Things fall apart critical essay

For all of his desire to be strong, Okonkwo is haunted by fear. He is profoundly afraid of failure, and he is afraid of being considered weak. This fear drives him to rashness, and in the end contributes to his death. Particularly since one of the threats to Igbo life is the coming of the new religion, tribal belief is a theme of some importance. Igbo religious beliefs explain and provide meaning to the world; the religion is also inextricable from social and political institutions.

Things Fall Apart

Achebe also shows that Igbo religious authorities, such as the Oracle, seem to possess uncanny insights. He approaches the matter of Igbo religion with a sense of wonder. Justice is another powerful preoccupation of the novel. For the Igbo, justice and fairness are matters of great importance. They have complex social institutions that administer justice in fair and rational ways. But the coming of the British upsets that balance. Although the British claim that local laws are barbaric, and use this claim as an excuse to impose their own laws, we soon see that British law is hypocritical and inhumane.

The final events leading up to Okonkwo's death concern the miscarriage of Justice under the British District Commissioner.

introduction & biography

Things Fall Apart is set in the s, 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. How does culture influence point of view?

Things Fall Apart is written in the third-person omniscient all-knowing point of view. As a result, we are aware of all of the characters thoughts and feelings Who are the Igbo people? Where do they live? What is their life like? How have their customs and traditions changed since the s? Since the s? This is only a short answer space. Your questions needs a lot of detail.

The Igbo are an ethnic group native to the present-day south-central and southeastern Nigeria. Igbo religious beliefs explain and provide meaning to the world; the religion is For many days after killing Ikemefuna, Okonkwo feels guilty and saddened. Shortly after Ikemefuna's death, things begin to go wrong for Okonkwo. His sickly daughter Ezinma falls unexpectedly ill and it is feared she may die; during a gun salute at Ezeudu's funeral, Okonkwo's gun accidentally explodes and kills Ezeudu's son.

He and his family are sent into exile for seven years to appease the gods he has offended. While Okonkwo is away in Mbanta, he learns that white men are living in Umuofia with the intent of introducing their religion , Christianity.


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As the number of converts increases, the foothold of the white people grows and a new government is introduced. Returning from exile, Okonkwo finds his village changed by the presence of the white men.

After a convert commits a heinous act by unmasking an elder as he embodies an ancestral spirit of the clan, the village retaliates by destroying a local Christian church. In response, the District Commissioner representing the British government takes Okonkwo and several other native leaders prisoner pending payment of a fine of two hundred cowries.

Despite the District Commissioner's instructions to treat the leaders of Umuofia with respect, the native 'court messengers' humiliate them, doing things such as shaving their heads and whipping them. As a result, the people of Umuofia finally gather for what could be a great uprising. Okonkwo, a warrior by nature and adamant about following Umuofian custom and tradition, despises any form of cowardice and advocates war against the white men. When messengers of the white government try to stop the meeting, Okonkwo beheads one of them. Because the crowd allows the other messengers to escape, and does not fight alongside Okonkwo, he realizes with despair that the people of Umuofia are not going to fight to protect themselves — his society's response to such a conflict, which for so long had been predictable and dictated by tradition, is changing.

When the local leader of the white government, Gregory Irwin, comes to Okonkwo's house to take him to court, he finds that Okonkwo has hanged himself to avoid being tried in a colonial court. Among his own people, Okonkwo's actions have tarnished his reputation and status, as it is strictly against the teachings of the Igbo to commit suicide. The title is a quotation from " The Second Coming ", a poem by W.

Things Fall Apart | Criticism | acemtraflea.tk

Most of the story takes place in the fictional village of Iguedo, which is in the Umuofia clan. Umuofia is located west of the actual city of Onitsha , on the east bank of the Niger River in Nigeria. The events of the novel unfold in the s. The customs described in the novel mirror those of the actual Onitsha people, who lived near Ogidi, and with whom Achebe was familiar.

Things Fall Apart

Within forty years of the arrival of the British, by the time Achebe was born in , the missionaries were well established. He lived in the British culture but he refused to change his Igbo name Chinua to Albert. Achebe's father was among the first to be converted in Ogidi, around the turn of the century. Achebe himself was an orphan raised by his grandfather.

After Empire

His grandfather, far from opposing Achebe's conversion to Christianity, allowed Achebe's Christian marriage to be celebrated in his compound. Achebe wrote his novels in English because the written standard Igbo language was created by combining various dialects, creating a stilted written form.

In a interview with The Paris Review , Achebe said, "the novel form seems to go with the English language. There is a problem with the Igbo language. It suffers from a very serious inheritance which it received at the beginning of this century from the Anglican mission. They sent out a missionary by the name of Dennis. Archdeacon Dennis. He was a scholar.

He had this notion that the Igbo language—which had very many different dialects—should somehow manufacture a uniform dialect that would be used in writing to avoid all these different dialects.

Because the missionaries were powerful, what they wanted to do they did. This became the law. But the standard version cannot sing. There's nothing you can do with it to make it sing. It's heavy. It's wooden. It doesn't go anywhere. Achebe's choice to write in English has caused controversy. While both African and non-African critics agree that Achebe modelled Things Fall Apart on classic European literature, they disagree about whether his novel upholds a Western model, or, in fact, subverts or confronts it.

Also, in the logic of colonization and decolonization it is actually a very powerful weapon in the fight to regain what was yours. English was the language of colonization itself. It is not simply something you use because you have it anyway.

Manipulation from the White Man

Achebe is noted for his inclusion of and weaving in of proverbs from Igbo oral culture into his writing.