рат: Things Fall Apart An Analysis Essay Research

Things Fall Apart: An Analysis Essay, Research Paper

Things Fall Apart: An Analysis

The culture of the Umuofia society before the colonial infiltration, may be

hard to understand but we are forced by Achebe to realize it has traditions and

customs that make it work. Although, looking at it from our Judaeo-Christian

point of view we may be appalled by some of their practices. We also have to

realize that they have strengths.

Things Fall apart is the idea of balance and interdependence, earth and sky,

individual and community, man and woman or different perspectives on the same

situation. The central image of this balance is contained in the Ibo concept of

“chi,” which occurs throughout the novel. A persons “chi” is their destiny, his

inner self, “you wouldn’t challenge your “chi” to a wrestling match,” as did

Okonkwo when he assisted in the killing of Ikemefuna, whom he loved and who

called him father. Okonkwo sins not only against the earth goddess, protector

of family relations, but also against his inner most feelings or his “chi.” Any

bad luck that occurs, people of this culture would say that you have a bad


Okonkwo’s destiny is marked by bad luck, one reason may be that he is so

driven by the fear of resembling his father that he struggles to repress part of

his personality with predictably afflicted results.

This was a society where a man was judged by his own achievement and not

that of his fathers. Yams were the primary crop of Umuofia. A sign of

manliness was if you could farm yams to feed your family. Okonkwo is respected

because of his hard work.

The complex patterns of Umuofia’s economic and social customs materialize

throughout this novel as we see Okonkwo compelled to rid himself of any

similarities that his father had. Unoka had no titles, was lazy and when he died

was greatly in debt.

Some may wonder how a society like the Ibo’s functioned, how they enforce

its laws with no kings, no organized police force, and no standing army. Indeed

this is something our “modern” culture could study. These things were

accomplished through the functions of the masked spirits.

The Egwugwu, represents the village’s highest spiritual and judicial

authority. The masked spirits are believed to represent their ancestors. This

supports the myth “The land of the living was not far removed from the domain of

the ancestors.” There was a coming and