Things Fall Apart is a novel written by Chinua Achebe.I t takes place in the middle of the twentieth century, in Umuofia Africa.It is based on the life of its main character Okonkwo and his village.Okonkwo was a well known, accomplished man in his village.He was a man of two titles and he earned every bit of it.Okonkwo’s family included eight children, six sons and two daughters.
He also had three wives which was also a symbol of wealth in Umuofia because in their village it was their custom to have men pay a bride price for their wives.Okonkwo worked very hard to obtain everything he had because his father Unoka left him with nothing but debt.Unoka, Okonkwo’s father was a very lazy degenerate gambler of whom Okonkwo was ashamed of.Unoka was often referred to as an efulefu, or a man with of no worth .Okonkwo overcame these negative aspects of his childhood,started with a small loan of yam seeds, and worked to become a very wealthy man.Everything in Umuofia seemed normal and seemed to be going well for Okonkwo and his family until Okonkwo committed a fatal action.
The story then takes another turn when Okonkwo, his village, and the eight villages surrounding his were affected by the new coming European customs and laws. . The village of Umuofia was located in the rainforest region Africa.The people of Umuofia were mainly farmers of root crops and herders of sheep and goat.Their farming and herding was very successful and it provided a surplus which made way for their market.Umuofia and the eight villages surrounding it were male dominated villages, yet women were also very important because of their ability to give birth.The female’s ability to conceive children was the most important and beneficial thing for a woman to do in Umuofia.
Women also helped in farming , but they were limited to farming beans, cassava, and things that required light duty farming.The men farmed the yam which was referred to as the king of crops because it required heavy labor and attentive care.The people of Umuofia were polytheistic,they had a long list of gods and goddesses such as Chukwu, who was believed to have created the world and the other gods, Ani,who was their earth goddess, Agbala, and many others.The Umuofians created carvings and other things that were symbolic of their gods.They worshipped their gods by way of various sacrifices and gifts such as the slayings of animals and gifts such as yams.Each person in Umuofia had their own chi, or personal god of which they saw as the factor that determined whether or not that person would lead a good and productive or bad and unfortunate life.
The people of Umuofia had many important ceremonies such as their New Yam Festival in which they gave thanks to Ani.They also had many wedding ceremonies and village meetings. The Umuofians ways of livingdisplayed many strengths and weaknesses.
Their strengths included things such as their discipline, their rewards for hard work,and their effective ways of farming.Their weaknesses included their taboos and somewhat foolish religious beliefs.Umuofians were a disciplined people.They showed this discipline in many ways such as their punishment for crimes against the land which was demonstrated when Okonkwo had beaten his wife during the Weak of Peace.This discipline was also demonstrated when Okonkwo killed the son of a neighbor accidentally.Instead of revenge the village’s custom was to place Okonkwo and his family in exile for seven years because it had been and accident.
Had this killing been committed purposely Okonkwo would be given a different , more harsh punishment. The people of Umuofia also had a living system that allowed a man who worked extremely hard to become successful whether or not their parents had left him riches.With a system such as theirs’ a child born poorly can work his way up and be as successful as a child.