Things Fall Apart

In the book Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe is trying to give an explanation of
what it is like to live in an African society. The story is about a man named Okonkwo
who is a member of the Ibo tribe. Achebe is telling the story of Okonkwo from his
childhood till his death. Before I read this book I did not have a very good idea of how
people lived in Africa, and the ideas of I did have about life in traditional African societies
turned out to be untrue. Achebe did a very good job of illustrating a traditional African
society, and by reading this book I now have a much better idea of what life is like in a
non-western society. I think that this was Achebe's goal in writing this book, to educate
people about some of the struggles people have and life in traditional African societies.
The title Things Fall Apart is a good choice for a title of this book. The main
character, Okonkwo, did not like the way his father lived. He thought that a man should
be strong and do typical male tasks. But Okonkwo's father, Unoka, did not fit mold
according to Okonkwo. Okonkwo was ashamed of his father, and told himself that he
would make a better life for himself and his family. Okonkwo was able to do this, he
became very successful in the Ibo tribe and had gained a very high standing in the tribe. It
was his goal to become an elder in the tribe, and it looked like he was going to achieve
that goal. Okonkwo was banished form the tribe for seven years for killing a boy, and was
forced to live with his mother's tribe for the seven years. Okonkwo lost all of his titles and
his standing in the Ibo tribe. After the seven years had passed, Okonkwo went back to the
Ibo tribe and had to start his live over. Over the seven years that Okonkwo was away, the
Ibo tribe changed a lot. Most of these changes were do to the missionaries which had
come to Africa to try to convert people to Christianity. Okonkwo could not accept these
changes, and in a rage of anger he killed a clansman. This was the worst crime a man
could commit. After Okonkwo did this he realized that there was no hope for redeeming
himself and no way that he could become an elder. So he hung himself because he could
not live with the fact that he would never regain his standing in the tribe. He would have
most likely been killed for committing this crime anyway. Basically Okonkwo's life fell
apart on him, hence I feel that the title Things Fall Apart is very fitting for this book.
I thought that Achebe did a good job at writing this book. After getting into the
book I found it very easy to read and follow. It took a while to get use to the names of
the people in the book, and the Ibo words and phrases. I thought that the purpose of this
book was not directly stated, but it was implied. The purpose was to show people what it
is like growing up in a traditional African Society, and Achebe did a good job a showing
that. The book is chronologically organized, starting with Okonkwo as a child and ending
with his death. I feel that the audience level for this book would be high school and
above. I think that there are a lot of implied messages and ideas that mature readers will
pick out easier than younger readers. I feel that the book is not biased, and I feel
represents the African people as well as the white missionaries fairly. So overall I feel that
the book was very well written and found it enjoyable to read.
I found it ironic that both Okonkwo and his father, Unoka, ended up the same
way. Both ended up being put in the evil forest after their death. Unoka ended up in the
evil forest because he did from a strange disease, while Okonkwo ended up in the evil
forest because he had killed a clansman. I found this ironic because it seemed the
Okonkwo tried to everything different from his father. Okonkwo did not agree with the
way Unoka lived, and he told himself that he was not going to live that way. And for the
most part his life was completely opposite of his father's life. Even though they took
completely different paths in life,