"THINGS FALL APART "
Book Review
By Janaya Gray, International High School
In a world where things fal apart and never steady,
al he had going for himself, and even that respect
traditions and customs are turned to shambles while
depleted as the story went on.
boundaries are tested and trust is lost. The book "Things
The book first talked about Okonkwo and his great life,
Fal Apart," by Chinua Achebe exemplifies al these
accomplishments, and reputation; but it soon took a turn
concepts and much more. The tragedy takes place in
for the worse after he committed a senseless kil ing.
an Ibo vil age in lower Nigeria. The novel real y projects
Since that decision, Okonkwo has had a black cloud
the native people's views, ways of living, and how their
over his head and terrible luck. He was banished from
traditions differ from our everyday lives.
his vil age for seven years because he accidently kil ed
The book focused on a powerful and hardworking
a clansman. During his time in exile, he was told about
warrior by the name of Okonkwo, and how he deals with
white men wreaking havoc in the neighboring vil ages
the world around him, while attempting to do right by
and tainting the mal eable minds of the Ibo people with
his family and maintain a successful empire. The errors
their religion and customs. These white people built
of his father's ways surfaced a deep resentment and
Christian churches and a government that led people to
hatred from Okonkwo. This is one of the reasons why
break away from their vil age, which angered Okonkwo
Okonkwo tries so hard to earn worthy titles in the vil ages,
very much.
because his father did not care to earn any.
The customs and lifestyle of the people faded after the
"Looking at a king's mouth, one would think he never
arrival of the missionaries, and Okonkwo did not agree
sucked at the breast of his mother," said an old man in
to any of those terms. "Al our gods are weeping.
the vil age. This sums up the others vil agers' views of
Our dead fathers are weeping because the shameful
Okonkwo's sudden accomplishments after rising to triumph. sacrilege they are suffering and the abomination we
From his reform of the son of a man with no titles to one
have al seen with our eyes." The treachery and deceit of
of the lords of the clan is rare and wel acknowledged
the vil agers, including Okonkwo's son, was an enormous
by al . "Anyone who knew his grim struggle against
blow and too much for him to handle. Christianity went
poverty and misfortune could not say he had been lucky.
against everything the Ibo people believe, and that is
If ever a man deserved his success, that man was Okonkwo."
why it was so attractive to the weak, out-casted, broken-
I too believe in this philosophy. If you worked hard and
hearted, never good enough people of the vil ages.
took no short cuts to reach your goals and success,
No one did anything about the missionaries, which
then you shal get everything your fortune brings you.
drove Okonkwo crazy. The changing of customs and
Even though I can respect any man who fends for himself
their ancestry traditions was a huge pil to swal ow and
and worked for everything he possessed, I am not
he ultimately choked on it. Life as he knew it would
personal y fond of Okonkwo. He is a misogynistic, self-
never be the same and everything he believed perished.
conscious, insecure, stubborn, close-minded person who
He would not abandon and desecrate the customs of
wants things to be his way or prepare to suffer upon his
his people and ancestry, so that led to the fal of his fate.
wrath. No doubt about it, he was a fierce warrior and
A tree in a flood that does not bend wil break and that
a force to be reckoned with,
is the story of the end of
but that is
Okonkwo.
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