Things Fall Apart Literary Analysis Essay
Achebe’s novel and masterpiece has its setting in the Igbo homeland, southeastern of Nigeria. Chinua Achebe did the novel setting in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Achebe provides a vivid and affectionate description surrounding the Ibo clan culture. The novel also centralizes much of its focus on the life of Ibo’s most respected leader, the highly respected Okwonko. Achebe describes the religion and customs of Ibo clan with recognized of simplicity and sympathy. Readers of Achebe’s novel feel a strong sense of logic behind traditional cultures practiced in the Ibo community.
Achebe depicts Okonkwo, the main character and one of the most distinguished persons in Ibo village, as harsh, easily angered, full of pride and inflexible. The novel further describes Okwonkwo as uninteresting and one-sided without considering other options apart from what he believes. However, a succinct analysis of the literature reveals that Okonkwo is an excellent central character. The novel depicts him as willful, and a traditionalist. Okwonkwo shows an acute awareness of the surprising difficulty of forgetting the past. Unfortunately, he remains blind to the absurdities, sheer ignorance, and cruelties in certain customs as well as those of his own. He sometimes demonstrated outrageous actions. For instance, his youngest wife lived in perpetual fear due to fiery and temper of Okonkwo. He displayed bad traditional antics of African man dominance that left his household. He also displayed instances of fear of evil and magic capricious gods.
In the novel, Achebe shows that reforms in the society are inevitable occurrences. It is irresistible and individuals who fail to embrace such changes fall into the trap of destruction. For instance, Okonkwo is in tragedies is for his failure to integrate reforms (Achebe 42). Consequently, Okonkwo’s inability to accept change at the opportune moment ultimately was eliminated. If Okonkwo could be responsive to societal reforms, the change circumstances would not lead to his exclusion as a leader of Ibo village. Okwonkwo failed to realize that, despite justifying and holding so much into what he believed in, he could not compel the villagers to comply with obsolete beliefs.
Achebe depicts Ibo clan and society as being a patriarchal complex. Farming is their main economic activity. The society is also democratic based on patriarchal society. However, the author laments about the resistance of Ibo society to change from one generation to the next (Achebe 56). It also shocks Chinua Achebe the manner in which the Ibo people resisted the introduction of the Bible and Christianity, but instead craved for supply of weapons.
Things Fall Apart is a novel that depicts Okonkwo as a protagonist who attempted to resist the European arrival. However, the Whiteman intruded intelligently in the name of religion. Due to his perceived imprudence, Okonkwo allowed the whites to settle in his territory. In effect, the whites created division in Ibo clan based on culture, religion, and western civilization.
Achebe reveals Okwonko’s dilemma to represent that of the African continent. He outlines the progress to a future of Ibo village that represents Africa under capitalism, which he terms as no future. He also depicts rural isolation and ignorance in which Okonkwo exposed his village. Consequently, the village remained unviable even to the present day.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New Delhi.: Allied Publishers, 2008. Print.