Themes In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Be a Man Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, has many themes that are shown throughout the progression of the book. Some of those major themes are religion, language, tradition versus change, and fate versus free will. They all play their part in the main character, Okonkwo’s journey of life. The white man changes everything he knew and this wrecks his world. He does not adapt to change as quickly as others in the tribe and his exile allowed for much change in the tribe. This is a very male driven society and it is a social norm for men to beat their wives and children. That is not the problem within Okonkwo’s behavior and relationships. Masculinity is the biggest theme in this novel and several times Okonkwo makes a choice that is …show more content…
Their relationship contributes to the theme of masculinity in a completely different and slightly unexpected way. Ikemefuna was sent to this village to be executed and instead, he wins the hearts of most and manages to stay for three years. Everyone becomes slightly attached to this mysterious boy, but Nwoye and Okonkwo take a special interest in him. Although he never showed it outward, Okonkwo favored Ikemefuna to the other children. “Even Okonkwo himself became very fond of the boy - inwardly of course,” (Achebe 25). Not long after that, Ikemefuna is sent to be killed by a few members of the village. Okonkwo is told not to attend because the child called him “father” and it would not look good. Being the person he is, Okonkwo had to prove that no one could tell him what to do, so he went along. He let his need to be a man go too far when they were killing Ikemefuna and the young boy ran to him for protection. To his surprise, Ikemefuna was struck to death by Okonkwo instead of finding safety in him. Okonkwo’s need to prove himself overcame his love for his “son” that day and is a major contribution to this novel’s theme of

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