Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart is the most representative work of Chinua Achebe. One year after Things Fall Apart was published, it achieved the highest literary prize circle in Britain, The Man Booker Prize. The novel, Things Fall Apart has been printed eleven million copies, and it has been translated into fifty languages. Because of the achievement of the novel, Achebe became the father of African literature. The novel has been used in many African schools as educational source material to introduce cultural conflicts.
This novel tells the story of the conflict between an African man and British settlers. The British settlers to invade a small Ibo’s village, and the novel's protagonist warned against western culture in order to keep the traditional Ibo culture. Okonkwo uses violence to avoid the inflow of western culture, but many of his clansmen did not agree with that. Finally, Okonkwo realizes his clansmen do not support him at all, so he hangs himself at the end of the novel. Most of the novel talks about how Caucasians use their ways to assimilate Ibo clansman in order to rule the village easier. In the beginning of the novel, the writer does not mention the colonialism. It only introduces the story of Okonkwo and how he builds up his hero image by wrestling seven days and seven nights when he is eighteen years old. Okonkwo looks down on his father,Unoka, because Unoka is useless and feeble. He wants to extricate himself from his father till the missionaries come to the village and break the Ibo cultures. That causes Okonkwo’s fear, and the novel successfully brings the feelings of fearless, helpless to the reader. The novel lets the reader experience the African culture and feel the fearlessness of the Ibo clansmen. I found some similar points and difference to the society we live within today.
In similar way, society accepts other cultures easily. People are open- minded, they will get to know the other culture first. Then, people have their freedom to decide what they want to believe in, such as religion, politics, etc. They will not resist another’s culture as strongly as was the case in the novel. For example, the United States welcomes every race to live here, and they respect every culture. It is the world melting pot, and it accepts many cultures into. Everyone lives the way they want. Also the wedding party of Igbo is similar to the modern world. When Okonkwo’s best friend, Obierika, has her wedding party, everyone will dress up and dance during the party. They will have a big dinner together to congratulate the bride and groom.
On the other hand, the novel's protagonist, Okonkwo, was the head of the Ibo clan. Today, most do not have much a head of a clan. We do not have to follow one person’s ideas, and we have the right to live in a country as long as we follow the law. Also, people have the right to select favor president or leader. The president or leader will be replaced every 4 years. Therefore, the head of a clan has changed to the president. However, we do not have the death penalty in many countries. People have their right to hire a lawyer to fight accusations. In the novel, people would get a death penalty for no reason, and they did not have a right to do anything to save their lives. In addition, men and women are unequal in the Ibo culture. Men have a higher social