Things Fall Apart– Author’s purpose
!.?. !? Trevor Mrs. Sleek 10th Lit/Comp. 17 November 2013 Chinua Achebe has been called the starting father of African literature for his sensitive and precise representation of his native African people, the Igbo, in his landmark book, Things Fall Apart (Bacon handout). Released in 1959, this novel has become a valued classic that checks out the questionable topic of European colonization and presents in “unfortunate paradox” the decrease and damage of the native people (Coeyman handout). Keeping a neutral tone throughout the novel, Achebe enables the reader to draw his or her own conclusions of where the blame for this destruction lies.
Overall, one of Achebe’s primary purposes is to compose a catastrophe following Aristotle’s definition. According to Aristotle’s definition, “A tragedy is a drama or other work of literature that tells the story of the fall of an individual of high status” (Handbook of Literary Terms). In Achebe’s novel, after beating the “fantastic wrestler”, Amalinze the Feline, the terrible hero, Okonkwo acquires much regard throughout each of the nine towns of Umoufia (Achebe 3); he feels a distinguished sense of pride. Okonkwo’s pride ultimately triggers his failure.
Achebe reveals Okonkwo as “one of the best males of his time” (Achebe 6). All while indulging his already terrific honors, Okonkwo continues to acquire a prestigious manly reputation. “He was a man of action, a guy of war” as described by Achebe (Achebe 9). Okonkwo’s stature cause his egotistical opposition, which subsequently becomes the most typical kind of “tragic defect”; “arrogance resulting from excessive pride” (Handbook of Literary Terms). In return, Okonkwo’s defect activates many aversions towards the altering Igbo culture.
As the story unfolds Okonkwo stops working to tolerate the newly prevailed traditions, bringing him to “grieve the loss of the past”, such as him feeling that he has actually lost his ‘manly credibility’ (Chua 90). Regretfully, Okonkwo is flamed with anger. After meeting the “sweet-tongued messenger” who invited him to the conference with the District Commissioner, Okonkwo’s anger engulfs him, causing him to kill the messenger in hopes of restoring his faded repute throughout the towns (Achebe 140).
As Achebe continues to represent his story, he creates an abrupt dissatisfaction for Okonkwo, when he soon understands the villagers no longer support him. Even worse, Okonkwo confesses that he will not be successful in saving his village from the British colonists. Okonkwo faces his failure, brought on by loss of sight towards his arrogance. After his painful frustration, for not just himself, but the villagers too, Okonkwo feels as if he has ended up being just like his daddy- “improvident” (Achebe 3).
In result, Okonkwo hangs himself, to escape from the vulnerability. Achebe ends the story, leaving the audience feeling fantastic pity for Okonkwo. Taking whatever into account, Achebe definitely supplies numerous concepts throughout the book that accept and support Aristotle’s definition of a catastrophe, including the fall of an awful hero. In this case, the awful hero being, Okonkwo, who takes the role of presenting “the fall of a person of high status” due to an awful defect (Handbook of Literary Terms).
In addition, Achebe concludes the tragedy by causing the audience to feel “pity for the hero and “fear the idea that such disaster could happen to them” (Handbook of Literary Terms). Works Cited Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. St. Paul: EMC/Paradign, 2003. Bacon, Katie. “An African Voice.” Atlantic Unbound 2 Aug. 2000. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Coeyman, Marjorie. “Going House was a Sad Awakening.” The Christian Science Display 6 Jan (2000 ).