Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Words: 1081
Pages: 5

For many people culture, language, and religion are personal decisions that define themselves. The Novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, tells the story of an African man named Okonkwo. Okonkwo is immersed in his language, culture, and religion, and it defines his character. Chinua Achebe use of Okonkwo’s perspective, Igbo language, culture, and organization allows him to create an understanding of why the Igbo culture has vanished. The majority of the story is in the perspective of Okonkwo. Okonkwo despises his father. His father, Unoka, was a lazy, and effeminate man, this drives Okonkwo to be hardworking and as manly as possible. This leads Okonkwo to become very committed to his culture, and self conscious about his character. Okonkwo …show more content…
Part one focuses on the values of the Igbo culture and Okonkwo's character and the roots of his character. The Igbo’s cultural values is resembled by proverbs. For instance, the proverb, “ “. The use of proverbs shows the Igbos complex morals and ethics similar to european morals and ethics. Part one also, highlights how he strives to be the polar opposite of his father, and that Okonkwo prides hard work, and manliness. For instance, Okonkwo was warned not to participate in Ikemefuna’s killing by Ezeudu, but he denied, and cut participated because, “He was afraid of being thought weak (Achebe 61).” This quote shows how Okonkwo believed that he would be seen as unmanly if he didn’t participate in killing Ikemefuna. In part 2 Okonkwo is ripped away from his culture and community, because Okonkwo accidentally killed Ezeudu’s son. Okonkwo is exiled and can, “return to the clan after seven years (Achebe 124),” which is the usual punishment. This shows the reader that, similar to Europe, the Igbo culture has a punishment for killing. It is Ironic, because Europeans are sentenced to death when they commit a murder and Europeans portrayed Igbos as savages. Also, part 2 represents the Igbo culture slowly slipping away. Okonkwo resembles the Igbo culture and since he leaves his village the white man swoops in and results in Part 3. In Part 3 Okonkwo returns to his village after his 7 year exile to find colonization was in full effect. His culture was being dominated by white christians. This sickened Okonkwo because, his culture, which is what defines him, and it is dying. Then during a meeting with his village and messengers of the white man Okonkwo kills a messenger; however his action doesn’t spark a revolution because, “they had let the other messengers escape (Achebe 205).” Instead of cheers of inspiration he was greeted by tumult of, “Why did he do that (Achebe 205).” This meant Okonkwo’s culture is dead,