The contrast between masculinity and femininity is a concept that has been examined throughout history. In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe makes a strong claim that individuals most exhibit both masculine and feminine characteristics in order for society to function successfully. The need for balance between the two is demonstrated through the failures of Okonkwo and his father, who gravitate towards opposite extremes.
Things Fall Apart: Literary Analysis In Things Fall Apart, a realistic fiction novel authored by Chinua Achebe, literary devices are used in numerous ways. Imagery, Allusions, Metaphors, and many others are used to develop several essential themes and ideas throughout the extent of the story. One key, elaborate, idea maintained throughout Things Fall Apart is the idea of masculinity and femininity as perceived by the main character, Okonkwo, and the whole of Umuofian culture. In summary, Achebe uses several literary devices and techniques to express many views on the abstract, subjective, concepts of masculinity and femininity.
The novel, “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe talks about post colonial life of Nigerian society and transformation by the Europeans. In the novel, things fall apart for the lead character Okonkwo, who was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and weakness. Okonkwo was a man of action and a war, he was not afraid of war but all his life was dominated by this one fear of being unsuccessful and lazy like his father. So, he lived a life completely opposite to which his father lived. In this story we get an exclusive view of fear, masculinity, family, missionaries and racism.
The critically acclaimed novella, titled “Things Fall Apart” written by Chinua Achebe is written from the perspective of the protagonist, Okonkwo; who holds a very traditional Ibo tribe cultural perspective on what masculinity is, which readers are exposed to repeatedly throughout the story. Although, different perspectives on the matter are observed through characters such as Nwoye, Okonkwo’s oldest son, who had a different idea about true masculinity in comparison to his more extreme father. Okonkwo shows his support for Both Okonkwo and Nwoye’s ideas on masculinity are compared to the European culture and norms towards the end of the book. Both Nwoye and Okonkwo weigh the European culture differently, and react to the conflicting ideologies in different manners;
Katherine Gerhardt Ms. Gagnon English Honors 25 January 2018 Nwoye’s Response To Cultural Change A sense of identity is often acquired and developed by everyone as they mature, but it is always changing as culture changes. The novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, follows the development of several characters in response to a cultural shock caused by the westernization of the Ibo tribe in Nigeria. The protagonist of the book, Okonkwo, is a strong, diligent leader and supercilious warrior of the tribe who obsesses over his masculine image.
The novel, Things Fall Apart, tells the life story about Okonkwo, who is a clansmen of the Ibo tribe, which is located in Nigeria. Okonkwo is a famous wrestler, a skilled farmer and a respected leader, in spite of his modest upbringing. The novel is told through Okonkwo’s chauvinist point of view, where he accepts the theory that man is everything, and women is nothing (Bite & Bite, 2013). Okonkwo supports and encourages the traditional gender divisions, and regards women as weak, and powerless human beings. Okonkwo, like other clansmen, are known to call men, who are considered to be weak, worthless or those who carry no title, “Agbala”, which stands for, women-like.
The tale of the Igbo in Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, is a progressive story of change in a culture. Okonkwo, a well respected warrior and leader in the tribe of Umuofia stands center stage as readers follow his life as a man in a disintegrating culture. With the arrival of missionaries, banishments, and an abundance of yams, Okonkwo’s story helps paint a picture of British imperialism in Africa during the 19th century. As the progression of the story picks up steam, Okonkwo’s fear, defiance, and traditionalism are the driving forces, they control his life, his family, and leave an imprint upon his village and the British.
Prompt 2 Every hero of a story, either great or disappointing, has a flaw; Achebe writes the character Okonkwo to examine his flaw: fear of failing tradition. Umuofia is a land where the concept of tradition is ending due to the colonization of the white man. For example, Okonkwo's own son, Nwoye, joins the new church and Okonkwo is livid. He thought, “ To abandon the gods of one’s father and go about with a lot of effeminate men clucking like old hens was the very death of abomination,” (Achebe 153).
Every hero of a story, either great or disappointing, has a flaw; Achebe creates the character Okonkwo to examine his flaw: fear of failing tradition. Umuofia is a land where the concept of tradition is ending due to the colonization of the white man. For example, Okonkwo's own son, Nwoye, joins the new church, and Okonkwo is livid. He thought, “ To abandon the gods of one’s father and go about with a lot of effeminate men clucking like old hens was the very death of abomination,” (Achebe 153). Through Okonkwo’s anger for Nwoye changing beliefs, deep down he becomes frightened that the traditional Igbo religion will be no more because of people like his own son. The other members of the tribe, Uchendu for example, saw Okonkwo’s actions as extreme and uncalled for therefore showing Okonkwo's over-the-top attitude towards failing traditions compared to other Igbo people.
“Things fall apart, even when you think they’re stronger than you ever imagined.” ‘Things Fall Apart’, by Chinua Achebe is a book about about the struggles of an African man named Okonkwo and his families life falls apart right before their very eyes. It’s a son duty to carry on the families traditions in this tribe. Although in this story that’s not the case, Okonkwo struggles to get his eldest son Nwoye to act more like a man and less like a woman. Ezinma is Okonkwos favorite child and he wishes that she was a boy because she has all the traits and actions a young man should have. There was another boy named Ike that was almost a role model to Nwoye and almost had Okonkwo conviced his son was becoming a man.
‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe is an illustration of Achebe’s real life experiences. It is portrayed through using of Okonkwo as a central character in the novel. In fact, it is the tragedy of an individual and the society as a whole. Despite being written in 1958 and set in Nigeria, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe understands much like Greek tragedy. It is the event that most of the principles from Aristotle theory of tragedy in the Poetics throughout the novel, and contributes to the improvement of the central character and the events of the plot.
Aristotle described a Tragic Hero as a superior man of lofty class who plays tragic imperfections and discovers his fate by his own proceedings. Similarly, in Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart”, Okonkwo is a protagonist and also considered a tragic hero who commits tragic flaws, experiences a remarkable reversal and recognition, who holds a position of power and prestige in Umuofia but his tragic flaw is his fear of weakness and failure and later discovering his fate soon after his action.
Achebe stated that the primary purpose of his novel “Things Fell Apart” was, “…to help my society regain belief in itself and put away the complexes of the years of denigration and self-abasement” (Gagiano, 2014, p. 1075). To accomplish that goal, the protagonist of his novel had to lose everything that was dear in his life, including his station in the community. The African view of a person does not take into consideration only the individual; the status is in fact defined by the position and standing in the community itself (Oyowe, 2014). Again, to lose that standing is devastating to the
Reflection of Traditional African Igbo Culture in Chinua Achebe’s Novel Things Fall Apart Sikandar Kadar Aga Abstract: The aim of this present research paper is to highlight the insights of the traditional African Igbo culture, as represented in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart. Achebe in the novel Things Fall Apart portrays Igbo culture objectively and moreover he does not show sympathy to Igbo culture, rather he explains Igbo culture with its own merits and limitations. In the novel Achebe has given vivid description of landscape, food, religion, customs, festivals, laws, superstitions, etc.
Things Fall Apart consists of numerous tragedies and calamities. The novel contains situations which are unimaginable to have to experience. Primarily, tragedy befalls the protagonist of the novel, Okonkwo. Through implementing Aristotle’s criteria of a tragic hero and by using extracts from Things Fall Apart, I will discuss the extent to which I personally feel this undesirable and unfortunate ‘title’ can be added to Okonkwo’s revered existing titles.