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Things Fall Apart
What falls apart and why?
The title of Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart refers mainly to the integrity of the Nigerian tribal cultures: to their customs, traditions, and ways of life, all of which fall apart as the result of internal and external conflicts. In Okonkwo's personal life, a series of unfortunate events lead to his loss of personal integrity and his eventual psychological destruction. The gradual yet dramatic falling apart of Okonkwo parallels the falling apart of his community. Okonkwo's beating his wife during the Week of Peace denoted a clear violation of sacred tradition. Okonkwo's respect for tradition diminishes further throughout the novel and culminates in his killing Ikemefuna. The murder of his foster son was not an ordinary moral transgression, but also an affront to the wisdom of the tribal elders and their spiritual oracles. Things really fall apart for Okonkwo and his…… [Read More]
The unpolluted picture of Ibo people comes to life with the helps of such things as the detailed description of New Yam Festival that opens Chapter 5. While some things may appear corny and affected such as sentences like this one: "Drums beat violently, and men leaped up and down in a frenzy" , most of the comments are meant to highlight the true meaning of these otherwise demeaning observations. The author explains what beating of drums meant for the people and how it resonated with the true spirit and pulse of the village:
The drums were still beating, persistent and unchanging. Their sound was no longer a separate thing from the living village. It was like the pulse of its heart. It throbbed in the air, in the sunshine, and even in the trees, and filled the village with excitement .
Achebe also carefully studies tribal myths to understand…… [Read More]
Okonkwo inflexible traditionalism pitted him against his gentle son Nwoye, who joined the Christian European missionaries. In the book, Oknokwo had to participate in a ceremonial human sacrifice and endure a seven-year exile after his gun accidentally killed the son of the deceased warrior Ezeudu. He also lost part of himself when he lost Ikemefuna. Upon returning to the village, he found it torn apart by Western Imperialism. Finally, he commits suicide after decapitating a white messenger who violated his authority.
Okonokwo's demise was brought about by breaking the sacred laws of the clan as well as unsuccessfully fighting against the unjust system of the colonists. He stands as a representation of his entire clan and other similar cultures who, through the centuries, have lost their traditions through the assault of Imperialism. Achebe's book demonstrates that humanity, in both its best and worst cases, is represented in all cultures.…… [Read More]
Therefore, Okonkwo rejected his father, and hence, the womanly element of himself. He turned out to be a leading wrestler and warrior in his people to make available the facilities of life for his family at a very small age. Simultaneously, he established a new farm and began to collect his own riches, and ultimately a name. His uphill struggle confirms itself in his victory, and he rapidly became well-known and appreciated in his tribe for his devotion and leadership qualities. Having achieved wealth, wives and children, he considered that he has controlled over his father's womanly mistakes. His great dream was to develop into one of the influential elders of the tribe and at a point he successfully achieved that goal. Okonkwo felt steady and safe in his way of manliness in its edges.
Nevertheless, it shortly turned out to be obvious that not everything was perfect. His son,…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart
Hubris and the Suicide of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
This novel by Chinua Achebe was first published in 1958. Set on the continent of Africa this is the story of Okonkwo, a member of the Umuofia clan, one of nine villages of a tribe in Nigeria. Okonkwo is an esteemed tribesman who, despite the stigma of his cowardly father who died in disgrace leaving many unsettled debts behind, has achieved wealth and respect through hard work and self-reliance. Okonkwo worries that his son, Nwoye, will end up a failure like his father. His favorite daughter, Ezinma, is the only child of Ekwefi. She is more like her father in spirit and Okonkwo often wishes she had been born a boy.
The story centers on the events that surround Okonkwo during the course of his life and the self-realizations that lead him to take his…… [Read More]
Smith hates the Igbo faith so much that he equates it to the Baal and the followers of Baal in the Biblical Old Testament. He has strict policy over conversion to Christianity such that any elder to decides to get converted to Christian faith must immediately abandon the traditional ways and follow Christianity only. His cruelty and strictness to the abandoning of all Igbo traditional ways is seen when he suspends a woman from the church for having fulfilled the traditional ways of handling a dead Ogbanje child who had to have some rituals conducted in order to avoid another Ogbanje from being born.
From the contributions and character traits of the two preachers, it is seen that Mr. Brown makes a better preacher and influences more people into Christianity without much violence than everend Smith does, hence making Mr. Brown a more successful preacher here.
Who makes a better…… [Read More]
The best members of African youth are destroyed or ignored. Although he is African, because he is a member of a rival clan, Ikemefuna, is killed, when the energies of the Umuofians would be better spent resisting white influence. Because she is a woman, the noble and stalwart Ezinma is not valued, although her father loves her almost as if she were a son.
A final interpretation might be that the best of any society lack all conviction in the sense that it is better not to embody either extreme, either the hyper-masculinity of Okonkwo or the laziness of Unoka, or the utter certainty that there is only one valid faith like the Reverend Smith. Instead one ought to follow a middle path like Ikemefuna, who is able to see past clan differences from an early age, and find a balanced way of being an African man. Sadly, the passionate…… [Read More]
For this reason, he is a tragic hero according to Aristotle's definition of the word.
Aristotle believed tragedies must "imitate actions which excite pity and fear" (Aristotle). This involves the hero to suffer a change, which usually means going from good fortune to misfortune through the course of the story. Like real life, all things are not all good or all bad. Aristotle believed "misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty" (Aristotle XIII). In addition, this change is the result of something the hero does. Aristotle believed it was necessary for the hero to comprehend the gravity of what he has done. This forces him to realize his fatal flaw. A catharsis follows this realization and it heightens the drama of the story. Aristotle believed the best effect results from a surprise. In this way, action drives the plot and keeps the…… [Read More]
Moreover, the unquestioned belief in the oracle's word conflicts with Okonkwo's own needs to solidify his family's political leadership and social standing in the tribe. Okonkwo's desire to redeem himself and his family name proves stronger than his respect for the oracle. Thus, Okonkwo at once seeks to preserve the political institutions of Umuofia culture while at the same time subverting core social and spiritual traditions. He wants to retain his position as political leader and establish his adopted son Ikemefuma as his heir. Yet Okonkwo disrespects social traditions like the Week of Peace and religious traditions like obeying the oracle. Interestingly, the oracle's word proves superior to that of Okonkwo. Achebe suggests that the old tribal ways may in fact bear significant wisdom. Umuofia religious traditions were falling apart even before Christianity infiltrated African society with the European missionaries.
Umuofia social structure is tied together by the dual pillars…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart
All classical heroes have tragic flaws. In the case of Okonkwo, the protagonist in Chinau Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart, heroism is demonstrated by his position of leadership and power in his community and his allegiance to tradition. However, Okonkwo's flaws haunt him, his family and his clansmen throughout the tale. Okonkwo's key flaws are his intense pride and anger. These tragic flaws lead to the death of two children and to his committing suicide at the end of the book. Okonkwo's excessive need to prove his worth over that of his lazy father and his consequential expectations and projections onto his son and community cause his downfall and are the source of his tragic flaw.
Ironically, it is the young men of his clan, especially his son and Ikemefuna, that most inspire Okonkwo to act as a true leader and hero. Okonkwo hopes to embody an…… [Read More]
This was especially important to the reading because it also showed that the natives wanted to get along with the whites, but the whites were far less interested in getting along with the natives - they simply wanted to dominate and control them.
It was hard not to think about this story after it was done. The Nigerians lived hard lives, but it is clear they were happy. It was hard not to wonder why the whites felt such a need to control them and take over their land and their lives. It was also hard to read what the natives went through, and how they lost people because of misunderstandings and other problems. This certainly was not a happy story to read, but it was very well written, and the images of the natural world were often beautiful. Achebe is doing more than telling a story in this tale,…… [Read More]
Achebe puts it this way, "Okonkwo encouraged the boys to sit with him in his obi, and he told them stories of the land -- masculine stories of violence and bloodshed" (Achebe 52). Okonkwo represents all men in society who are so obsessed with their own manliness that they can never allow themselves any emotion, caring, or concern. Sadly, these archaic attitudes are still not uncommon in today's society, and Okonkwo illustrates just how outdated and ridiculous they really are.
The women of the tribe are often silent, and they play a very minor role in the book. This is true of the society as well. Achebe did not even give some of the women names. Women were simply not as important in Ibo society as men, but they did have some vital roles, and some of the men knew they could learn from the women. Okonkwo did not, and…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Specifically, it will evaluate how the arrival of the Europeans in Nigeria transformed everyday life for the Nigerian villagers. It will present an argument about whether, overall, these changes improved society as a whole. The arrival of the white man in Nigeria spelled the end of a way of life for the Ibo, and the other native tribes in the area. The white men required strict control over the natives, and wanted to make them "white" in almost every sense. In doing so, they took away the natives natural and simple way of life, and "things fell apart."
Things Fall Apart Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" is the story of the native Ibo people who live in what is now Nigeria, and the invasion of Europeans into their ordered and happy lives. Much of the tale involves the natives endeavoring to interact with the white…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart" the author, Chinua Achebe, offers a unique perspective on Africa and the effect of European civilization on Africa. The story is told with a focus on the central character, Okonkwo. This focus gives the book a definite sense of reality, makes the theme of the tragedy of the change more forceful and also says something greater about all societies. We will begin by giving a brief overview of the story, especially the story of Okonkwo. We will then discuss the sense of reality, the themes and the tragedy of the story and finally the greater meaning of the novel.
The Story of Okonkwo
The book starts by telling Okonkwo's story and his rise to the top of his African tribe. At the same time, his story also tells us about African culture. Without needing to lecture on the subject, the reader becomes aware of the traditions of…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, and "Tintern Abbey," by William Wordsworth. Specifically, it will analyze imagery (metaphor, simile, symbol, etc.), and discuss the ways in which the imagery of these texts creates relationships either between humans and nature, or between humans and the divine. What kind of relationship is created by the imagery in each case, and how? How do the details of the two texts' imagery create differences and/or similarities in the relationships you're discussing? Imagery in a piece of writing may not be apparent at first, it may hide underneath the theme and structure of the piece, but unlike landscape to a blind eye, imagery can be seen by reading a little more closely, and taking the time to really think about what the author was trying to say with his or her work.
LANDSCAPE TO A BLIND MAN
Imagery plays an important part in much of…… [Read More]
In times of trouble and cultural breakdown dominant figures often seek out the most vulnerable of members to rail against and yet Achebe does not give evidence to this effect. He does not depict women or other marginalized members of the society as receiving punishment or objectification, outside ordinary levels, and yet the objectification and violence is extreme. If this inclusion had been made the filter of the work could be broadened to demonstrate that the breakdown of the culture included the demonstrative objectification of women, as the marginalized and therefore abused group, yet it does not. The Igbo culture is depicted as wholly patriarchal as objectification of women and violence against women is supported by Achebe's depiction of the culture not as a culture in decline but as part of the culture that will be lost under colonialism. Gender is clearly defined by the novel as wholly patriarchal, in…… [Read More]
The 1958 novel, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, follows the life of the protagonist, Okonkwo, a leader and a local athletic hero in a made-up Nigerian hamlet, named Umuofia. The novel is divided into three very distinct sections— the first which examines the family of the hero, another his personal perspective and lineage along with the current societal customs, the following sections look at the influence of outsiders on the village such as colonists from the United Kingdom and missionaries of the Christian faith. Despite these clear separations within the book, there is a consistent treatment of gender and gender roles that paint a disturbing picture. Achebe’s novel shows the scathing legacy of destruction that strict gender roles can unleash upon society. The strict divisions of gender and gendered work, along with gendered roles in society, are one of the ways this society manifests fear. Rather than confronting the…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe before referencing
Things Fall Apart: Still relevant to Africa today
The postcolonial classic Things Fall Apart by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe shows both the cruelty of British colonialism and the folly of oppressed African peoples' inability to unite with one another across tribal lines. In the novel, the tribal patriarch Okonkwo of the Umuofia tribe attempts to exert total control over his entire village and family. He is rich and prosperous, and dominates his father Unoka, who represents the sensitive, artistic side of African traditions.
Okonkwo, because of his desire to seem masculine and authoritative, rejects the children who actually show promise to lead the tribe into the future. He kills his foster son Ikemefuna, because this is in accordance with tribal law, even though he and the boy are both Africans, although they are rival clans. Although his daughter Ezinma is far more…… [Read More]
He does not hesitate to host Ikemefuna when his tribe provides him with this task and he even takes part in murdering the child when the tribe's elders decide that he should die. Even with that, it appears that Okonkwo's fate is sealed and that he has limited control over what happens to him.
Okonkwo cannot stand by and watch as his village's values are being trampled by men that have nothing to do with his clan or his lands. Upon seeing that his tribesmen are reluctant to join him at the time when he slays a messenger, Okonkwo realizes that the battle is lost and decides that he can no longer live in a world where everything that he respects is destroyed both by his people and by the invading white individuals.
On the other hand, the man's death can also be perceived as proof that people are unable…… [Read More]
Empowerment through Creation and Protection: The Role of Women in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a depiction of the tragic life of Okonkwo, the main character. Many elements combine to result in the tragic end of the book, as well as the end of the traditional ways of Okonkwo's Ibo tribe. The major contributing factor to this demise is the arrival of Western missionaries. The foreign beliefs and customs imposed upon the tribe change them forever, effectively destroying the social structure they have built up. This traditional social structure involves specific roles assigned to men and women respectively. Men are to be involved in politics and hunting, while women are creatively involved in the household environment and childbirth. While to the western eye then it would appear that women are inexcusably abused in the Ibo culture, these women do use their traditional roles to wield subtle power in…… [Read More]
Today, most Americans do not socialize with their neighbors, or depend on them for their entertainment and friendship, and so, modern culture differs greatly from this clan-like village culture.
eligion was important to the Ibo, and their belief in spirits often appears in the novel. Their religious beliefs centered on signs and spirits, as this passage clearly indicates. "The Oracle said to him, 'Your dead father wants you to sacrifice a goat to him'" (Achebe 15). While religion was important to them, it was certainly not the same form of religion as modern Christianity and other beliefs. It is based in superstition and oral tradition, and on a set of spirits who rule over all areas of life. The Ibo also practice sacrifice, which is certainly not a part of modern American society. These beliefs seem pagan-like to modern cultures, and probably would not be accepted by most modern Americans.…… [Read More]
Okonkwo seems full of passionate intensity to preserve things as they are, and to preserve his sense of masculine, patriarchal authority. But although this sense of passion seems to have its origin sense of nostalgia for traditional forms of control, it is also too tied up the man's ego to be called a conviction. A true conviction about justice is not self-interested. It is also worth remembering that Okonkwo's father did not embody such authority within his own family structure, thus Okonkwo partly wishes to defy his own family's tradition. And Okonkwo's sense of wishing to preserve the positive aspects of his personal authority does not mean that he is not willing to kill his adopted son, for fear of looking weak, even though this hurts the tribe's future. Thus Okonkwo lacks convictions that transcend the self, and denies such positive self-sacrificing values as feminine.… [Read More]
Chinua Achebe’s classic novel Things Fall Apart describes a critical juncture in Igbo society: the first point of contact with missionaries. Even prior to their arrival, the protagonist of the story, Okonkwo, contends with both personal and collective crises in his community. Okonkwo “was well known throughout the nine villages and beyond,” an introduction to a man whose power and prestige have become the cornerstones of his identity (Achebe, 1958, p. 1). However, Achebe (1958) also describes Okonkwo’s dark side: his severity, the way he would “pounce on people,” acting with violence and aggression to achieve his egoistic goals (Achebe, 1958, p. 1). As the community of Umuofia falls apart due to historical changes, external threats, and a leadership crisis, Okonkwo also falls apart due to his own existential crisis. Things Fall Apart has a strong ethical overtone, offering the reader insight into Igbo society but also into universal norms…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart" Achebe before referencing
Things Fall Apart: Summary
Things Fall Apart is the story of the tribal leader Okonkwo of the Umuofia tribe. At the beginning of the story, Okonkwo is rich and has three wives. He rules his family with an iron fist because he does not want to be like his father Unoka. At one point he beats his youngest wife so severely that even the masculine, patriarchal tribe is shocked. Okonkwo is always compensating for his impoverished childhood, which he sees as the fault of his spendthrift father. Although Unoka was a great musician, he was also undisciplined with his money, and Okonkwo wants to show his clansmen that he is strong. Okonkwo is ashamed of his oldest son Nwoye, who he sees as weak, and too much like the boy's grandfather. Okonkwo's daughter Ezinma is far stronger in temperament than Nwoye, and Okonkwo favors…… [Read More]
Chinua Achebe presents an archetypal patriarchal warrior with the character of Okonkwo in the novel Things Fall Apart. Okonkwo is described as being “well known,” his fame being based on quintessential masculine feats like winning wrestling tournaments and having many wives. A round character, rather than a dynamic one, Okonkwo also epitomizes the classical tragic hero whose hubris and stubbornness prevent him from changing or recognizing what he could do to better lead his people. Achebe uses traditional storytelling methods and a straightforward narrative style to elucidate the main elements of his protagonist. The reader therefore gleans information about Okonkwo primarily through the narrator’s direct descriptions of the protagonist’s actions, reactions, and words. Motivated by the desire to maintain power and to fulfill patriarchal roles and norms in his society, Okonkwo ends up committing egregious ethical wrongs in order to achieve his egotistical goals, and in the end of the…… [Read More]
Okonkwo, the protagonist of Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, exemplifies the traits of a classic tragic hero. Determined to cling to the past and its out-dated traditions and social norms, Okonkwo uses violence to maintain his power and prestige in the community. As a result, he is a feared leader even more than an effective one. Through the character of Okonkwo and the setting of the Nigerian village, author Chinua Achebe shows how things fall apart when leaders resist change.
Things Fall Apart has several interrelated themes, the most notable of which is linked to the title. Okonkwo believes that in order to be an effective leader, he must use violence and aggression instead of methods that promote peace and collaboration. He understandably resists the colonial influences on his village, but fails to provide his fellow people with a viable alternative they can embrace. As a result of his…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe is one of the most influential and powerful writers of today, and he is also one of the most widely published writers today. Chinua Achebe has in fact written more than twenty-one novels, and short stories, and books of poetry as well, and his very first landmark work was "Things Fall apart," which was published in the year 1958, when the author was just twenty-eight years old. This work has proved to be popular not only in Nigeria, but also in the whole of Africa, as well as in the rest of the world. Chinua Achebe was born in the year 1930 in Nigeria, as the son of a Christian Churchman and his wife. He attended the Government College in Umuahia, and then went on to University College in Ibadan, after which he went on to the London University, where he received his BA. Chinua…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart and the Issue of Culture
From a cultural analysis perspective, the two main cultures represented in Achebe's Things Fall Apart, stem from opposing religious/social positions and both react to and against one another in different ways, as illustrated by the actions of the main character Okonkwo, a native Igbo and leader of his community (violently committed to defending his tribe's ways and culture against other tribes and against the incoming foreign invasion of the Christian missionaries and British soldiers), and by Nwoye, Okonkwo's son who rejects the culture and beliefs of the Ibo tribe and converts to Christianity. The split between father and son represents the split at the heart of the novel between two cultures and two worldviews; neither is without its flaws and both speak to different matters of the heart and head. However, the irreconcilable differences that arise between the meeting of the two…… [Read More]
] [4: Ibid.]
In Things Fall Apart, the reader can see how the ritish and French began to institute their governing and belief systems. Achebe writes, "[Apart] from the church, the white men had also brought a government. They had built a court where the District Commissioner judges cases in ignorance" and the prisons were "full of men who had offended against the white man's law." [footnoteRef:5] Furthermore, Achebe comments on the integrity of men before the white man began to institute his laws and traditions. In Things Fall Apart, Okwonko laments, "Worthy men are no more…Isike will never forget how we slaughtered them in that war…efore the end of the fourth market week they were suing for peace. Those were the days when men were men."[footnoteRef:6] Ibrahima's ability to cash the money order is hindered by a corrupt bureaucratic process with which Ibrahima is unfamiliar with, and which ultimately…… [Read More]
They are rocked by a hand of fear, not motherly nurturance. They are obsessed by their fears, of becoming like his father in the case of Okonkwo and of not becoming like his father in Nwoye's instance. However, Nwyoe, because of the cultural and political shifts endured by his native land, has another framework of self-definition that his father lacks -- the availability of another culture, namely that of the Christian missionaries who have come to the country. To find a new identity, Nwyoe literally as well as metaphorically slouches towards Bethlehem. Within the foreign doctrine of Christianity Nwoye finds a prop for his sense of self against which his father's African nationalism and masculinity ultimately proves to be powerless. Through the weakness advocated by Christianity (a false weakness, given the overarching ambitions of the missionaries to convert all African natives) Nwoye finally finds strength that his father's worldview cannot…… [Read More]
But such a violent and unexpected murder, and to come in such a very uncivilized manner! According to what the other men told me, there was absolutely no provocation or intimidation -- they simply told the assembly to disperse, and one of them that had been in jail yesterday simply started hacking him to pieces with a machete.
The other men were understandably shaken, and I cannot say I blame them. We must all thank God that they were able to escape with their lives, though it does seems that only this one individual displayed such extreme rage.
Still, I do not relish my duty now. Like Daniel walking right into the lion's den -- except he had a king who threw him in, and I have only the weight of history and the advancement of proper civilization pushing me forward. And the lions Daniel faced were never so dangerous,…… [Read More]
Colonial Resistance in Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe was born in Ogidi, Nigeria, and his father was a teacher in a missionary school. His parents were devout evangelical Protestants and christened him Albert after Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, although they installed in him many of the values of their traditional Igbo culture. He attended University College in Ibadan, where he studied English, history and theology. At the university Achebe rejected his ritish name and took his indigenous name Chinua. In 1953 he graduated with a A, and later studied broadcasting at the C where, in 1961, he became the first Director of External roadcasting at the Nigerian roadcasting Corporation. In 1944 Achebe attended Government College in Umuahia. He was also educated at the University College of Ibadan, like other major Nigerian writers including John Okigbo, Wole Soyinka, John Pepper Clark, Elechi Amadi, and Cole Omotso. There he studied…… [Read More]
The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a story about the culture clash that occurs when white colonizers arrived on the African continent and attempted to force the indigenous population to accept the empirical culture. hen the white people arrived in Africa, they perpetrated a campaign of superiority upon the indigenous peoples. They enslaved Africans and forcibly shipped them to toil on plantations for the rest of their lives. They also attempted to convert people from their native religions and force them into accepting Christianity. ith this set up, it would be easy to make all white characters evil and all the African characters as purely good. However, Achebe does not do this. Instead the main character Okonkwo is a troubled, "problematic" hero who performs actions which are not at all heroic or good which makes him more complex and ultimately more real which is shown in…… [Read More]
"ould you like a white woman ongee?" Jimmie asked. "Don't seem ter make their cow-cockies happy, having white woman for 'is wife. hy else he come after black girls? Must be sum'pin to white women we ain't been told" (p. 11). The implication drawn from ongee is that aboriginal females are sexier than white women, but Jimmie is sexually attracted to the white woman.
On page 12 ongee describes an aboriginal woman who "Yawns for men and not with her mouth. She weeps for men and not with her eyes. She drinks men down, she is cave for men," he said, laughing. In Caledonian that Saturday night Jimmie "suddenly" was "pouring himself without joy into one of the women" while laying in the long grass so police wouldn't see them. The next time readers confront an image of an aboriginal females (p. 20) Jimmie "lay down with a scrawny gin…… [Read More]
Role of omen in African and Indian Society
Both Things Fall Apart and Nectar in a Sieve weave rather vivid imagery of the life of women in the traditional, patriarchal society of Africa and India during the colonial period. The vividness of the images of cultures where a great deal of importance was placed on women bearing sons and devoting their lives to the care of their families, leads the modern day reader to easily conclude that women in traditional African and Indian cultures were without any voice and far too oppressed. hile there is ample evidence in both works to validate such a conclusion, there is a strong case to counter argue that women in both works are also shown as playing an important social role and depicted as possessing a great deal of strength of character. For one, women in African and Indian rural cultures seem to have…… [Read More]
Humanities 202 FINAL EXAM
Emilia: the wife of Iago. She provides the handkerchief for her husband, unwittingly facilitating Iago's orchestrated revenge upon Othello. However, she sympathizes with Desdemona, regarding all men as savages. She represents the ugly side of Iago's view of women, as there are hints Iago has abused her and he openly treats her cruelly when she irritates him -- eventually he kills her when she reveals his scheme.
Roderigo: a commoner who foolishly and hopelessly loves Desdemona, and stupidly trusts Iago. Like Othello, he also is desperate to advance in society and subject to the green-eyed monster of jealousy over a woman. Like Iago he is also jealous of those of more military advancement than himself.
Cassio: Michael Cassio is the man who Othello promotes to lieutenant rather than Iago at the beginning of the play. He is handsome and dashing, even though he is less experienced…… [Read More]
Thus, the "ceremony of innocence" by which the boy was received into the tribe is now replaced with violence. Okonkwo, even though he loves the boy, kills him to avoid seeming weak.
Yeats' slow-moving rough beast with a lion's body but the head of a man may seem to represent Okonkwo, at first, in Achebe's novel, given Okonkwo's violence towards other people in the novel. But while Okonkwo is certainly rough, and unable to appreciate feminine and humane values, as embodied, for example, in his wife's tribe or in the missionaries his son turns to for guidance, the coming colonial influence to Africa could also be characterized as a beast. The beast moves slowly, and is at first imperceptible to the tribesmen who are concerned with their own internal disputes, but gradually the political and religious worldview of outsiders subsume the home-grown tribal ideology of the past.
Achebe,…… [Read More]
This tragic flaw is very clearly apparent in Okonkwo, the protagonist of Achebe's Things Fall Apart. He is very strong and very masculine according to the expectations of his people, and this both helps him to win success amongst his people despite the shame of his family background -- his father was not well respected in the community -- and causes him to be banished from the villages. This banishment somewhat ironically -- though in a perfect twist for a tragic plot -- weakens the villages and enables the white newcomers' ways to dominate the society, which ultimately leads to Okonkwo's "weak" death at his own hands. The beginning of the change can be seen when Okonkwo convinces himself to take part in the ritual slaying of a kidnapped boy from another village, despite warnings that he should avoid participation: "When did you become a shivering old woman,' Okonkwo asked…… [Read More]
In revenge, Okonkwo extracts the payment of the young boy Ikemefuna, to whom he gives to his first wife to raise. Taking the 'riches' of the competing Mbiano clan are equated with taking representatives of their next generation.
This anxiety over the next generation is seen in Okonkwo's treatment of his first-born, biological son, whom he fears will be weak like the boy's grandfather. Okonkwo clearly fears a crisis of leadership in the next generation, and he associates leadership skills with physical excellence and bravery, as this has gained him his status within his world. However, despite the emphasis on fighting ability, there is clearly another side to the Umuofia, as Okonkwo's father's gifts are valued and even warring tribes are able to exchange kola nuts and drink palm wine together in a symbolic exchange of hospitality. Finally, the conflict is not settled through war, and the young Ikemefuna is…… [Read More]
Causes elationships to Fall Apart
It happens to us all -- that moment when our knees get weak from the sight of someone else; that split second that it seems like nothing else in the entire world matters; that instant when all seems right in the world, and we hope and pray that it never changes. Most everyone remember those beginning stages in a relationship where everything in the universe is absolutely, irrevocably, fearlessly perfect, right? So how do all of those feelings, thoughts, moments of pure bliss take a gut wrenching nose dive for the worse? Why do people fall out of love? How do people go from being love drunk to those month long purging sessions to rid themselves of the toxins that once were our former soul mates? It happens, even to the best of us, even to those of us who attempt to make every wrong…… [Read More]
Strength in Themes of Modernist Poetry
Things fall apart, the center cannot hold," wrote Yeats of the modern, human condition. Yeats later poetic vision highlights a central notion in much of modern poetic philosophy, namely that the old ideological and religious structures have begun to unravel in modern life. hat ideologies that once held up the human form and human social norms are no more, in the face of modern war and destruction. The title of this poem "The Second Coming" refers to the fact that the awaited solution to the crisis, that of the second coming of the Messiah, seems no where to be found, and while human beings wait for meaning, it seems to be no where, and all human strength is lost.
However, not all of modern poetry is absent of answers of the lack of strength in the face of the bleak crisis of hopelessness, of…… [Read More]
Fall Trends for 2015
Christian Dior, which is commonly known as Dior, is a luxury goods firm that has developed over the years to become an important part of LVMH, which is the largest luxury group in the world. The company, which is headquartered in France, was founded in 1946 by Christian Dior, a designer who the company was named after. Since its inception, Dior has experienced tremendous growth and profitability over the years to become a leading company in the fashion design industry. Currently, Dior designs and retails a wide range of products including leather goods, jewelry, fashion accessories, make-up, footwear, ready-to-wear goods, fragrance, and skincare products. As part of designing and retailing these products, Dior operates several labels for men and children's wear products while retaining its Christian Dior label mostly to women's products. The company not only sells its products online but also throughout its wide range…… [Read More]
Spike Lee demonstrates his filmmaking prowess in his 1989 film Do the Right Thing. As with most of Lee's work, race relations are central to the story. With Do the Right Thing, Lee presents a bleak view of the nature and future of cross-cultural relationships in urban America. Mookie (played by Spike Lee) is a twenty-something African-American pizza delivery man. He works for Sal's Pizzeria, an establishment in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, which is a predominantly black neighborhood. Mookie and Sal, despite their differences, reveal a remarkably similar worldview as the film progresses, and especially in their inability to resolve the racial tension that emerges in the film. Mookie and Sal develop a decent professional relationship, yet both retain lingering feelings of resentment toward the "other." Spike Lee does a remarkable job portraying mutual feelings of "otherness" in Do the Right Thing. The writer/director/actor shows that racism exists on…… [Read More]
The 1960's saw the rise of the feminist movement and the demand of equal rights for women. Suddenly women were faced with an array of new possibilities outside the traditional role of housewife and mother. Many women left the home to take jobs, get educations, and fulfill other dreams; and Jackie's mother was one of those. But the liberation of women from the traditional role of wife and mother meant harm to the traditional family unit, and sometimes that harm could be quite enormous. hile many women decided that a wife and mother could also have a job, get an education, etc., others decided that the family was too much of a burden for them.
It was Jack Russell who was forced to make the decision for his wife; she was no longer part of the family. hile she could not bring herself to make the final break and live…… [Read More]
.. Anyone who has considerably meditated on man, by profession or vocation, is led to feel nostalgia for the primates. They at least don't have any ulterior motives." (Camus, 4) Passion as well might make one authentic, or a true and mindless embrace of any aspect of life. Truthfully, the story does little to present us with true authenticity, because the narrator himself never discovers it.
The meaning of this story may seem very difficult to grasp if one makes the assumption that the narrator speaks for the author as a voice of wisdom and reason. Actually, no such assumption needs to be made. Camus is well-known for writing ironic works in which the speaker is not a mouth-piece for virtue. A key to this work may be found in something which Camus wrote shortly before-hand regarding his falling-out with Sartre. "Existentialists! henever they accuse themselves, you can be sure…… [Read More]
Literary Characters in Exile
Exile can be the self-imposed banishment from one's home or given as a form of punishment. The end result of exile is solitude. Exile affords those in it for infinite reflection of themselves, their choices, and their lives in general. Three prominent literary characters experience exile as part of the overall narrative and in that, reveal a great deal about themselves to themselves as well as to the readers. The three narratives in questions are "The Epic of Gilgamesh," "The Tempest," and "Things Fall Apart." All of the main characters of these narratives experience exile as a result of actions taken by the protagonists at earlier points in the story. The protagonist in each respective story are exiled because of their choices and the exile forces each character to face consequences that ultimately bring their inner character to the surface in a more direct manner…… [Read More]
Thus, as Kurtz approached his death, he came upon the realization of this possibility -- a possibility that came true upon his 'defeat' (death). This realization was embodied in his exclamation, "The horror! The horror!" As he neared his death. Explicit violence was, evidently, just a "mask" that colonizers used to cover up their fears of the potential power and control of the natives over them (colonizers).
In the same vein, violence was also portrayed in Achebe's "Things Fall Apart," although this was expressed implicitly through the inherent tendency of Africans to view women as the weaker and inferior sex. Okonkwo's behavior towards his wives and daughters showed this animosity between sexes in African culture. However, it was also implicitly shown in the novel how, despite their apparent submissiveness, the women in Okonkwo's life and in the Mbanta tribe showed strength of character and control over males more than the…… [Read More]
Okonkwo is a typical tribesman living and adapting to his surroundings. He is actually no different from anyone else in that he acts according to his heart. He truly believes he is doing the right thing and that is what matters.
Okonkwo is not a bad man; he simply makes mistakes and this makes him human. He does not set out to do evil. Upon hearing about Ezeudu's death, Okonkwo is saddened along with the rest of the tribe. Ezeudu was a noble man in the clan and he was also the oldest tribesman. At the funeral ritual, Okonkwo's gun explodes, killing Ezeudu's son. This is a shocking event because nothing like this had happened before. Okonkwo had to obey tribal law and leave the clan because it was a "crime against the earth goddess to kill a clansman's son" (124). The law of the land dictated Okonkwo could return…… [Read More]
Things Fall Apart" Achebe before referencing
Electronic Voting Machines: Technology's failure to rehabilitate American's confidence in the voting process
Theoretically, counting votes should be easy. After all, surely it is simply the accumulation and the verifying of data? However, when America attempted to adopt touch-screen, electronic voting on a wide scale, the result was a fiasco. "There was a wonderful confluence of events. There was a vague product requirement coming from an agency that doesn't really understand technology (the U.S. Congress), foisting a system on other government agencies that may not have asked for it. There was a relatively small time frame for development and a lot of money. Finally, the government did not allow for even the notion of failure. By 2004, darn it, we'd all have touch screen voting" (Cringely, 2003). Congress expected to adopt touch-screen voting on a widespread basis in the next election, after the controversy…… [Read More]
You drove him to kill himself; and now he will be buried like a dog...
" This statement shows that the once great leader is nothing in the eyes of the white colonists. This has a trickle-down affect on those around him. When Okonkwo gave in to the struggle, those around him lost their final hope of every overcoming the colonialists.
Through an examination of two African historical novels, one can see many similarities in the psychology of change between colonialism and change management in corporate take-overs. Change begins slowly and there are always some that will readily accept the new regime and others that will put up a resistance. The reasons for resistance to change are similar to corporate change.
One can find examples of the same psychological reactions in both novels. The resistance becomes more violent as it loses ground and the total change and loss of familiar…… [Read More]
V.S. Naipaul's Enigma of Arrival and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart both show how colonialism affects individuals as well as whole societies. While Naipaul's book is more optimistic in tone and less tragic in plot than Achebe's is, both of these novels create compelling accounts of how colonialism changes the consciousness of human beings. The consequences of colonialism are difficult to treat in novels because of the varied manifestations of colonial practices and the different ways people react. Although both told from the perspective of the colonized, Enigma of Arrival and Things Fall Apart are completely different in tone, theme, and plot. The differences between the two novels illustrate the wide range of disparate experiences of colonization. One of the things I appreciated most about these two books was in fact receiving an alternative account of history, told through the eyes of the oppressed.
The theme of transformation is also…… [Read More]
Our Lord Himself stressed the importance of fewness...Our Lord used the whip only once in His life -- to drive the crowd away from the Church."(Achebe, 169)
On the other hand, Mr. Brown seems to have an overall positive contribution to the African community. Nevertheless, the author ironically implies that there is indeed only a difference in method between the two missionaries, and the decline of the Igbo culture already began under the more lenient government of Mr. Brown. For example, the school he builds can be seen as another way to indoctrinate the clan. This school is in fact the cause of other conflicts inside the Igbo community, since by attending this school an Igbo could become a 'court messenger', that is someone that would report and give out information from inside the clan to the white governors: "Mr. Brown's school produced quick results. A few months in it…… [Read More]
If anything, the more languages in which a book is published the better. This way there can be as much cross fertilization of ideas and solutions to pressing needs.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Penguin, 2006.
____African Trilolgy. London: Picador, 2000
Ashcroft, Bill; Griffiths, Gareth and Tiffin, Helen (eds.). The Post Colonial Studies eader, London: outledge, (1995)
Bassnett-McGuire, Susan. Translation Studies. London: outledge, 1991.
Chevrier, Jacques. "Writing African books in the French Language L'Afrique littcraire et artistique 50 (1979): 49.
Janmohamed, a. Janmohamed, a. "Sophisticated Primitivism: The Syncretism of Oral and Literate Modes in Achebe, Chinua Things Fall Apart.." Ariel: A eview of International English Literature 15 (1984): 19-39.
Gikandi, Simon. "The Epistemology of Translation: Ngugi, Matigari, and the Politics of Language." esearch in African Literatures 22.4 (1991): 161-67.
Gyasi, Kwaku. Writing as Translation: African Literature and the Challenges of Translation.: esearch in African Literatures a.2. (1999).,…… [Read More]
Storni, Alfonsina. "You ant Me hite." The Norton Anthology of orld
Vol. F. Ed. Sarah Lawall and Mayard Mac. New York: Norton, 2002. 2124-2125
The poem titled "You ant Me hite" written by Alfonsina Storni explores the issue of women mistreatment by men. The women complain how men expect them to be virgins when they (men ) are not.
Atwood, Margaret and Martin, Valerie.The Handmaid's Tale . Anchor.1998
In this book the author portrays how women are only valued for their fertility and they are allowed access to education in the patriarch society. This work is important to the research since it shows how women were mistreated by being regarded as sex symbols as well as not being allowed access to education.
Staves, Susan. Married omen's Separate Property Rights in England, 1660(1833. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1990.
This work is a recollection of the actual case studies and examples of various…… [Read More]
If they can change the fundamental beliefs of the tribe, then they can control the natives more easily: "The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. e were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart" (Achebe 152). Confronted with change, individual members of Ibo society react differently. Those who stand to gain from change -- the outcasts, the oppressed -- welcome it. Those who have risen to positions of authority by following the old way -- Okonkwo, for example -- resist change. The battle between the old and the new is highlighted by the arrival of Christian missionaries and colonial authority. Okonkwo and Obierika recognize that many of their clansmen…… [Read More]
In the novel, Ani possesses power primarily because she is the one who makes it possible for Umuofia members to have productive harvests and for women to bear more children, yields greater power in the patriarchal Umuofia community (30-1). The power Ani wields to the village reflect the importance given to agriculture and fertility, symbolic and actual concepts related to reproduction, which would not become possible without the participation and presence of women. Thus, Ani embodies the collective power of women in Umuofia, whose ability to reproduce makes them more powerful than the monied and powerful men of their village. Through Ezinma and Ani, female power has managed to emerge and become influential in Umuofia, although male dominance is tolerated in order to maintain the status quo in the tribe.
Achebe, C. (1994). Things Fall Apart.…… [Read More]
Gulliver's Travels," "Tartuffe," "Madame Bovary," "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," & "Things Fall Apart"
The purpose of this paper is to introduce, discuss, and compare how the theme(s) of "Things Fall Apart" by Achebe relate to the theme and/or storylines of "Gulliver's Travels," by Swift, "Tartuffe," by Moliere, "Madame Bovary," by Flaubert, and "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" by Tolstoy. All these authors use their works to "expose and alter the fundamental moral codes that determine political systems and social mores" (Levine 136).
POLITICAL SYSTEMS AND SOCIAL MORES
Things Fall Apart," by Chinua Achebe is a novel about an African family named Okonkwo, who try to fit in to the white man's society. However, their own society was balanced, happy, and complete, and they did not really need to fit in with the white man. hen they did, it ultimately destroyed their society, and way of life.
Gulliver's Travels," by…… [Read More]
European culture in Africa
Published in 1958, the book Things Fall Apart is an influential piece of work by Achebe that portrays, in most conventional style, the life and culture in a very traditional village in Africa. This book is about restoration of traditional values and identification of identity of African people in the wake of European cultural dominance and acceptance. This report is about how the writer has projected upon the life and revived the African culture as against the treat of European cultural imperialism.
In this novel the writer tries to enlighten the foreign world as regards to the cultural traditions of Ibo and in doing so the writer is also reminding the African people of their own traditions and cultural values. The writer is of the notion that the African people must not forget their old values, customs and cultural norms in this changing verve of the…… [Read More]
There is the feeling that Rushdie is toying with the concept of freedom of speech in this story as well as destroying the concept of the East as mysterious. Rushdie uses English to tell his story, but he incorporates the Indian oral tradition without any kind of chronological structure to the story. He deconstruct the binary opposition of East and est. He himself is between the Orient and the Occident and he chooses to use both structures, combining Britain and India (Buran 10).
The factors of race and gender complicate the relations of class in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, ole Soyinka's "Telephone Conversation," and Jean Rhys "Let Them Call It Jazz" in various ways. In Heart of Darkness, the story is centered on the typical male experience, which tends to alienate the female reader from the very "mannish" story. There is some speculation that Marlow and Kurtz's sexist views…… [Read More]
God, the World, and Literature: The Concept of Social Morality in Modern Literature
Literature, as the primary source of information of people in witnessing and experiencing realities interpreted by the author/writer, is more than a medium that extends messages of reality and experience. Literature is, first and foremost, an expression of thoughts and ideologies that may or may not be agreed upon by the author or his/her characters in the said work. The concept of social morality is such example of these ideologies extended thru literary works. Through literature, writers are able to provide people with varying themes related to the discussion of social morality, offering people avenues wherein morality can be created and developed by the society, and adapted by the individual.
Modern literature boasts itself of this kinds of art -- literary works that depict the life of individuals who were directly affected by their own or…… [Read More]