characters have ridiculously difficult lives. None of these people have been dealt a life that is basically worry-free, like many people today. The characters in this book are born to work and serve their families, if they're lucky and don't die of some crazy disease. Even the privileged have to work hard to have any prosperity. One example of how Achebe is trying to show through his story how these people have really awful lives is shown with the main character, Okonkwo. In the story the main thing you first learn about Okonkwo is that his father was killed and left him nothing except a burden. His father, Unoka, had died of a swelling of the stomach and left him nothing at all which could help him get a good start in adulthood, like a barn or pre-planted crop fields. So Okonkwo had to build up his entire life all on his own. He was one of the lucky ones who actually made something out of himself. Achebe paints a very visual reality for both Okonkwo and the unsuccessful minor characters. Okonkwo has built up his own little farm and has a few wives, but he is still a miserable person who takes his anger out on others, especially his wives. During the Week of Peace, he beats one wife, Ojiugo, because she had not prepared his evening meal in time. He is then punished because, Ezeani, priest of the earth goddess Ani, discovers he beat his wife during the week of peace, and his punishment is stated by Ezeani, who says: "Take away your kola nut. I shall not eat in the house of a man who has no respect for our gods...
pages: 2 (words: 493)
comments: 0
added: 12/02/2011
Okonkwo is portrayed as a tragic hero, in the novel Things Fall Apart. To uncover the source of Okonkwo's tragic flaw, a glimpse into his past is essential. At first, we see Okonkwo as an arrogant, hardworking, warrior. This is his cultures vision of a great citizen. His father, Unoka was thought of as a failure. He is lazy and does not provide for his family. His culture views him as an unacceptable and an unsuccessful citizen, and Unoka was looked down upon. Okonkwo set a goal to be everything his father wasn't. Although this could be a good been a good goal, it is the one which Okonkwo's tragic flaw arises from. Every person has his faults but with Okonkwo, they ultimately lead to his downfall. His tragic flaw comes in two parts. The first of which is his obsession with war, fighting, and power. Okonkwo always needed be involved in an activity, he never wanted to look lazy. He possessed a one-track mind that was focused on nothing but being the best. Another flaw that Okonkwo shows is his pride in his masculinity. This forces him to show no other emotion, except anger and fear of looking weak. This flaw caused Okonkwo to have problems with his family and tribe. This including his violence towards his family, killing Ikemefuna, his seven year banishment, and decapitating the District Commissioner, with leads to his death. To begin with, Okonkwo is hard and stern with his family, mostly his son, Nwoye, who does not take after him. It is Okonkwo's inner fear that Nwoye too would be a failure like his Unoka. He is strict with his wives and never shows his inner emotions. As a man that has provided everything for himself, he is impatient with others who are unsuccessful. During a...
pages: 4 (words: 966)
comments: 0
added: 12/04/2011
In the book Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, the author is trying to give an explanation of what it is like to live in an African society. The story is about a man named Okonkwo who is a member of the Ibo tribe. Achebe is telling the emotional story of Okonkwo from his childhood till his death. The title Things Fall Apart is symbolic of many events in the book. The main character, Okonkwo, did not like the way his father lived, he thought a man should be strong and do stereotypical male tasks. Unoka, Okonkwo's father, did not fit mold according to his son's ideals leaving Okonkwo ashamed of him. Okonkwo promised himself that he would make a better life for himself and his family. He became a revered member of the Ibo tribe and gained recognition from his peers. Unfortunately Okonkwo was accused of killing a boy and was banished from the Ibo tribe for seven years, during which he was forced to live with his mother's tribe. He lost all of the recognition he had worked so hard to attain in the Ibo tribe. When Okonkwo returned he found that many things had changed, these changes were mostly instituted by Christian missionaries newly situated in Africa. In retaliation of these truths which he could not accept ,Okonkwo killed a clansman, the worst crime a tribal member could commit. After his lashing out, he realized that there was no hope for redeeming himself nor was there a chance he could become an elder (his goal). Giving in to his weakness, he hung himself, for he most likely would have been killed anyway. Basically Okonkwo's life fell apart on him, as the title Things Fall Apart exemplifies. As would be expected after all of the turmoil in his life, Okonkwo was not...
pages: 4 (words: 1057)
comments: 0
added: 10/26/2011
Cultural Themes in the Characters of "Things Fall Apart" The book Things Fall Apart is about Okonkwo, a strong man whose life is dominated by anger and fear. It is about the rise and fall of this great man due to unforeseen events that occur. In my paper I will discuss the cultural aspects of the book, the themes of the story, and my personal opinions of the book itself. The story takes place in a village, located in Nigeria, named Umuofia. Umoufia is the most feared village in Nigeria and is know for its strength and for war. The people of Umuofia were of the Ibo religion. They believed in one great god, called Chukwu, lesser gods, and ancestors. They would worship these gods and ancestors for various reasons such as for better harvests, fertility, to get out of debt, and for health. Society in Umuofia was built on status. To obtain high status in this community, one must possess the qualities of strength, wealth, and war. One must also have taken at least one of the four titles. Men who had not taken a title were considered agbala, meaning a man with no title, or a woman. Men were the head of the households and often had more than one wife. The man and his wives would stay on the same compound, but in different huts with their children. The women would clean, cook, and raise the children, while the men worked on the harvest. If women helped with the harvest, they would grow small crops such as rice and beans, while the men grew yams. And this is how it was; this was village life before the European invasion. One of the important themes of this story was that of overcoming adversity within oneself and stepping out of someone else's...
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added: 12/08/2011
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