Things Fall Apart
It is hard to imagine being invaded and forced to change virtually all of our ways by a foreign nation. Unfortunately for the Ibo society, imperialism was forced upon them. All they could do was sit back and watch as the English changed all aspects of their life. Everything from religion to family life was changed by imperialism. The title, Things Fall Apart, suits the book very well because that is essentially what happened to the Umuofia village. The cultural traditions of Umuofia eventually fell apart. The main points of focus in Things Fall Apart are life inside the Ibo tribe, the struggle of one man’s desire to succeed, and imperialism. During part one of the story, Achebe takes the reader through the
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In fear of ending up like his father, Okonkwo makes a concerted effort to work hard and earn respect among his peers. Okonkwo earned respect through his farming and wrestling. "His fame rested on personal achievements. As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat...Okonkwo was as slippery as a fish in water" (Achebe 1). Despite all of his personal achievements, things begin to go downhill for Okonkwo as the book goes on. He is banished from the tribe for seven years for a terrible accident caused by him and it was during this time imperialism begins. Okonkwo returns only to find his tribe overrun by the English. Okonkwo was a troubled character with a fear of failure and an inability to control his anger and swallow his pride. He was so focused on success he failed to realize his own personal flaws. This is what ultimately led to his demise. Okonkwo is outraged to find out that even his own son Nwoye is taken in by the new religion being introduced to his tribe. This is when Okonkwo’s anger gets the best of him and he kills the district commissioner. When he finds out no one is in support of him, he commits suicide. Okonkwo can be considered a tragic hero driven by the fear of failure and also the fear of change.
When the white missionaries came to colonize the Ibo tribe, many believed that they would not stay long. Christianity, among other things, was forced upon the tribe. However, some of