Book: Things Fall Apart

Author: Chinua Achebe

Rating: 3/5

Things Fall Apart-Chinua Achebe

Okonkwo, of the Igbo tribe, is a great warrior. He is revered for his strength and status in many villages around Umofia. Okonkwo has had to build his reputation and character without much help from his father Unoka. Unoka was a farmer with the soul of a musician. He was good at the flute but could not grow a luxuriant crop. His family remained poor because of his half hearted attempts at farming. Okonkwo has had a tough youth, fending for his parents and siblings. He is tough, unlike his father, and abhors weakness. Hence he rules his family of three wives and eleven children with an iron hand and will not allow any show of soft emotions for them. Nwoye, his eldest son, is therefore a cause of grave concern for Okonkwo. Nwoye is a sentimental young man with a liking for the softer side of things. Okonkwo respects the customs and traditions of his tribe greatly and will not tolerate any desecration of them. He himself atones of any such violation with the toughest self punishment and goes on a seven year exile when he accidentally kills a fellow tribesman. For Okonkwo, therefore, to see his village vandalized by white men is very distressing. He has to summon all his physical prowess and will power to fight such a strong enemy.

Click here to know more about Literature and Fiction books.


Social/Historical context:

I have read a couple of books by African authors. The theme of foreign invasion destroying the native culture and identity seems to be a very poignant topic amongst these authors. Ben Okri’s The Famished Road also talks about the same thing. 

Writing Style:

The language used by Achebe is very straightforward and plain. This style is in keeping with the spirit of the tribes in the novel- direct and without pretension.<BR> Two thirds of the book describes the rituals and customs of the Igbo tribe through the life of Okonkwo. The last third of the book describes the change that Christian missionaries and English invaders bring to the tribe.


My Thoughts:

Much of the African population has been primitive till a very long time. Education and progress have been very slow to reach Africa. And it is very unfortunate that Africa mostly, has had to sacrifice its own identity and culture in order to imbibe social progress and scientific awareness. As an Indian, whose forefathers have experienced 200 years of British rule, I can empathize with this loss of Africa. For, this phenomenon of mindless aping of the advanced West is still prevalent in India. After all, what can you say about a nation that has surrendered the two dearest words in their vocabulary to a foreign language- an urban Indian child today is not taught to call his parents the native ‘Mata’ and ‘Pita’ but ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’ after the West!

Book Reviewed by Ashmita Saha

Things Fall Apart-Chinua Achebe-Review#2

Things Fall Apart-Chinua Achebe-Review#3

Read other Booker Prize winning book reviews here











Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Book Lovers Club News.


Write a book review and get a web page dedicated to yourself! Click Here


Got an opinion on this book?

Did you read this book too? Got an opinion on it? Share it!

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Yes, it was 
As the book is didactic, it has taught me a great lesson. It has also shown me the beautiful traditions of Nigerian clans. As of the author of the book, …

Click here to write your own.



Encouragements

Nice site(I like the eating books concept!)
-Maggie Ball


Dear Ashmita,
Allow me to congratulate you on your constant efforts at keeping the love for literature and the love for reading constant -amongst us netizens by regularly posting quizzes and information as this current read on Pulitzer prizes! Excellent!
Warm wishes,
Nita


Thank you Ashmita. And I would like to take this as an opportunity to express my appreciation of the effort that has gone into the making of such a fabulous website.
-Amrita Dutta


I would like to take an opportunity to congratulate you for all your efforts in creating such an insightful and informative Group ( Book Review Circle) It is surely a great platform to gather and learn more about like-minded people.
-Jai Prakash Dangwal


This was really a wonderful piece of information. It was enriching and educating. Thank You.
-Palashpriya


I am amazed at the number of reviews and the wide range of books you have read and written about. Really impressive!
-V.Dhanalakshmi


Without the educative literary information from you I feel spiritually dry. Nice to hear from you.
-Palashpriya Bose Jaiswal


It was interesting to know about the significance and use of diary entries in the world of writing. I read something like this for the first time, so I thank and congratulate you for your choice of topic :-)
Cheers
Suchandra