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It is demonstrative of the indomitable spirit, as we see in Okunkwo, but also shows how that spirit can be crushed by intruders who violate the most basic rights of any people. Achebe has successfully and dramatically told the story of crushing the human spirit, caused by Westernization, colonization , Christianization , and the end of tribal beliefs and customs. Things Fall Apart is set in an area of Africa presumably Nigeria , largely in the village of Umuofia, where the protagonist, Okunkwo, lives with his three wives and numerous children.

His village is one of nine that had been founded by the nine sons of the first father of the clan to which Okunkwo belongs. While learning about Christianity and other people of the world whites, in this case is perfectly fine, wiping out people and their customs and belief, as demonstrated by Achebe, leaves us saddened and disturbed. There is a strong, memorable lesson in Things Fall Apart , and that is we must respect all people of every ethnicity, treating them as equals, and respecting their way of life, no matter how remote it is from our own.

As a champion wrestler and a great warrior, Okonkwo is a natural leader. His flaw, however, is that he never questions the received wisdom of his ancestors. For this reason he is not drawn in a flattering light, but his culture is given a full and fair depiction. He would rather play his flute than repay his debts. It follows, then, that land, a full barn, expensive titles, and many wives confer status. Our protagonist is ambitious.

Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart | blonholbafi.tk

Indeed, one of his flaws is his fear of failure, of becoming like his father. Viewing society from the inside, students can make inferences about why a high value is accorded to clan solidarity, kinship, and hospitality, and the reasons for courtship and funeral customs. In a culture without written language, the arts of conversation and oration are prized. Wisdom is transmitted through proverbs, stories, and myths. The agrarian cycle of seasons, with their work and festivals, the judicious use of snuff and palm wine, the importance of music and dance, all could be noted and compared to similar Western mores.

Law and justice keep the peace, pronouncing on a land dispute or the killing of a clansman. A priestess and masked tribesmen interpret the Oracle, speaking for ancestors and gods. They enforce taboos against twins and suicide, and offer explanations for high infant mortality.

The second and third parts of the novel trace the inexorable advance of Europeans. The first white man to arrive in a nearby village is killed because of an omen, and in retribution all are slaughtered by British guns. Christian missionaries seem to be madmen, their message of wicked ways and false gods attractive only to outcasts. But along with Christianity come hospitals and schools, converting farmers to court clerks and teachers. Trading stores pay high prices for palm oil.

Government is closely linked to religion and literacy. Okonkwo, upholder of the ways of his ancestors, is inevitably cast in the role of tragic hero. In exile during the first years of colonization, he has less understanding of the power of the Europeans than his now-passive kinsmen.


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His doom is swift and sure. Note: This guide uses the contemporary spelling, Igbo, rather than Ibo. It provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual society. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing the life of nature, history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. Things Fall Apart is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within.

The novel is structured in three parts.

Explore a Theme in Your Essay

What do the divisions reflect about the stages of life of the protagonist? How do the divisions move toward and illustrate the collapse of Igbo society? What is the point of view of the narrator? How does the point of view contribute to our understanding of the conflicting cultures? What techniques does the narrator use to evoke a participatory role for the reader? How does this contrast with the ending, when Okonkwo is deliberating about an adequate response to the British humiliation of the Igbo elders in jail? Achebe uses storytelling flashbacks to describe the relationship of Okonkwo and Unoka.

What do the flashbacks reveal about their relationship?

What is the effect of the use of storytelling to illustrate the flashbacks? In Chapter One, how does Achebe foreshadow the presence and ultimate fate of Ikemefuna? Describe the judicial function of the egwugwu and its relationship to the living, particularly to Igbo women. Why is it also related to the spiritual world? How does Achebe illustrate the blending of the spiritual and real worlds? How does the killing of Ikemefuna foreshadow the fall of Okonkwo?

Why is Okonkwo exiled? Why is the exile ironic?

Colonialism in Things Fall Apart FINAL

When and how is the white man introduced? What attitudes toward the Igbo people do the white men bring and how do their attitudes determine their treatment of the Igbo people? How does Achebe use incidents to paint the general character of the white colonizers? Character and Conflict 1.

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Essay/Term paper: Things fall apart - by chinua achebe (diverse cultures essay)

How does Okonkwo achieve greatness as defined by his culture? Why is Unoka, who suffers from a swelling in the stomach, left to die in the evil forest? How does Okonkwo differ from his father? What are his feelings toward his father? Cite examples in the attitude and actions of Okonkwo that show the Igbo division of what is considered manly and what is considered womanly. Why is Okonkwo unhappy with his son and heir? How do his feelings toward Nwoye compare with his feelings toward Ikemefuna?

Why is Ikemefuna killed? How does Nwoye react to the sacrifice? Okonkwo changes significantly after the killing of Ikemefuna.


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  7. Why does Nwoye convert to Christianity? How does his conversion affect his relationship with his father? Describe Mr. How is his portrayal different from the Igbo characters? Compare and contrast him with other white colonists. Describe Enoch. How do his actions show disdain for Igbo traditions? Setting and Society 1.

    Things Fall Apart Thesis Statements and Essay Topics

    The novel begins in Umuofia and ends in Umuofia. Describe this village. What surprises you about life in an African tribal community? What preconceptions did you bring to your reading that were either reinforced or changed? Why do the community celebrations make Okonkwo unhappy? Cite examples. Igbo culture is patriarchal. What is the role of women in the community? Does their role make them less valuable than men? How does wife beating reflect the community attitude toward women?

    Near the beginning of the novel, we learn that Okonkwo has several wives. What does this arrangement reveal about family life in the community? Describe the Igbo extended family system. How does it help Okonkwo to survive his exile in Mbanta? Compare and contrast Umuofia and Mbanta. How do their similarities and differences add to an understanding of the Igbo culture?