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Things

fall

apart

Chinua Achebe

Things fall apart Chinua Achebe
Things fall apart Chinua Achebe

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Main Characters

Okonkwo (the protagonist) .He is a supercilious, sardonic and ardent clan leader in the village of Umofia. In Chapter 1, we can see that he was very humiliated of his father, who was an insolvent, effeminate loafer with a predilection for playing his flute. Hence, he abhorred being like his father . He was also a famous wrestler who defeated Amalinze the Cat (the wrestler who was unbeaten for seven years, from Umofia to Mbaino.). This, as well as the valour of fighting in wars, attributed to his attainment of a high echelon in

the clan. This opulence could support his big family. His demeanour is rash and flinty since he didn’t wish

to be as effeminate as his father. He also expressed abomination to the English people and wanted to have an insurgency. In the end, he committed suicide by hanging himself after murdering an English head messenger.

Nwoye : He is Okonkwo’s eldest son. Okonkwo often flail Nwoye because he was effeminate and idle. When the teenager Ikemefuna came to live in Okonkwo’s village for three years, Nwoye became precocious and masculine since he acted as an avuncular brother. Nwoye’s development pleased

Okonkwo. However, Nwoye was attracted to Christianity and was converted into a Christian in the latter

story. This infuriated Okonkwo and he believed that Nwoye was as weak as his father.

Ezinma She is the daughther of Okonkwo’s second wife, Ekwefi (the other children had been afflicted

with a disease which induced an early death. They are dubbed as ogbanje children). As the only one of Ekwefi’s ten children to survive past infancy, Ekwefi adored Ezinma very much. Ezinma calls her mother by her name, which was whimsical. Ezinma was also Okonkwo’s favorite child as she understood him better than any of his other children. Okonkwo wished (many times) that Ezinma were a boy because she would

have been his perfect son.

Ikemefuna He was a boy given to Okonkwo to take care of because of the ultimatum passed from his village Umofia to Mbaino. Ikemefuna dwelled in the hut of Okonkwo’s first wife. He and Okonkwo’s son Nwoye became close friends. Ikemefuna even called Okonkwo his ‘father’. However, he did not live long as he was killed because of the superstitious warning given from Ogbuefi Ezeudu, the oldest man in Umofia.

Mr. Brown He is the first missionary from England to set foot on Umofia. He was unaggressive and cordial. He also became friends with illustrious clansmen because of his charisma and built a school and a hospital in Umuofia. Unlike Reverend Smith, he respectfully attempted to proselytize the Ibo people rather than harshly imposing Christianity.

Reverend James Smith He was the missionary who replaced Mr. Brown. Unlike Mr. Brown, Reverend was

very regimented. He demanded that his converts renounce their indigenous faith, and he showed no respect for the indigenous customs or culture. He was greatly despised by the people who had not been converted

to Christians.

Obierika He was Okonkwo’s best friend. Obierika cared very much for Okonkwo during the exile, selling Okonkwo’s yams to ensure that Okonkwo won’t be enmeshed in financial difficulties in Mbanta, his motherland,and comforting Okonkwo when he was depressed.

Chielo

The priestess of Agbala, the Oracle of the Hills and Caves. She had a persona evident during the night when she ordained Ezinma to go with her to meet Agbala at once arbitrarily. While en route to the shrine, Chielo spoke a priestly argot, praising Agbala. She didn’t feel fatigued with Ezinma on her back. She might be possessed by a spirit. When she was not, she would return to normalcy.

Setting

When: 19 th century:

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Brief Summary

Okonkwo had an unwavering steely character, except at the ultimate part of a profane and opprobrious act of suicide where he succumbed to weakness and

disappointment. He was a wrestler so stalwart that he beaten the once unrivalled

Amalinze the Cat, plummeting him to eminence. He was an industrious farmer, a valourous warrior and had garnered two titles and respect from the citizens. However, one anathema was his father named Okoye. Okoye was such a disgraceful man of no titles. He was insolvent and idle. His only penchant was playing the flute. In the end, Okoye was burried in the Evil Forest since he had abrasions a sin against the Earth

deity. Hence Okonkwo refrained from being effeminate and indolent just like his

father. He abhorred everything Okoye loved. He became puritanical to everyone, including his family. A fifteen - year old teenager named Ikemefuna was under Okonkwos tutelage and stayed in his village for three years because of the ultimatum. At first, his eldest son Nwoye was primarily lazy and he often had to whack him. Ikemefuna acted as an avuncular brother to Nwoye, and he was influenced to be more masculine and hardworking. Ikemefuna even called Okonkwo his father. When the elders decided that Ikemefuna must be killed, Ogbuefi exhorted Okonkwo

not to execute him for it was veritably killing his own son. However, Okonkwo did not want to be compassionate as it was a sign of weakness and helped to kill him. After

Ikemefunas death, he had no appetite to eat in the interim.

Then there was another calamity. The elderly leader Ezeudo had passed away and a funeral was arranged. Unexpectedly, Okonkwo killed Ezeudos son by his gun. It was indubitably fortuitous, so he and his family had to be exiled as a punishment.

Continued

Okonkwos compound became a conflagration and his animals slaughtered to cleanse the land polluted with the blood of a kinsmen. Not long after, a group of white men settled in Umofia where they built a church. They introduced Christianity and attempted to build a good relationship with the Ibo people. They also proselytized them to convert into Christians, saying that their worshipping to made-up Gods of stone and wood was useless. The missionaries claimed that there is only one God. As the number of converts accrued, a new White government was established in Umofia. When Okonkwo returned to Umfofia, he perceived that his village

was wholly catalyzed. He was livid when his son Nwoye had became a

Christian. He and the other tribal leaders conspired to burn a local church

and blaspheme. They were arrested and put on ransom. They were released as soon as the fee was compensated. The people of Umofia met again at the marketplace to plan for an

insurgency/mutiny against the white people. The messengers of the white

government ordered them to stop the meeting. Okonkwo killed the head messenger with his machete but was disillusioned when the other Ibo people did not chase the escaping messengers. He felt that the Ibo culture was effete and there was nothing left to do.

Okonkwo hanged himself in his house in the end. His stature was

pulverized.

Climax

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Outcomes of main characters

Okonkwo -

Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’

Nwoye -

Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’

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Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
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Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’
Outcomes of main characters Okonkwo - Nwoye - ‘’ ’’

Originality Of Ideas

What’s

stereotypical…

It’s a primeval kind of setting with a secluded group of people who had no inkling of other cultures except of their

own. That was not anachronistic since people had not discovered new places around the Earth with inexpedient technology in the past. The villagers were fastidious in religious

rituals and decorum (offering kola nuts to

visitors and palm-wine). As we know, people have different cultures and ideologies. They also worshipped nature objects like trees and rivers just like the Indus people.

Colonials were always ethnocentrically

biased. They coerced people of different

cultures to adopt their culture.

What’s new…

The Oral Tradition The language of the Ibo is filled with word pictures. The phrase "Looking at a King’s Mouth, one would think he never sucked at his mother’s breast" was used by a sage to describe Okonkwo’s hardness of heart and

his ability to "kill a man’s spirit". (p.28) In Okonkwo’s

weaken condition, shortly after killing Ikemefuna, the author tells us he felt like a drunken giant walking with the limbs of a mosquito. They have a language filled with tropes. Chi Since Igbo people did not construct a rigid and closed argued system of thought to explain the universe and the place of man in it, preferring the metaphor of myth and poetry, anyone seeking insight into their world must seek it along their way. Achebe has explained the

Igbo concept of “chi” in an essay: each individual has a

chi, a “spirit being” parallel to his physical being. Thus, the concept of “chi” also entails a necessary duality in the world – “wherever something stands, something else will stand beside it.”

Things Fall Apart follows Okonkwo, a village leader who becomes one of the most powerful

Things Fall Apart follows Okonkwo, a village leader who

becomes one of the most powerful men in Umuofia, his

ancestral village. As Okonkwo strives to rise from obscurity to importance, he embodies the traditions that his village requires of him. Even though Okonkwo faces hardship throughout the novel, Achebe shows us that the cultural expectations and

beliefs of this region are complex and difficult to understand,

but more powerful than the Western world portrays it, especially in 1958. Okonkwo's rise to a powerful position in Umuofia also reveals the struggles of a man torn apart by a multiplicity of emotions,

and Okonkwo faces these throughout the novel. At one point,

Okonkwo breaks the customs of Umuofia, and Okonkwo and his family are exiled from the village for seven years. Okonkwo is forced to start over, and he does so, building his power and manhood back.

Achebe's novel takes an interesting turn when Okonkwo returns

to Umuofia, and he finds a village changed by outside forces. British missionaries have set up a Christian church in the village,

and are trying to convert the villagers to Christianity. While many of the villagers convert to the new religion,

Colonial forces take over the political and cultural beliefs

and customs of the region,

and Okonkwo, a man rooted in the traditions of the past, feels lost. Instead of portraying the British empire as the enemy

and the villagers as the

heroes, Achebe puts these political changes within their historical context; it becomes clear that the events take

place at the height of Victorian

Britain, and the fervor surrounding the Colonial government becomes a fact that Okonkwo must face. By

showing the nuances and

multiple customs and traditions that Okonkwo knew as a young man, Achebe shows how difficult it is for

Okonkwo to face these outside

forces.

The End

Copyrighted © Dante Newton

2011