Things Fall Apart" is also a: user(thing) by mcSey (1.7 mon) (print)? 1 C! Mon Jun 05 2000 at 20:19:15 1958 Novel by Chinua Achebe which describes the first meeting of an African tribe with colonial white men.It's a thin book, filled with the sort of noble savage wisdom conquered people like to dole out. On that political level, I've always thought the book fails.
On every other level, plot, characters, literary devices — I love this book.Achebe, who writes in French (I think), is a genius craftsman with language. The only other writer of story and prose that translates so well is Milan Kundera. Both grab at the reader in any language, gently inundating the him or her with soft beautiful text strings that hide hard truths.The kola nut is prominently features throughout the novel. It's demise from a religious symbol to a cultivated cash crop is a beautiful metaphor that runs through the book.A particularly telling scene from the book describes the meeting between a war chief and a colonial explorer.
The war chief regales the explorer with tales of the Great War his people had fought with a neighboring village. The chief uses 24 kola nuts to count the twelve brave men from each village that had died before the suffering on each side was so great that the fighting stopped. The explorer than attempts to explain the 30 Years War where a million men died. The chief is at first unimpressed.
"How many is a million," he asks. When the explorer dumps a bag of rice on the ground in an attempt to show a million, the chief is at first disbelieving and then horrified.The title is taken from a William Butler Yeats poem The Second Coming. Somebody add more please:) (thing) by hramyaegr (3.7 mon) (print)? 3 C!s Sat Oct 14 2000 at 11:14:55 Things Fall Apart is a story about the Ibo clan (sometimes spelled Igbo) of Nigeria, circa 1900. The bulk of the story spans about a 12 year period and focuses on the influence of Christian settlement on the clan.
The book is seemingly slow to start. It goes through several years of life in the tribe called Umuofia, and seems to have little point with no plot build up. What Achebe is doing, however, is attempting to dispell the deep-seated belief that tribal peoples are without unique and important culture, and that civilization is inherently better than tribalization.
He very carefully explains many of the cultural aspects of life for Ibo peoples, including inter-tribal relations, religion, birth, death, the importance of status and wealth, and the intradependence of the tribe, the role of men and of women. Achebe makes the reader view the tribe members as people, not savages. When the plot does pick up and the reader is made aware of the conflict that arises between white European colonists and the tribe members, it's no longer a case of colonists civilizing where needed: it's a case of forced cultural homogenization regardless of want. For the sake of brevity, the colonists are white Christians whose intent is to interact with the Ibo and completely convert them to Christianity. As their presence grows, the main character in the book and a powerful man in the tribe, Okonkwo, grows more suspicious of them and their intent, wishing them to be gone.
Due to an unfortunate accident, Okonkwo and his family are forced to leave the tribe for seven years per tribal rules. When finally he is allowed to return to his tribe, the white settlers have made significant advances in their disintegration of Umuofia. Many of the lesser men in the tribe, the efulefu (those without titles), have converted to Christianity and joined the church because it offers them a status they would not have otherwise had.
In addition, the church has won conversions with some of the people of the tribe. The portrait that Achebe paints is that since the arrival of the settlers, there has been external pressure to be subjected to Christian and English laws and culture, and internal rifts between devoted clan members and those who would join the settlers. The main character, Okonkwo, is a very strong character who has pushed himself his entire life to be successful. For him, anything that brings shame to himself or to his family is intolerable. He is very strict and very determined.
Born to a father.