Things Fall Apart is a novel written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Published in , its It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and is widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. .. Of all of Achebe's works, Things Fall Apart is the one read most often, and has generated the most. I am reading this book for an english assignment and was wondering if the book was boring? 8 likes · like flag · See all 33 questions about Things Fall Apart. Things Fall Apart is a novel by Chinua Achebe that was first published in Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and.
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Things Fall Apart is acclaimed as the finest novel written about life in Nigeria at of music and dance, all could be noted and compared to similar Western mores. to a passing reference in a book he plans to write to be titled The Pacification. “Achebe's influence should go on and on teaching and reminding that all Start reading Things Fall Apart (African Trilogy, Book 1) on your Kindle in under a . Start reading Things Fall Apart (African Trilogy, Book 1) on your Kindle in under a One of the best books I've ever read, in my top five of all time, and I'm an.
He and his family are sent into exile for seven years to appease the gods he has offended. Part 2[ edit ] While Okonkwo is away in Mbanta, he learns that white men are living in Umuofia with the intent of introducing their religion , Christianity.
As the number of converts increases, the foothold of the white people grows and a new government is introduced. Part 3[ edit ] Returning from exile, Okonkwo finds his village changed by the presence of the white men. After a convert commits a heinous act by unmasking an elder as he embodies an ancestral spirit of the clan, the village retaliates by destroying a local Christian church.
In response, the District Commissioner representing the British government takes Okonkwo and several other native leaders prisoner pending payment of a fine of two hundred cowries. Despite the District Commissioner's instructions to treat the leaders of Umuofia with respect, the native 'court messengers' humiliate them, doing things such as shaving their heads and whipping them.
As a result, the people of Umuofia finally gather for what could be a great uprising.
Okonkwo, a warrior by nature and adamant about following Umuofian custom and tradition, despises any form of cowardice and advocates war against the white men. When messengers of the white government try to stop the meeting, Okonkwo beheads one of them.
Because the crowd allows the other messengers to escape, and does not fight alongside Okonkwo, he realizes with despair that the people of Umuofia are not going to fight to protect themselves — his society's response to such a conflict, which for so long had been predictable and dictated by tradition, is changing. When the local leader of the white government, Gregory Irwin, comes to Okonkwo's house to take him to court, he finds that Okonkwo has hanged himself to avoid being tried in a colonial court.
Among his own people, Okonkwo's actions have tarnished his reputation and status, as it is strictly against the teachings of the Igbo to commit suicide. The District Commissioner reflects that the story of Okonkwo will make for a good page in his book, or perhaps a "reasonable paragraph.
He has three wives and ten total children, and is a brave and rash Umuofia Nigerian warrior and clan leader.
Unlike most, he cares more for his daughter Ezinma than his son Nwoye whom he believes is weak. Okonkwo is the son of the gentle and lazy Unoka, a man he resents for his weaknesses. Okonkwo strives to make his way in a culture that traditionally values manliness.
As a young man he defeated the village's best wrestler, earning him lasting prestige. He therefore rejects everything for which he believes his father stood: Unoka was idle, poor, profligate, cowardly, gentle, lazy, and interested in music and conversation.
Okonkwo consciously adopts opposite ideals and becomes productive, wealthy, brave, violent, and opposed to music and anything else that he regards as "soft," such as conversation and emotion. He is stoic to a fault. He is also the hardest-working member of his clan. Okonkwo's life is dominated by fear of failure and of weakness—the fear that he will resemble his father. Ironically, in all his efforts not to end up like his father, he commits suicide, becoming in his culture an abomination to the Earth and rebuked by the tribe as his father was Unoka died from swelling and was likewise considered an abomination.
Ekwefi is Okonkwo's second wife. Although she falls in love with Okonkwo after seeing him in a wrestling match, she marries another man because Okonkwo is too poor to pay her bride price at that time. Two years later, she runs away to Okonkwo's compound one night and later marries him.
She receives severe beatings from Okonkwo just like his other wives; but unlike them, she is known to talk back to Okonkwo. She is the only one who has the audacity to knock on the door of his obi at dawn. Having met with the grave misfortunes of the deaths of her first nine children, she is a devoted mother to Ezinma, whom she protects and loves dearly.
When Chielo, a priestess of Agbala, the Oracle of the Hills and Caves, says that the oracle wishes to see Ezinma, Ekwefi follows the priestess through the dark woods and even makes up her mind to enter the cave where Agbala resides and to die with her daughter if need be.
Okonkwo looks for them and goes to the mouth of the cave himself after waiting for a certain period, because he too was very worried about Ezinma and Ekwefi even though he had kept this worry to himself. Upon finding Ekwefi, he was very relieved and they both waited for Ezinma. Unoka is Okonkwo's father, who lived a life in contrast to typical Igbo masculinity. He loved language and music, the flute in particular. He is lazy and miserly, neglecting to take care of his wives and children and even dies with unpaid debts.
Okonkwo spends his life trying not to become a failure like his father Unoka. Nwoye is Okonkwo's son, about whom Okonkwo worries, fearing that he will become like Unoka. Similar to Unoka, Nwoye does not subscribe to the traditional Igbo view of masculinity being equated to violence; rather, he prefers the stories of his mother. Nwoye connects to Ikemefuna, who presents an alternative to Okonkwo's rigid masculinity. He is one of the early converts to Christianity and takes on the Christian name Isaac, an act which Okonkwo views as a final betrayal.
Ikemefuna is a boy from the Mbaino tribe. His father murders the wife of an Umuofia man, and in the resulting settlement of the matter, Ikemefuma is put into the care of Okonkwo.
By the decision of Umuofian authorities, Ikemefuna is ultimately killed, an act which Okonkwo does not prevent, and even participates in, lest he seem feminine and weak.
Ikemefuna became very close to Nwoye, and Okonkwo's decision to participate in Ikemefuna's death takes a toll on Okonkwo's relationship with Nwoye. Ezinma is Okonkwo's favorite daughter, and the only child of his wife Ekwefi. Ezinma, the Crystal Beauty, is very much the antithesis of a normal woman within the culture and Okonkwo routinely remarks that she would've made a much better boy than a girl, even wishing that she had been born as one. Ezinma often contradicts and challenges her father, which wins his adoration, affection, and respect.
She is very similar to her father, and this is made apparent when she matures into a beautiful young woman who refuses to marry during her family's exile, instead choosing to help her father regain his place of respect within society. Obierika is Okonkwo's best friend from Umuofia. He is a strong and powerful man in Umuofia, but unlike Okonkwo, he is a reasoning man and is much less violent and arrogant. Obierika often talks Okonkwo out of making rash decisions, and helps Okonkwo when he is on exile from Umuofia.
He fully understands the changes going on in their society, and that their clan no longer had the unity it did before the white man appeared in Umuofia.
Obierika's son, Maduka, is greatly admired by Okonkwo for his wrestling prowess, which in Okonkwo's opinion is something his own son, Nwoye lacks.
Obierika is considered the voice of reason in the book, and questions certain parts of their culture, such as the necessity to exile Okonkwo after he unintentionally kills a boy. Ogbuefi Ezeudu is one of the elders of Umuofia. He is regarded as very wise, and gives Okonkwo good advice. He is the one who brings Okonkwo the message from the Oracle that Ikemefuna should be killed, but he also warns Okonkwo not to participate in the boy's execution, since Ikemefuna calls Okonkwo "father", a warning Okonkwo does not heed.
At Ezeudu's funeral, Okonkwo's gun misfires, accidentally killing the dead elder's son, for which Okonkwo and his family go into exile. Brown is a white man who comes to Umuofia. Unlike most Europeans portrayed in the novel, he shows kindness and compassion towards the villagers, thereby earning their love and respect. He eventually develops an illness that leads to his death.
The title is a quotation from " The Second Coming ", a poem by W. Most of the story takes place in the fictional village of Iguedo, which is in the Umuofia clan. Okonkwo becomes depressed after killing Ikemefuna, so he visits his best friend, Obierika, who disapproves of his role in Ikemefuna's killing.
Obierika says that Okonkwo's act will upset the Earth and the earth goddess will seek revenge. After discussing Ikemefuna's death with Obierika, Okonkwo is finally able to sleep restfully, but he is awakened by his wife Ekwefi. Their daughter Ezinma, whom Okonkwo is fond of, is dying. Okonkwo gathers grasses, barks, and leaves to prepare medicine for Ezinma. A public trial is held on the village commons.
Nine clan leaders, including Okonkwo, represent the spirits of their ancestors. The nine clan leaders, or egwugwu, also represent the nine villages of Umuofia. Okonkwo does not sit among the other eight leaders, or elders, while they listen to a dispute between an estranged husband and wife. The wife, Mgbafo, had been severely beaten by her husband.
Her brother took her back to their family's village, but her husband wanted her back home. The egwugwu tell the husband to take wine to his in-laws and beg his wife to come home. One elder wonders why such a trivial dispute would come before the egwugwu. Although Okonkwo and Ekwefi protest, Chielo takes a terrified Ezinma on her back and forbids anyone to follow.
Chielo carries Ezinma to all nine villages and then enters the Oracle's cave. Ekwefi follows secretly, in spite of Chielo's admonitions, and waits at the entrance of the Oracle. Okonkwo surprises Ekwefi by arriving at the cave, and he also waits with her. The next morning, Chielo takes Ezinma to Ekwefi's hut and puts her to bed. When Ogbuefi Ezeudu dies, Okonkwo worries because the last time that Ezeudu visited him was when he warned Okonkwo against participating in the killing of Ikemefuna.
Ezeudu was an important leader in the village and achieved three titles of the clan's four, a rare accomplishment. During the large funeral, Okonkwo's gun goes off, and Ezeudu's sixteen-year-old son is killed accidentally. Because the accidental killing of a clansman is a crime against the earth goddess, Okonkwo and his family must be exiled from Umuofia for seven years. The family moves to Okonkwo's mother's native village, Mbanta. After they depart Umuofia, a group of village men destroy Okonkwo's compound and kill his animals to cleanse the village of Okonkwo's sin.
Obierika stores Okonkwo's yams in his barn and wonders about the old traditions of the Igbo culture. Okonkwo is welcomed to Mbanta by his maternal uncle, Uchendu, a village elder.
He gives Okonkwo a plot of land on which to farm and build a compound for his family. But Okonkwo is depressed, and he blames his chi or personal spirit for his failure to achieve lasting greatness.
During Okonkwo's second year in exile, he receives a visit from his best friend, Obierika, who recounts sad news about the village of Abame: After a white man rode into the village on a bicycle, the elders of Abame consulted their Oracle, which told them that the white man would destroy their clan and other clans.
Consequently, the villagers killed the white man. But weeks later, a large group of men slaughtered the villagers in retribution. The village of Abame is now deserted.
Okonkwo and Uchendu agree that the villagers were foolish to kill a man whom they knew nothing about. Later, Obierika gives Okonkwo money that he received from selling Okonkwo's yams and seed-yams, and he promises to do so until Okonkwo returns to Umuofia.
Six missionaries, including one white man, arrive in Mbanta. The white man speaks to the people about Christianity. Okonkwo believes that the man speaks nonsense, but his son, Nwoye, is captivated and becomes a convert of Christianity. The Christian missionaries build a church on land given to them by the village leaders. However, the land is a part of the Evil Forest, and according to tradition, the villagers believe that the missionaries will die because they built their church on cursed land.
But when nothing happens to the missionaries, the people of Mbanta conclude that the missionaries possess extraordinary power and magic. The first recruits of the missionaries are efulefu, the weak and worthless men of the village.
Other villagers, including a woman, soon convert to Christianity. The missionaries then go to Umuofia and start a school. Nwoye leaves his father's hut and moves to Umuofia so he can attend the school. Okonkwo's exile is over, so his family arranges to return to Umuofia.