Book Review: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things fall apart is a tragic novel by Nigerian author – Chinua Achebe. The book was first published in 1958. The motivation of the author to write the book might have arisen from the changes that were taking place in his society at the time. Things Fall Apart is set in Pre-colonial Nigeria and reflects the struggle between colonialism and African traditions. It is also part of a novel sequel, with the other novels by Achebe being: No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987).

The story line of the novel follows the life of Okonkwo, who is the main character in the novel. The authors’ main aim in writing the novel is to cut a clear picture of the inevitability of change in human life. The author further shows how the embrace or rejection of change can either lead to a positive or negative growth pattern in society. Okonkwo has a great desire to be regarded as a man in his society and masculine in all ways; he identifies himself only with attributes of strength and does not tolerate any form of weakness. Chinua Achebe begins his novel with part of a poem:

 Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
(W.B.Yeats)

 

 

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