Things Fall Apart

How does the setting of the village scene impact the plot of the novel and the actions of the main protagonists?

There are actually a few village scenes in the story. The rural setting of these village scenes is central to the plot of the novel and the actions of its protagonist, Okonkwo. The village scenes demonstrate the extent to which nature and its gods affect the lives of the Igbo. For example, ‘suspicious’ deaths are …

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Give a description of the Igbo society before the coming of the white man.

The Igbo, sometimes referred to as Ibo, are one of the largest single ethnic groups in Africa. Pre-colonial Igbo political organization was based on communities, devoid of kings or governing chiefs. The development of a heterarchical society, as opposed to a heterarchical society, marks Igbo development as sharply divergent from political trends. Most Igbo village …

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What do you believe to be the single most important reason as to why the Europeans in ‘Things Fall Apart’ were able to undermine and destroy the traditional Ibo culture?

For me, I find that the biggest reason that European influence is able to grow into a pervasive force in Umuofia is because the Ibo tribal elders do not treat the arrival of Christian missionaries as the threat to their culture and values that the missionaries eventually become. The Ibo are initially uneasy at the …

What do you believe to be the single most important reason as to why the Europeans in ‘Things Fall Apart’ were able to undermine and destroy the traditional Ibo culture? Read More »

How do minor characters in ‘Things Fall Apart’ help us to understand Okonkwo?

I argue that there are two minor characters in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” that enable readers to better understand Okonkwo and his distinct personality traits. The first is his lazy father Unoka. Unoka intentionally avoids working hard, and thus leaves his young son destitute. He never obtains titles and ends up dying in the …

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Which chapter could be described as the most important in ‘Things Fall Apart’ and why?

For me, chapter twenty in Chinua Achebe’s seminal work of African literature “Things Fall Apart” is the most important chapter in the entire novel. This is the chapter in which Okonkwo has served his time in exile in Mbanta and makes his return to his village in Umuofia. Okonkwo intensely anticipates the return, and imagines …

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In what ways does the idea of progress shape ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe?

Throughout the novel, Achebe depicts how the traditional Igbo society of Umuofia drastically changes with the advent of European colonisation. Unoka and Okonkwo both symbolise the traditional culture of Igbo society. Throughout the story, Unoka is considered a failure throughout his village because he has no titles and dies as a debtor. In contrast, Okonkwo …

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In ‘Things Fall Apart’, would silence be characterised as positive or negative?

Throughout the novel, Chinua Achebe characterises silence as being ominous and negative. In Chapter 7, Okonkwo and the boys work in “complete silence” until the locusts descend onto the village. Shortly after, Ezeudu tells Okonkwo that Umuofia has decided to kill Ikemefuna. When Okonkwo receives the news, he tells Ikemefuna that he will be taking …

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