Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe
3.7 169

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Overview

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

“A true classic of world literature . . . A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.”  Barack Obama 

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read


Things Fall Apart
is the first of three novels in Chinua Achebe's critically acclaimed African Trilogy. It is a classic narrative about Africa's cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man's futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political andreligious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order.

With more than 20 million copies sold and translated into fifty-seven languages, Things Fall Apart provides one of the most illuminating and permanent monuments to African experience. Achebe does not only capture life in a pre-colonial African village, he conveys the tragedy of the loss of that world while broadening our understanding of our contemporary realities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385474542
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/01/1994
Series: African Writers Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 115
Product dimensions: 5.17(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.62(d)
Lexile: 890L (what's this?)

About the Author

Chinua Achebe (1930–2013) was born in Nigeria. Widely considered to be the father of modern African literature, he is best known for his masterful African Trilogy, consisting of Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Ease. The trilogy tells the story of a single Nigerian community over three generations from first colonial contact to urban migration and the breakdown of traditional cultures. He is also the author of Anthills of the SavannahA Man of the PeopleGirls at War and Other StoriesHome and ExileHopes and ImpedimentsCollected PoemsThe Education of a British-Protected ChildChike and the River, and There Was a Country. He was the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and, for more than fifteen years, was the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. Achebe was the recipient of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Nigeria’s highest award for intellectual achievement. In 2007, Achebe was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

 

Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements. As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat. Amalinze was the great wrestler who for seven years was unbeaten, from Umuofia to Mbaino. He was called the Cat because his back would never touch the earth. It was this man that Okonkwo threw in a fight which the old men agreed was one of the fiercest since the founder of their town engaged a spirit of the wild for seven days and seven nights.

 

The drums beat and the flutes sang and the spectators held their breath. Amalinze was a wily craftsman, but Okonkwo was as slippery as a fish in water. Every nerve and every muscle stood out on their arms, on their backs and their thighs, and one almost heard them stretching to breaking point. In the end, Okonkwo threw the Cat.

 

That was many years ago, twenty years or more, and during this time Okonkwo's fame had grown like a bush-fire in the harmattan. He was tall and huge, and his bushy eyebrows and wide nose gave him a very severe look. He breathed heavily, and it was said that, when he slept, his wives and children in their houses could hear him breathe. When he walked, his heels hardly touched the ground and he seemed to walk on springs, as if he was going to pounce on somebody. And he did pounce on people quite often. He had a slight stammer and whenever he was angry and could not get his words out quickly enough, he would use his fists. He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had had no patience with his father.

 

Unoka, for that was his father's name, had died ten years ago. In his day he was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow. If any money came his way, and it seldom did, he immediately bought gourds of palm-wine, called round his neighbors and made merry. He always said that whenever he saw a dead man's mouth he saw the folly of not eating what one had in one's lifetime. Unoka was, of course, a debtor, and he owed every neighbor some money, from a few cowries to quite substantial amounts.

 

He was tall but very thin and had a slight stoop. He wore a haggard and mournful look except when he was drinking or playing on his flute. He was very good on his flute, and his happiest moments were the two or three moons after the harvest when the village musicians brought down their instruments, hung above the fireplace. Unoka would play with them, his face beaming with blessedness and peace. Sometimes another village would ask Unoka's band and their dancing egwugwu to come and stay with them and teach them their tunes. They would go to such hosts for as long as three or four markets, making music and feasting. Unoka loved the good fare and the good fellowship, and he loved this season of the year, when the rains had stopped and the sun rose every morning with dazzling beauty. And it was not too hot either, because the cold and dry harmattan wind was blowing down from the north. Some years the harmattan was very severe and a dense haze hung on the atmosphere. Old men and children would then sit round log fires, warming their bodies. Unoka loved it all, and he loved the first kites that returned with the dry season, and the children who sang songs of welcome to them. He would remember his own childhood, how he had often wandered around looking for a kite sailing leisurely against the blue sky. As soon as he found one he would sing with his whole being, welcoming it back from its long, long journey, and asking it if it had brought home any lengths of cloth.

 

That was years ago, when he was young. Unoka, the grown-up, was a failure. He was poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat. People laughed at him because he was a loafer, and they swore never to lend him any more money because he never paid back. But Unoka was such a man that he always succeeded in borrowing more, and piling up his debts.

 

One day a neighbor called Okoye came in to see him. He was reclining on a mud bed in his hut playing on the flute. He immediately rose and shook hands with Okoye, who then unrolled the goatskin which he carried under his arm, and sat down. Unoka went into an inner room and soon returned with a small wooden disc containing a kola nut, some alligator pepper and a lump of white chalk.

 

"I have kola," he announced when he sat down, and passed the disc over to his guest.

 

"Thank you. He who brings kola brings life. But I think you ought to break it," replied Okoye, passing back the disc.

 

"No, it is for you, I think," and they argued like this for a few moments before Unoka accepted the honor of breaking the kola. Okoye, meanwhile, took the lump of chalk, drew some lines on the floor, and then painted his big toe.

 

As he broke the kola, Unoka prayed to their ancestors for life and health, and for protection against their enemies. When they had eaten they talked about many things: about the heavy rains which were drowning the yams, about the next ancestral feast and about the impending war with the village of Mbaino. Unoka was never happy when it came to wars. He was in fact a coward and could not bear the sight of blood. And so he changed the subject and talked about music, and his face beamed. He could hear in his mind's ear the blood-stirring and intricate rhythms of the ekwe and the udu and the ogene, and he could hear his own flute weaving in and out of them, decorating them with a colorful and plaintive tune. The total effect was gay and brisk, but if one picked out the flute as it went up and down and then broke up into short snatches, one saw that there was sorrow and grief there.

 

Okoye was also a musician. He played on the ogene. But he was not a failure like Unoka. He had a large barn full of yams and he had three wives. And now he was going to take the Idemili title, the third highest in the land. It was a very expensive ceremony and he was gathering all his resources together. That was in fact the reason why he had come to see Unoka. He cleared his throat and began:

 

"Thank you for the kola. You may have heard of the title I intend to take shortly."

 

Having spoken plainly so far, Okoye said the next half a dozen sentences in proverbs. Among the Ibo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten. Okoye was a great talker and he spoke for a long time, skirting round the subject and then hitting it finally. In short, he was asking Unoka to return the two hundred cowries he had borrowed from him more than two years before. As soon as Unoka understood what his friend was driving at, he burst out laughing. He laughed loud and long and his voice rang out clear as the ogene, and tears stood in his eyes. His visitor was amazed, and sat speechless. At the end, Unoka was able to give an answer between fresh outbursts of mirth.

 

"Look at that wall," he said, pointing at the far wall of his hut, which was rubbed with red earth so that it shone. "Look at those lines of chalk;" and Okoye saw groups of short perpendicular lines drawn in chalk. There were five groups, and the smallest group had ten lines. Unoka had a sense of the dramatic and so he allowed a pause, in which he took a pinch of snuff and sneezed noisily, and then he continued: "Each group there represents a debt to someone, and each stroke is one hundred cowries. You see, I owe that man a thousand cowries. But he has not come to wake me up in the morning for it. I shall pay, you, but not today. Our elders say that the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them. I shall pay my big debts first." And he took another pinch of snuff, as if that was paying the big debts first. Okoye rolled his goatskin and departed.

 

When Unoka died he had taken no title at all and he was heavily in debt. Any wonder then that his son Okonkwo was ashamed of him? Fortunately, among these people a man was judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father. Okonkwo was clearly cut out for great things. He was still young but he had won fame as the greatest wrestler in the nine villages. He was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and had just married his third wife. To crown it all he had taken two titles and had shown incredible prowess in two inter-tribal wars. And so although Okonkwo was still young, he was already one of the greatest men of his time. Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings. Okonkwo had clearly washed his hands and so he ate with kings and elders. And that was how he came to look after the doomed lad who was sacrificed to the village of Umuofia by their neighbors to avoid war and bloodshed. The ill-fated lad was called Ikemefuna.

 

Chapter Two

 

Okonkwo had just blown out the palm-oil lamp and stretched himself on his bamboo bed when he heard the ogene of the town crier piercing the still night air. Gome, gome, gome, gome, boomed the hollow metal. Then the crier gave his message, and at the end of it beat his instrument again. And this was the message. Every man of Umuofia was asked to gather at the market place tomorrow morning. Okonkwo wondered what was amiss, for he knew certainly that something was amiss. He had discerned a clear overtone of tragedy in the crier's voice, and even now he could still hear it as it grew dimmer and dimmer in the distance.

 

The night was very quiet. It was always quiet except on moonlight nights. Darkness held a vague terror for these people, even the bravest among them. Children were warned not to whistle at night for fear of evil spirits. Dangerous animals became even more sinister and uncanny in the dark. A snake was never called by its name at night, because it would hear. It was called a string. And so on this particular night as the crier's voice was gradually swallowed up in the distance, silence returned to the world, a vibrant silence made more intense by the universal trill of a million million forest insects.

 

On a moonlight night it would be different. The happy voices of children playing in open fields would then be heard. And perhaps those not so young would be playing in pairs in less open places, and old men and women would remember their youth. As the Ibo say: "When the moon is shining the cripple becomes hungry for a walk."

 

But this particular night was dark and silent. And in all the nine villages of Umuofia a town crier with his ogene asked every man to be present tomorrow morning. Okonkwo on his bamboo bed tried to figure out the nature of the emergency--war with a neighboring clan? That seemed the most likely reason, and he was not afraid of war. He was a man of action, a man of war. Unlike his father he could stand the look of blood. In Umuofia's latest war he was the first to bring home a human head. That was his fifth head; and he was not an old man yet. On great occasions such as the funeral of a village celebrity he drank his palm-wine from his first human head.

 

In the morning the market place was full. There must have been about ten thousand men there, all talking in low voices. At last Ogbuefi Ezeugo stood up in the midst of them and bellowed four times, "Umuofia kwenu", and on each occasion he faced a different direction and seemed to push the air with a clenched fist. And ten thousand men answered "Yaal" each time. Then there was perfect silence. Ogbuefi Ezeugo was a powerful orator and was always chosen to speak on such occasions. He moved his hand over his white head and stroked his white beard. He then adjusted his cloth, which was passed under his right arm-pit and tied above his left shoulder.

 

"Umuofia kwenu", he bellowed a fifth time, and the crowd yelled in answer. And then suddenly like one possessed he shot out his left hand and pointed in the direction of Mbaino, and said through gleaming white teeth firmly clenched: "Those sons of wild animals have dared to murder a daughter of Umuofia." He threw his head down and gnashed his teeth, and allowed a murmur of suppressed anger to sweep the crowd. When he began again, the anger on his face was gone and in its place a sort of smile hovered, more terrible and more sinister than the anger. And in a clear unemotional voice he told Umuofia how their daughter had gone to market at Mbaino and had been killed. That woman, said Ezeugo, was the wife of Ogbuefi Udo, and he pointed to a man who sat near him with a bowed head. The crowd then shouted with anger and thirst for blood.

 

Many others spoke, and at the end it was decided to follow the normal course of action. An ultimatum was immediately dispatched to Mbaino asking them to choose between war on the one hand, and on the other the offer of a young man and a virgin as compensation.

 

Umuofia was feared by all its neighbors. It was powerful in war and in magic, and its priests and medicine men were feared in all the surrounding country. Its most potent war-medicine was as old as the clan itself. Nobody knew how old. But on one point there was general agreement--the active principle in that medicine had been an old woman with one leg. In fact, the medicine itself was called agadi-nwayi, or old woman. It had its shrine in the centre of Umuofia, in a cleared spot. And if anybody was so foolhardy as to pass by the shrine after dusk he was sure to see the old woman hopping about.

What People are Saying About This

Nadine Gordimer

[Achebe is] gloriously gifted, with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent.

Reading Group Guide

It is the express purpose of this guide to aid your group in reading, discussing, and more fully enjoying this illuminating work. It provides you with new perspectives on the work and hopefully provides you with new avenues for your conversations.

1. The Ibo religious structure consists of chi--the personal god--and many other gods and goddesses. What advantages and disadvantages does such a religion provide when compared with your own?

2. The text includes many original African terms and there is a glossary provided. Do you find that this lends atmospheric authenticity, thus bringing you closer to the work? Do you find it helpful?

3. There is an issue here of fate versus personal control over destiny. For example, Okonkwo's father is sometimes held responsible for his own actions, while at other times he is referred to as ill-fated and a victim of evil-fortune. Which do you think Okonkwo believes is true? What do you think Achebe believes is true? What do you believe?

4. The threads of the story are related in a circular fashion, as opposed to a conventional linear time pattern. What effect does this impose on the tale of Ikemefuma? What effect does it have on the story of Ezinma?

5. The villagers believe--or pretend to believe--that the "Supreme Court" of the nine egwugwu are ancestral spirits. In fact, they are men of the village in disguise. What does this say about the nature of justice in general, and in this village in particular?

6. Our own news media pre-programs us to view the kind of culture clash represented here as being purely racial in basis. Does Achebe's work impress as being primarily concerned with black versus white tensions? If not, what else is going on here?

7. Certain aspects of the clan's religious practice, such as the mutilation of a dead child to prevent its spirit from returning, might impress us as being barbaric. Casting an honest eye on our own religious practices, which ones might appear barbaric or bizarre to an outsider?

8. In an essay entitled "The Novelist as Teacher," Achebe states: "Here then is an adequate revolution for me to espouse--to help my society regain belief in itself and put away the complexes of the years of denigration and self-abasement" (Hopes and Impediments, p. 44). In what ways do you feel that this novel places Achebe closer to the fulfillment of this noble aspiration?

9. Nature plays an integral role in the mythic and real life of the Ibo villagers, much more so than in our own society. Discuss ways in which their perception of animals--such as the cat, the locust, the python--differ from your own, and how these different beliefs shape our behavior.

10. The sacrifice of Ikemefuma could be seen as being a parallel to the crucifixion of Jesus. The event also raises a series of questions. Ikemefuma and the villagers that are left behind are told that he is "going home" (p. 58). Does this euphemism for dying contain truth for them? Do they believe they are doing him a favor? Why do they wait three years, him and Okonkwo's family to think of him as a member of the family? Finally, Okonkwo, "the father," allows the sacrifice to occur as God presumably allowed Christ's sacrifice, with no resistance. How can one accept this behavior and maintain love for the father or God?

11. Of Ezinma, Okonkwo thinks: "She should have been a boy" (p. 64). Why is it necessary to the story that Okonkwo's most favored child be a girl?

12. Of one of the goddesses, it is said: "It was not the same Chielo who sat with her in the market...Chielo was not a woman that night" (p. 106). What do you make of this culture where people can be both themselves and also assume other personas? Can you think of any parallels in your own world?

13. There are many proverbs related during the course of the narrative. Recalling specific ones, what function do you perceive these proverbs as fulfilling in the life of the Ibo? What do you surmise Achebe's purpose to be in the inclusion of them here?

14. While the traditional figure of Okonkwo can in no doubt be seen as the central figure in the tale, Achebe chooses to relate his story in the third person rather than the first person narrative style. What benefits does he reap by adopting this approach?

15. Okonkwo rejects his father's way and is, in turn, rejected by Nwoye. Do you feel this pattern evolves inevitably through the nature of the father/son relationship? Or is there something more being here than mere generational conflict?

16. The lives of Ikemefuma and Okonkwo can be deemed parallel to the extent that they both have fathers whose behavior is judged unacceptable. What do you think the contributing factors are to the divergent paths their fate takes them on as a result of their respective fathers' shadows?

17. The title of the novel is derived from the William Butler Yeats poem entitled The Second Coming, concerned with the second coming of Christ. The completed line reads: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold." What layers of meaning are discernible when this completed line is applied to the story?

18. The District Commissioner is going to title his work The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Niger (p. 209). What do you interpret from this to be his perception of Okonkwo and the people of Umuofia? And what do you imagine this augurs in the ensuing volumes in Achebe's trilogy of Nigerian life?

Introduction

It is the express purpose of this guide to aid your group in reading, discussing, and more fully enjoying this illuminating work. It provides you with new perspectives on the work and hopefully provides you with new avenues for your conversations.

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Things Fall Apart (African Writers Series) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 169 reviews.
kelsey dubose More than 1 year ago
The book was good. i did not think that i would like it. Only reason i might have thought that was because i had to read it for school. So it was kind of forced on me but then i realy got into the book i wanted to se what happens to him and i really started to like reading about their native ways. And that is what i think made the book so good was that it had someting that a lot of books that i read do not have and that is why i think this book is a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Classic fiction by one of Africas best authors
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing story that makes you rethink your stances on religious issues
Lucas Tometich More than 1 year ago
changes the way you look at certain things in life!! favorite book ever!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
'Things Fall Apart' was unlike any book I have ever read. The plot, country, and characters were totally original, at least comparing those from previous reads. The setting of the book is in Nigeria and from what I understood, the time frame was around the slave trade period. Chinua Achebe has a vivid imagination and has a gift for transitioning what is in his head into document and making it seem realistic. I found interest in reading this book from my grandma and mother. Plus, my mom was making me read the required books to have been read for a city nearby, this just so happened to be on the list. In a way, I was forced to read it, but at the same time I was looking for new genres of novels and unique book selections. The novel starts out with the history of a tribal man and how he was doomed for failure through his personal chi -or god-. The man's name was Onkonwo and his father was considered a woman. This was because he had gained no title in life and therefore had not 'become a man'. Unoka, in fact, was a coward and a loafer. He was a poor man leaving his wife and children hardly enough to eat. People mocked him and swore they would not dare lend him any more money. However, Unoka always succeeded in borrowing more, along with piling up his debts. Unoka died, before he could pay back any of his debts and leaving Onkonkwo to feed his family. On the other hand, Onkonkwo had already accomplished more than his father when Unoka died. He was known for his wrestling skills and was gaining the trust from neighbors to spare him two barns worth of seed yams. In his life, Onkonkwo gained the privilage of having 3 wives and 2 out of 4 titles. Sadly, at the end of Part One Onkonkwo was forced to leave his clan and travel to the land of Mbanta, where the kinsmen of his mother lived. This leads to his new life and the beginning of Part Two of the book. I do believe that it's unique how 'Things Fall Apart' is split into two intertwining stories telling about Onkonkwo's troubles and trials he has to face. The first describes the clash between individual and society gains. The other describes the conflict between tribes and how European missionaries destroy Onkonkwo's tribal world from the inside out. I believe that this book gets slow at many parts. My reasoning simply is: Achebe describes certain parts too much and then whips back to the plot, not describing the parts that spark some interest. The plot is all over and used terms that are foreign and at times un able to comprehend. I have heard many times that it is hard to follow and readers stop reading. Over all, I think this book was an okay read if you have nothing else to read and you like novels with cultural themes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was cleverly written. The omniscient point of view gave the reader a chance to understand what was going on outside of the main character and sometimes gave an inside look at the minds of the characters that were not the main focus. The development of the book gave subtle hints of the not so shocking (to me at least) ending. I greatly enjoyed reading the book and I hope that others have an opportunity to pick it up as well.
Dale Paton Jr. 8 months ago
As someone who does not find pleasure in reading books, this was extremely hard to find a liking in. Now, I won’t say that the book was bad, but from what I did read and what I’ve heard in class discussions, it takes a person with extreme interest for African culture to find great enjoyment from this story. The plot of the story was very well though out, and very well explained throughout the book. The switch from their old African ways, to converting to Christianity and following these “new-comers,” was a notable example of what took place around the world during the time of European exploration. While many in the villages converted to these new ways, many, including Okonkwo, strongly believed that they should remain how they were before these white men arrived. I also believe that they should not have gone about the exploration they way they did. The villagers were happy with their lives and were satisfied with just be yam farmers and working to grow in their status in the village. I believe that although their community was great, that their respect, as well as most of the world at this time, should have shown more respect for women and treated them and their children better. I have nothing against this story, and for the type of story that it is, I believe it deserves the fame its received. I personally however am not one for books, but as stated by Chinua Achebe himself, “If you don't like my story, write your own.”
Anonymous 8 months ago
Published, at the height of the "Scramble" for African territories by the great European powers, Things Fall Apart tells the story of Okonkwo, a proud and highly respected Igbo from Umuofia, somewhere near the Lower Niger. Okonkwo's clan are farmers, their complex society a patriarchal, democratic one. Achebe suggests that village life has not changed substantially in generations. The farmers of the village all grow yams and follow all the same rules set throughout their village, leaving slight change to happen within the village. Characters such as Okonkwo kills calves for personal status, marry many women, and are “expected” to be demanding when it comes to their wives and children. Okonkwo demonstrate this aspect through his brutality, including a time when he tried to shoot one of his wives because he was upset with her and she had made a comment which angered him. But then the English arrive in their region, with the Bible – rather than the gun – their weapon of choice. As the villagers begin to convert to Christianity, the ties that had ensured the clan's equilibrium come undone. As Okonkwo's friend Obierika explains: "The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers and our clan can no longer act like one." Unwilling to adapt, Okonkwo finds himself the protagonist in a southern exploration tragedy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked the storyline ending was unexpected
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Things Fall Apart is a historical novel that was written Chinua Achebe in 1959. The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, a member of the Ibo tribe in Africa. Okonkwo was the son of a man named Unoka, who was considered a failure. Unoka was lazy and lacked the qualities that made a strong man. Due to the lack of wealth that his father had, Okonkwo was forced to build his wealth from the ground up. Okonkwo was a person of power in the tribe due to the large farm and family he built over time. Okonkwo was forced to leave the clan for 7 years when his gun accidentally detonated during a party, and killed a young boy. Okonkwo honored his punishment and spent 7 years away from the tribe. During this time white missionaries arrived in the area and began to integrate into the tribes. The missionaries began by building churches in the tribes and slowly converting the people of the tribe to Christianity. When Okonkwo returned to his village, Umuofia, he was shocked to see that the missionaries had started to take over the clan. The missionaries implemented a legal system that prevented the villagers from harming the Christians. The village planned a meeting to decide on a plan of action. Okonkwo was filled with hate because of the way the Christians had to tried to change his tribe. During the meeting a group of Christians arrived to break up the meeting. Okonkwo was controlled by his hate, and without even thinking he killed one of the Christians with a machete. Okonkwo knew that the Christian’s legal system would destroy the remainder of his life. Okonkwo decided that the only solution was to kill himself. Okonkwo killed himself to escape the wrath of the Christian legal system. His death marked the end of the small revolution the village had against the Christians. This novel did an excellent job of shedding new light on white expeditions to spread Christianity. I failed to realize the turmoil and destruction that these expeditions caused. I never realized that although the expeditioners might have brought new technologies, they were destroying the lives of the native people. Although the Christians brought prosperity to the Ibo tribe, it still destroyed their previous way of life. I would highly suggest that everyone reads this book. Things Fall Apart is one of those books that helps the reader develop a deeper understanding for the world that we live in. This novel personalizes the facts, and stories, that we learn in history class. It demonstrates the effects of Christian conquests . Also, a cultural appreciation can be gained through reading this novel. Besides the historical implications, this novel gives the reader an understanding of the type of culture that the villages had. Although the cultures were starkly different to our own, learning about them is very intriguing. The difference in culture explains why the villagers weren’t willing to throw themselves at Christianity. Converting to Christianity meant stripping away the religion that they had lived with all of their life, which justifies why the villagers were frustrated with the Christians that were trying to convert them. I highly suggest this novel to everyone, because it helps illustrate the effects of the Christian conquests, and the Ibo culture.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thus book sucks
PrincessicaOfBooks More than 1 year ago
It's not the fact that it is a required read so I automatically disliked it. Though I dread reading required reads, I know that some turn out to be quite well. I dislike Things Fall Apart because it was just poor writing. Because this is meant to be a mini review, here is a list of things I disliked: -Though Okonkwo is suppose to be a "tragic hero" I have no sympathy for him. He is a cruel coward who doesn't deserve any happiness given to him. In result, I was not sad when it ended. -Tying in to Okonkwo being a cruel coward, I didn't have any connection with any of the characters. Nwoye and Ezinma, his son and daughter, are cool, I guess, but even then I don't fully connect with them. -Again with the characters-- Okonkwo is a static character. Though this story revolves around him, he does not change through it all. Even after he journeys into his mother land and taught new ideas, he still goes back to his old ways. Thinking about this, this might just make a tragic hero... barely. -No plot development until the end! Seriously, it's just a series of short stories and flashbacks up until the end. At the end, things start changing. I wish Achebe introduced the conflict sooner. With no plot development, I found myself bored. -Horrible view on gender roles. I get that it's part of their culture, but I was absolutely disgusted by it. However, I don't blame Achebe for this one. -With the embedding of flashbacks combined with the strange names and the proverbs (THE FREAKING PROVERBS!), the writing style is way too symbolic and confusing. Several of my friends and I often questioned, "Wait, was that a flashback? That wasn't? Ok, but what does this proverb even mean? No but really, who picks these required reading list??" Things I did like: -Learn more about the Ibo culture, from an author who is from Africa. I really like this actually! It shows how different all of us are and our different customs. The fact that the author himself is African gives more credit to his name and his story. -The funny use of irony! It actually made me chuckle at times because of how contradicting the characters/culture is. Not in a bad way, but a funny and enjoyable way. -The juxtaposition of Nwoye and Okonkwo. Though a small reason, it ties in with the funny use of irony. In other words, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a great and quick book for learning more about different cultures and the both positive and negative resultants of cultural collisions. Despite it being short, it dragged on a lot and if it wasn't for school I would probably DNF this one. At the end of the day, I still question who puts together these reading lists. How much do I recommend it? Don't read it unless you have to. Rating: ★★½ out of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book but the ending was unexpected
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for school and I had a hard time getting through it. Even though Okonkwo was not supposed to be likable, he made the whole book boring. If I didn't read it for school, I would not have finished it. I did however find the sparknotes very helpful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so impressed with how easy and insightful a read this was. The culture and events were so alien to me that I was surprised by everything that happened from beginning to end, no matter how simply it was stated. Definitely in my favs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mjnbvgjmw
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book does allot of explaing itself and seams to backtrack on ideas and chariters in the story. I found it very difficult to stay focused on this book because it almost felt like you werent progressing in the story. The main chariter is also a little unrelatable and at times unlikeable. The main good thing about this book is the culture and the clash you get to see in this book. Overall this book is worth reading but i personly wouldent give it any awards.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You mispelled "right" while trying to critcize other peope spelling. You fail at life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DOUBLE UGH ! CANT YOU GUYS WRIGHT CORECTLY? From,UGH
Anonymous More than 1 year ago