Book title : Things fall Apart
Author: Chinua Achebe
Published by: Heinemann publishers
Publication year: First Published 1958
After reading Things fall apart by one of Nigeria’s renown writer, I got to understand the two intertwining stories Chinua Achebe told with ease. The first which centers
around Okonkwo, a “strong man” belonging to an Igbo (Ibo) ancestry in eastern part of Nigeria and the second, the missionary movement in the ancient village of Umuofia. The first of this story traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society. The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world through the
arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries which wouldn’t co-relate with certain ritual prone traditional practices in Umuofia. These two sagas perfectly harmonizes, an awareness capable of gathering at once a rural native life, nature expectations and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.
This is one book of several contrasts I have ever read. It brings in a story, the marriage of colonialism, native culture, animism and Christianity. Masculinity was also never exempted. The author brings it more in the quest to showcase Okonkwo’s manly ego over the women folks.
Achebe did justice to this character by epitomizing Okonkwo who is the most intriguing character in this African fiction for an abusive, misogynist, who has little patience for the weak, and perhaps his over-ambitious nature. Despite all his faults, his struggles to uphold the traditional practices of his people. But it’s still possible to cast an iota of pity on him after his valiant displays of a true descendant of his ancestors even up to the point of death.
Achebe did brilliantly in this work of fiction by cleverly driving home his story-line with the right visuals and loads of African proverbs in his reservoir of knowledge, no wonder the Europeans got to understand him better on the basis of his clever use of words. I though stand to be corrected, but I’m of the opinion that, no other book of history summarizes the pre-colonial ways, tradition and culture of the Ibo descent and even Africa like Things Fall apart does. Chinua Achebe did justice to all you need to know in this masterpiece, no wonder the celebration of his death was enormous, second to none in the funeral history of his country.
Things Fall Apart is one good novel you need stock in your library and even if you’ve got it already, ain’t nothing bad in buying for someone else.