Things Fall Apart Critical Review

Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart is perhaps one of the most famous of all African novels and is well known for its display of African culture and heritage as well as the reaction of African culture to colonization. Chinua Achebe wrote this fictional story using the cultural references of his own native Nigerian Igbo heritage to describe the chaotic period just prior to British colonization.
This novel is centered on the violent protagonist Okonkwo who is a well-respected member of the Umuofia clan. Though outwardly stern and powerful, much of his life is dictated by internal fear. His greatest, overwhelming worry is that he will become like his father – lazy, unable to support his family, and coward. Okonkwo considers many of his father’s characteristics to be feminine. Much of Okonkwo’s behavior results from a reactionary desire to be completely unlike his father. This means that Okonkwo attempts to work hard, provide for his family materially, be brave, and be masculine in every possible way. As a result, Okonkwo’s becomes successful in many ways – he becomes very wealthy, holds a high-ranked position in the community, has three wives, and is known for his skill as a wrestler and warrior. But he also tends toward emotions that are extreme, and his fear motivates him to take actions which are often unnecessary and ultimately destructive. His fear of being feminine leads him to assist in the murder of Ikemefuna whom he loved, to beat his wives, be emotionally distant from his children, and to disown his oldest son. In my opinion, Okonkwo is not a bad person he is just doing not want to repeat the history as his father does.
The culture of the village is also marked by the significance of the family in the village. What is most interesting to note is that in this society, the man does work and he works hard and so do the women but they each have differing roles. The men deal with the yams and the women harvest other crops and do other tasks. There is a...