The African Tragedy, Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

1220 Words Oct 29th, 2014 null Page
Edward Said once wrote that the concept of exile is “the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place.” While his general claim is that exile “can never be surmounted,” Said adds that it can potentially be an “enriching” ordeal. In the African tragedy, Things Fall Apart, author Chinua Achebe presents the impact of such a detrimental experience through his protagonist, Okonkwo. Throughout the novel, Okonkwo’s struggle to gain respect and improve his social status eventually consumes him when he is challenged by the cultural differences and the conflicting beliefs of masculinity. When Okonkwo endures the physical exile bestowed upon him in his motherland, Mbanta, he is also mentally exiled from the other tribe members. Because Okonkwo chooses to blame his chi for his fate and cling to his beliefs of power and masculinity, his exile proves to be a purely alienating experience due to his inability to reflect on his actions and adapt to the changing ways of the Ibo tribe. After Okonkwo is exiled from Umuofia, he chooses to justify his situation by attributing his exile to his chi instead of reflecting and recognizing the fault in his mentality. The story’s narrator explains the Ibo’s belief of chi to be an individual’s personal, spiritual god that is responsible for their fate and destiny. This concept is first presented early in the plot when the narrator states that “when a man says yes his chi says yes also” (Achebe 27). With this mentality, it can be…

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