Things Fall Apart is a novel by Chinua Achebe that was first published in Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and. echecs16.info: Things Fall Apart (): Chinua Achebe: Books. Start reading Things Fall Apart (African Trilogy, Book 1) on your Kindle in under a . echecs16.info: Things Fall Apart (Norton Critical Editions) (): Chinua Start reading Things Fall Apart (African Trilogy, Book 1) on your Kindle in.
|Language:||English, Spanish, French|
|Genre:||Fiction & Literature|
|ePub File Size:||22.32 MB|
|PDF File Size:||17.64 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Register to download]|
Things Fall Apart is a novel written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Published in , its .. with an introduction by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The book collects Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease, and Arrow of God in one volume. Things Fall Apart book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. More than two million copies of Things Fall Apart have been s. Things Fall Apart is acclaimed as the finest novel written about life in Nigeria at to a passing reference in a book he plans to write to be titled The Pacification of.
His fame rested on solid personal achievements. As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat. Amalinze was the great wrestler who for seven years was unbeaten, from Umuofia to Mbaino. He was called the Cat because his back would never touch the earth. It was this man that Okonkwo threw in a fight which the old men agreed was one of the fiercest since the founder of their town engaged a spirit of the wild for seven days and seven nights.
He is one of the early converts to Christianity and takes on the Christian name Isaac, an act which Okonkwo views as a final betrayal. Ikemefuna is a boy from the Mbaino tribe. His father murders the wife of an Umuofia man, and in the resulting settlement of the matter, Ikemefuma is put into the care of Okonkwo. By the decision of Umuofian authorities, Ikemefuna is ultimately killed, an act which Okonkwo does not prevent, and even participates in, lest he seem feminine and weak.
Ikemefuna became very close to Nwoye, and Okonkwo's decision to participate in Ikemefuna's death takes a toll on Okonkwo's relationship with Nwoye. Ezinma is Okonkwo's favorite daughter, and the only child of his wife Ekwefi. Ezinma, the Crystal Beauty, is very much the antithesis of a normal woman within the culture and Okonkwo routinely remarks that she would've made a much better boy than a girl, even wishing that she had been born as one. Ezinma often contradicts and challenges her father, which wins his adoration, affection, and respect.
She is very similar to her father, and this is made apparent when she matures into a beautiful young woman who refuses to marry during her family's exile, instead choosing to help her father regain his place of respect within society.
Obierika is Okonkwo's best friend from Umuofia. He is a strong and powerful man in Umuofia, but unlike Okonkwo, he is a reasoning man and is much less violent and arrogant. Obierika often talks Okonkwo out of making rash decisions, and helps Okonkwo when he is on exile from Umuofia. He fully understands the changes going on in their society, and that their clan no longer had the unity it did before the white man appeared in Umuofia.
Obierika's son, Maduka, is greatly admired by Okonkwo for his wrestling prowess, which in Okonkwo's opinion is something his own son, Nwoye lacks. Obierika is considered the voice of reason in the book, and questions certain parts of their culture, such as the necessity to exile Okonkwo after he unintentionally kills a boy. Ogbuefi Ezeudu is one of the elders of Umuofia. He is regarded as very wise, and gives Okonkwo good advice. He is the one who brings Okonkwo the message from the Oracle that Ikemefuna should be killed, but he also warns Okonkwo not to participate in the boy's execution, since Ikemefuna calls Okonkwo "father", a warning Okonkwo does not heed.
At Ezeudu's funeral, Okonkwo's gun misfires, accidentally killing the dead elder's son, for which Okonkwo and his family go into exile. Brown is a white man who comes to Umuofia. Unlike most Europeans portrayed in the novel, he shows kindness and compassion towards the villagers, thereby earning their love and respect. He eventually develops an illness that leads to his death.
The title is a quotation from " The Second Coming ", a poem by W. Most of the story takes place in the fictional village of Iguedo, which is in the Umuofia clan. Umuofia is located west of the actual city of Onitsha , on the east bank of the Niger River in Nigeria. The events of the novel unfold in the s. The customs described in the novel mirror those of the actual Onitsha people, who lived near Ogidi, and with whom Achebe was familiar. Within forty years of the arrival of the British, by the time Achebe was born in , the missionaries were well established.
He lived in the British culture but he refused to change his Igbo name Chinua to Albert. Achebe's father was among the first to be converted in Ogidi, around the turn of the century.
Achebe himself was an orphan raised by his grandfather. His grandfather, far from opposing Achebe's conversion to Christianity, allowed Achebe's Christian marriage to be celebrated in his compound.
In a interview with The Paris Review , Achebe said, "the novel form seems to go with the English language. There is a problem with the Igbo language. It suffers from a very serious inheritance which it received at the beginning of this century from the Anglican mission. They sent out a missionary by the name of Dennis. Archdeacon Dennis. He was a scholar. He had this notion that the Igbo language—which had very many different dialects—should somehow manufacture a uniform dialect that would be used in writing to avoid all these different dialects.
Because the missionaries were powerful, what they wanted to do they did. This became the law. But the standard version cannot sing. There's nothing you can do with it to make it sing. That was years ago, when he was young. Unoka, the grown-up, was a failure. He was poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat. People laughed at him because he was a loafer, and they swore never to lend him any more money because he never paid back.
But Unoka was such a man that he always succeeded in borrowing more, and piling up his debts. One day a neighbor called Okoye came in to see him. He was reclining on a mud bed in his hut playing on the flute. He immediately rose and shook hands with Okoye, who then unrolled the goatskin which he carried under his arm, and sat down.
Unoka went into an inner room and soon returned with a small wooden disc containing a kola nut, some alligator pepper and a lump of white chalk. He who brings kola brings life. But I think you ought to break it," replied Okoye, passing back the disc. Okoye, meanwhile, took the lump of chalk, drew some lines on the floor, and then painted his big toe.
As he broke the kola, Unoka prayed to their ancestors for life and health, and for protection against their enemies. When they had eaten they talked about many things: Unoka was never happy when it came to wars. He was in fact a coward and could not bear the sight of blood. And so he changed the subject and talked about music, and his face beamed. He could hear in his mind's ear the blood-stirring and intricate rhythms of the ekwe and the udu and the ogene, and he could hear his own flute weaving in and out of them, decorating them with a colorful and plaintive tune.
The total effect was gay and brisk, but if one picked out the flute as it went up and down and then broke up into short snatches, one saw that there was sorrow and grief there.
Okoye was also a musician. He played on the ogene. But he was not a failure like Unoka. He had a large barn full of yams and he had three wives. And now he was going to take the Idemili title, the third highest in the land. It was a very expensive ceremony and he was gathering all his resources together. That was in fact the reason why he had come to see Unoka.
He cleared his throat and began: You may have heard of the title I intend to take shortly. Among the Ibo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten. Okoye was a great talker and he spoke for a long time, skirting round the subject and then hitting it finally. In short, he was asking Unoka to return the two hundred cowries he had borrowed from him more than two years before.
As soon as Unoka understood what his friend was driving at, he burst out laughing. He laughed loud and long and his voice rang out clear as the ogene, and tears stood in his eyes. His visitor was amazed, and sat speechless. At the end, Unoka was able to give an answer between fresh outbursts of mirth. There were five groups, and the smallest group had ten lines.
Unoka had a sense of the dramatic and so he allowed a pause, in which he took a pinch of snuff and sneezed noisily, and then he continued: You see, I owe that man a thousand cowries. But he has not come to wake me up in the morning for it. I shall pay, you, but not today. Our elders say that the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.
I shall pay my big debts first. Okoye rolled his goatskin and departed. When Unoka died he had taken no title at all and he was heavily in debt. Any wonder then that his son Okonkwo was ashamed of him? Fortunately, among these people a man was judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father.
Okonkwo was clearly cut out for great things. He was still young but he had won fame as the greatest wrestler in the nine villages. He was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and had just married his third wife. To crown it all he had taken two titles and had shown incredible prowess in two inter-tribal wars.
And so although Okonkwo was still young, he was already one of the greatest men of his time. Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings. Okonkwo had clearly washed his hands and so he ate with kings and elders. And that was how he came to look after the doomed lad who was sacrificed to the village of Umuofia by their neighbors to avoid war and bloodshed.
The ill-fated lad was called Ikemefuna. Chapter TwoOkonkwo had just blown out the palm-oil lamp and stretched himself on his bamboo bed when he heard the ogene of the town crier piercing the still night air. Gome, gome, gome, gome, boomed the hollow metal.
Then the crier gave his message, and at the end of it beat his instrument again. And this was the message. Every man of Umuofia was asked to gather at the market place tomorrow morning. Okonkwo wondered what was amiss, for he knew certainly that something was amiss. He had discerned a clear overtone of tragedy in the crier's voice, and even now he could still hear it as it grew dimmer and dimmer in the distance.
The night was very quiet. It was always quiet except on moonlight nights. Darkness held a vague terror for these people, even the bravest among them.
Children were warned not to whistle at night for fear of evil spirits. Dangerous animals became even more sinister and uncanny in the dark. A snake was never called by its name at night, because it would hear.
It was called a string. And so on this particular night as the crier's voice was gradually swallowed up in the distance, silence returned to the world, a vibrant silence made more intense by the universal trill of a million million forest insects.
On a moonlight night it would be different. The happy voices of children playing in open fields would then be heard. And perhaps those not so young would be playing in pairs in less open places, and old men and women would remember their youth. As the Ibo say: And in all the nine villages of Umuofia a town crier with his ogene asked every man to be present tomorrow morning. Okonkwo on his bamboo bed tried to figure out the nature of the emergency--war with a neighboring clan? That seemed the most likely reason, and he was not afraid of war.
He was a man of action, a man of war. Unlike his father he could stand the look of blood. In Umuofia's latest war he was the first to bring home a human head. That was his fifth head; and he was not an old man yet. On great occasions such as the funeral of a village celebrity he drank his palm-wine from his first human head.
In the morning the market place was full. There must have been about ten thousand men there, all talking in low voices. At last Ogbuefi Ezeugo stood up in the midst of them and bellowed four times, "Umuofia kwenu", and on each occasion he faced a different direction and seemed to push the air with a clenched fist. And ten thousand men answered "Yaal" each time. Then there was perfect silence. Ogbuefi Ezeugo was a powerful orator and was always chosen to speak on such occasions.
He moved his hand over his white head and stroked his white beard. He then adjusted his cloth, which was passed under his right arm-pit and tied above his left shoulder. Chielo appears and says that the god Agbala would like to see her.
Despite Chielo's strict warning, the parents follow them and Ekwefi is ready to step into the sacred cave if anything happens with her precious daughter, even if it meant challenging a god.
Okonkwo does not let anyone know that he was extremely worried about his daughter, and had made several trips to the cave before Ekwefi, who was following Chielo, had even reached the cave. The ceremony is an enormous celebration, every woman helps in the cooking of the gigantic meal. Everyone attends the ceremony. Everything goes well, and the entire village is happy. Okonkwo must atone for this act, so he and his family are exiled from the village for seven years.
With the help of the villagers they start a new life. They build huts and start growing yam. Of course, Okonkwo is very disappointed — he wanted to be the greatest leader of his clan, and now he is an exile - but seeing that his family is trying to work hard for their new life, he resigns himself to his destiny.
He also tells a story about a destructed village, Abame. Chapter 16 When Obierika returns to Mbanta, he tries to get Okonkwo to tell the story of how Nwoye converted to Christianity, but Okonkwo does not wish to speak on the subject. Through his first wife, Nwoye's mother, that Obierka discovers the details. One day, the entire village of Mbanta went to see the white men who are to live there. They spoke of their religion and sang a hymn.
Most of the villagers pay them no heed because their language is slightly different. Nwoye, however, finds great comfort in the Christian belief, but is not quite ready to convert. Chapter 17 The converters would like to build a church and the villagers offer a piece of land in the Evil Forest because they think the white men will not accept it.
More and more villagers have been converted, including Nwoye. Once Okonkwo finds it out, he disowns and evicts his son from the village. Chapter 18 The white man's church gains more and more converts; they even accept the osu, or rejects of the clan.
Because their brothers have joined the church, the villagers cannot kill them, for fear of being kicked out of the village. Tensions rise between the church and the village, until one day a Christian kills the sacred python. Okonkwo suggests the use of violence on the men, but the clansmen decide instead to ostrasize them. In the end, the man accused of killing the python dies.
Chapter 19 Seven years have passed since the exile and Okonkwo can return to his tribe. He organizes a great feast for his relatives and thanks them for everything, but inside he regrets that he has wasted seven years of his life with such cowardly people.
Before he leaves, his uncle warns against the splitting of the clan. Chapter 20 Okonkwo is very enthusiastic: his plans include building new huts, marrying two more wives, getting titles for his sons, and persuading her daughters to marry young and brave warriors. But once he arrives in Iguedo, he has to realize that his village has changed: Christianity has overcome most of the villagers. Chapter 21 Everything seems to be peaceful. Brown, the pacific leader of the converters and Akunna, a leader of the clan often meet and discuss religious issues in public.
Besides the church, the missionaries have built a school and a hospital as well. When Mr. Brown tells Okonkwo that Nwoye goes to a training college and he is going to be a teacher, Okonkwo threatens him and chase him away. Chapter 22 Mr. Brown gets sick and Reverend James Smith follows him in the leader position. He is an aggressive, rather violent man who refuses Mr.
He encourages the new converts to disturb and humiliate the heathen villagers. Chapter 23 The District Commissioner asks to have a talk with the leaders of the village about the church burning. Okonkwo tells the leaders to bring their machetes, but even with these preparations, the District Commissioner's men are able to capture them in the meeting room.
The guards constantly whip and hit the leaders, who eat nothing they are given. In the meantime, the court messengers arrive in the village and demand a fine from the villagers, which they increase for their personal benefit. Chapter 24 Once Okonkwo and the other leaders are released and return to the village, they start planning revenge.