Things Fall Apart

In what ways did Okonkwo’s reaction to the white missionaries and their influence on the Ibo contribute to the theme of cultural adaptation in “Things Fall Apart”?

Okonkwo represents a certain way of life amongst the Ibo of Umuofia, and the rise and fall of his fortunes throughout the novel corresponds to the fitness of this way of life in varying situations. Okonkwo’s values are ultraconservative: he adheres strictly to tradition and abhors deviation from it. He is also hyper-masculine: Okonkwo prioritises …

In what ways did Okonkwo’s reaction to the white missionaries and their influence on the Ibo contribute to the theme of cultural adaptation in “Things Fall Apart”? Read More »

The obsession with proving and preserving his manliness dominates Okonkwo’s public and private life. In regards to the novel ‘Things Fall Apart’, do you agree with the statement?

Yes, I agree with this statement. Okonkwo’s obsession with being masculine negatively affects both his public and private life. Okonkwo is known and respected throughout his village for being the best wrestler and becomes one of the village leaders at a relatively young age. However, Okonkwo’s masculinity often times alienates him from the other villagers. …

The obsession with proving and preserving his manliness dominates Okonkwo’s public and private life. In regards to the novel ‘Things Fall Apart’, do you agree with the statement? Read More »

Is Okonkwo’s father responsible for how Okonkwo turned out as a person?

One could argue that Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, is responsible for his son’s callous, hostile, determined demeanor. Unoka was a lazy man and a debtor, who enjoyed playing his flute and drinking palm-wine all day. He was also not aggressive and always avoided physical confrontation. Unoka lived a happy-go-lucky life and died a titleless man, who …

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Okonkwo’s final decision – is it act of courage or act of protest?

Okonkwo’s suicide is an act driven by despair. This despair seems to come directly from Okonkwo’s sense that his village culture/ identity has disappeared. In ways that are quite real and deeply disturbing for Okonkwo, Umuofia has become a place (and home to a people) that Okonkwo no longer recognises. When his village loses coherence, …

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What does the title of the book the District Commissioner is writing reveal about his attitude towards the clansmen?

In Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”, the District Commissioner is the reigning symbol of Western imperialism, an ignorant, condescending administrator who is brought to the area to mete out justice and impose the more enlightened culture of the West upon these uncivilized tribes. His manners bespeak an individual accustomed to treating the subjects of the …

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What is the significance of the District Commissioner’s final lines?

After following Okonkwo’s staunch perspective throughout the entirety of the tale, Chinua Achebe’s classic debut novel Things Fall Apart provocatively ends by narrowing in on the white District Commissioner’s perception of the final scene. Indeed, after Okonkwo hangs himself, the Commissioner thinks to himself: “The story of this man who had killed a messenger and …

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How did the settlers in the book contribute to the death of Okonkwo?

The white European colonists gradually undermine the traditional Igbo culture and eventually take control of Umuofia and the surrounding tribes. Okonkwo is portrayed as a callous, obdurate man, who supports traditional Igbo customs and is completely opposed to the spread of European culture in the region. During Okonkwo’s exile, the Europeans establish schools, stores, churches, …

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