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essay on things fall apart

Full Glossary for Things Fall Apart; Essay Questions; Cite this Literature Note; Critical Essays Major Themes in Things Fall Apart. Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List. Introduction. For many writers, the theme of a novel is the driving force of the book during its creation. Even if the author doesn't consciously identify an intended. Things Fall Apart: Examining Literary Merit. by Feross Aboukhadijeh. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the reader is taken on a literary journey to a Nigerian tribe, the Umuofia, to experience first-hand the struggles of a warrior named Okonkwo. At first glance, the novel appears to be written for a very specific audience: scholars familiar with Nigerian history, traditions, and culture. Oct 26,  · Things fall apart Words | 5 Pages. Reflection on the novel Things Fall Apart The Idea of Culture in Things Fall Apart The novel Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe is a story about personal beliefs, customs and also about conflict.


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In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the reader is taken on a literary journey to a Nigerian tribe, the Umuofia, to experience first-hand the struggles of a warrior named Okonkwo. At first glance, the novel appears to be written for a very specific audience: scholars familiar with Nigerian history, traditions, and culture. However, upon further examination the novel reveals itself to be a striking chronicle of human experiences, universal themes, and timeless struggles that appeal to every human, regardless of familiarity with Nigerian culture.

Taken as a whole, the novel appears to be much more than the sum of its parts: syntax, diction, figurative language, imagery, repetition, and symbols. Things Fall Apart is a novel with literary merit—and lots of it. In order to sculpt a literary monument to the human condition and these universal themes, the author, Achebe, employs a broad variety of literary tools.

The clash of cultures is undoubtedly one of the most universal themes seen in literature. This cultural clash can be seen throughout life and history anytime two groups of people hold differing views that cannot coexist. Even today, Western and Eastern cultures—the U. Similarly, the European missionaries and the native Umuofians struggle to coexist peacefully. However, the relationship between the Europeans and the Umuofians is one-sided.

When the Europeans arrived in Umuofia, they brought Christianity with them but did not foist it upon anyone; joining the church was entirely optional. But over time, the missionaries became increasingly aggressive—even hostile—to the native Umuofian beliefs and culture. Slowly, the Europeans erode the native beliefs and come to dominate the native society. Achebe expresses the effects of the missionaries clearly through the repeated imagery of the tribal drums.

The signature Umuofian drums are heard many times throughout the story—until the Europeans arrive in the tribe—after which the drums are heard no more. The tribal drums are a symbol of tribal unity. Their sound was no longer a separate thing from the living village. It was like the pulsation of its heart. Any time Achebe mentions the sound of the drums, Umuofian society is functioning properly. Every clansman knew his place and purpose in life; the tribe worked together, functioning as a single unit.

Indeed, the drums seemed to have Umuofia under a spell. However, the constant repetition of the drum imagery before the European missionaries arrive stands in stark contrast to the lack of drums throughout the latter half of the novel. After the Christian missionaries arrive in Umuofia, they immediately begin to evangelize the locals. One method they used to captivate the tribesmen was to sing hymns. And pluck at Umuofian hearts the missionaries did, essay on things fall apart.

Essay on things fall apart doubt, the missionaries believed that they were bringing salvation water to a savage people living in the desert. When Okonkwo returns from his seven year exile, he finds the Europeans dominating Umuofian culture—even controlling the Umuofian government. The tribal unity has been shattered. Family ties—once so important in Umuofian society—are now nearly meaningless.

In this clash between tradition and change, change was the clear-cut winner, essay on things fall apart. Okonkwo is motivated by a desire to prove himself superior to his father, who was cowardly and irresponsible and died a poor man with many unpaid debts. He viewed his father as overly pensive, slow to act, and effeminate womanly.

Therefore, Okonkwo adopts opposite traits; Okonkwo is rash, quick to act, and excessively violent Okonkwo associates violence with masculinity. Achebe uses figurative language like metaphors essay on things fall apart similes to compare Okonkwo to a fire. Okonkwo's fame had grown like a bush-fire in the harmattan. Okonkwo gained power and importance in Umuofian society by burning lesser people as fuel. He continued to burn strong into adulthood.

As his fame and popularity increased, Okonkwo pursued his ideal of masculinity. Okonkwo constantly distanced himself from anything even remotely feminine. He constantly reminded himself of his masculinity and strove to make sure all his clansmen knew of it as well. Like a fire, Okonkwo is essay on things fall apart, and burns whatever he touches. Throughout the novel, Okonkwo nags on his wives and son, beats his family, and kills three innocent people—not to mention himself, as well.

In many cases, essay on things fall apart, he hurts his family for trivial reasons. He beat Nwoye again when he discovered him helping women with their household tasks. As the Europeans gained influence and political clout in the Umuofian government, Okonkwo saw his own power and influence at risk, essay on things fall apart.

When the Europeans finally succeed in taking control of the government, essay on things fall apart, then Okonkwo—like a fire without any fuel—dies, a victim of his own nature. Of course, not all scholars agree with the assertion that Things Fall Apart has literary merit.

However, this is not important. And the number of copies of the novel sold over two million worldwide demonstrates the universality of the story. It is safe to say that Things Fall Apart has earned widespread acceptance as a quality piece of literature. Previous Essay Next Essay. Government Vocabulary Important Documents. Vanderbilt Essays Wash.

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Sample Literary Devices Essay - "Things Fall Apart" - AP English Sample Essays - Study Notes

 

essay on things fall apart

 

Suggested Essay Topics. 1. Think about the role of weather in the novel. How does it work, symbolically or otherwise, in relation to important elements of the novel such as religion? Mar 12,  · Things Fall Apart () is one of the most widely read and studied African novels ever written. Critics have viewed the work as Achebe's answer to the . Full Glossary for Things Fall Apart; Essay Questions; Cite this Literature Note; Critical Essays Major Themes in Things Fall Apart. Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List. Introduction. For many writers, the theme of a novel is the driving force of the book during its creation. Even if the author doesn't consciously identify an intended.