Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, is the story of tribal Africa both before and during the colonial period.
The story follows the main character, Okonkwo, through his life as a highly respected male in his people, an accident that forced him away, his anger at the white male relocating and changing things, and his unforeseen death at his own hand. Things Fall Apart is a moving tale that mentions the normalcy of tribal life before the arrival of the white man, and the falling apart of society as it was understood due to the introduction of Christianity and the white guy’s law.
Chinua Achebe’s purpose in writing this story was to provide the colonial period in Africa through the eyes of the people it actually impacted. Achebe utilizes the first and second parts of his novel to discuss what everyday life resembled in a fictional section of Africa before the white male came (Achebe, 1959).
Through his writing, the reader finds out much about the method these individuals lived. Every part of their society, from cooking to house building to tribal ranks, is covered in information, however it is informed through the eyes of people who would have really lived that way.
Achebe seems to long for his readers to see that there was more to African tribes than what little bit was outlined them in history books. He pulls the reader in and makes them a part of the tribe by describing everything in minute detail. It nearly feels as if one is in the camps as they check out.
The debate that Achebe focuses on is the mess up of tribal society by the arrival of the white male, the Christian faith, and the white man’s law. The people had their own methods of dealing with issues and the breaking of their laws, however the white guys relocated and changed all of that. They built courts and jails so they could perform their own sort of justice (Achebe, 1959).
The tribal faiths were ancient, however Christianity was presented and made numerous villagers turn away from the gods that their families had actually followed for life times (Achebe 1959). Achebe’s viewpoint of these actions seems less than accommodating.
From the way that he composes, it seems that he had compassion considerably with the people who were undergoing such change. One thinks that Achebe believes that the tribes would have been much better off left alone. His discussion of the information is split into 3 sections, and each area deals with a various part of the primary character, Okonkwo, life breaking down.
The very first area is a description of his happy life in his people, the second part handle his banishment to his mother’s household land, and the 3rd deals with his encounters with the white male and his desperate quotes to alter things back to the method they were (Achebe, 1959).
It is made very clear that things have been so altered that they will never ever be “regular” once again, and that seems to be the factor for the three point process. Life modifications prior to the reader’s eyes, simply as it changes before the characters eyes. In this method the reader feels the loss of the firmly woven society bit by bit, which seems to be what Achebe wishes to achieve.
Things Fall Apart is a fictional work, and so it does not have a basis in outdoors printed sources, or at least none that Achebe lists. This book is based on a truth that has actually been passed down for generations, and no doubt Achebe utilized some old stories and songs to base his story upon. However, the purpose of this book is not to focus on any one area. Instead, it is suggested to represent all of Africa and all of what was lost during colonization.
Narrowing the scope to a location and people that existed in reality would lessen the scope of the book. Maybe that is why Achebe did not choose to utilize printed sources as his guide. Blending the littles understanding that he had about the whole colonization procedure into one book provides the reader pieces of every tribe, not simply one in specific.
Things Break down has lots of chapters, but three major sections. The first section informs the reader all about daily life in the people. The reader discovers how important it is to be viewed as “manly,” and how necessary it is to stay in the excellent graces of the gods (Achebe, 1959). Also covered in this area are descriptions of the diet of the tribe, the clothing they used, and the structures in which they lived (Achebe, 1959).
Tribal lore is also introduced, such as the idea that twin babies were evil and should be left to pass away, and the concept of the obanje child, an infant born again and once again to the same female, just to die at a young age every time (Achebe,, 1959). The reader likewise finds out of the tribal forms of penalty, especially the rule that unintentional murders lead to a banishment of 7 years to the motherland of the convicted (Achebe, 1959).
This rule is particularly crucial to the remainder of the story, since it is the initial step in the failure of Okonkwo. Achebe’s argument in this part of the story seems to be that although tribal life could be tough and cruel to outdoors eyes, it was nearly perfect for individuals who lived it.
Everybody in the villages knew their place and their contribution to the tribe as an entire, and as long as everybody did their part and kept to the guidelines that had actually been in impact for hundreds of years, life ran smoothly.
Achebe paints an image of a society that might not make a great deal of sense to outsiders, however exercised simply fine for individuals within it. The underlying argument is, “Why force change on something that works?”