Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe                   Published by Anchor books, 1994
Things Fall Apart is a story of conflict between personal family beliefs in the Igbo society and the conflict of religious, cultural and personal beliefs of the Igbo clan   as well as   those of the white men who later come to invade their land. Chinua Achebe realized that neither cultures were bad, they just had a difference in beliefs. Since Achebe was a product of both European and African culture, he tells the story with an understanding of both cultures and does not portray either of them   in a negative way.
In the Igbo society a persons success was based on their social status. To obtain a high ranking in society you must be a brave man with great wealth, many wives and many children. Okonkwo the main character in this novel sole purpose is to gain a high position in society because his father Unoka was considered to be a failure. He was a lazy man who had a great amount of debt and instead of working played the flute.
”Okonkwo was ruled by one passion-to hate everything his father Unoka had loved. One of those thing was gentleness and another was idleness”(pg.13). This is the first conflict which we see early on in the novel, the conflict between family. Okonkwo’s anger toward his father was the driving force which made him want to be and become everything his father wasn’t. We also see a conflict later on in the novel between Okonkwo and his son Nwoye. Nwoye possessed traits of Unoka such as gentleness, forgiveness and acceptance. According to Okonkwo these were signs of weakness and this angered him a great deal. “Okonkwo never showed any emotion openly, unless it be the emotion of anger. To show affection was a sign of weakness; the only thing worth demonstrating was strength” (p.28). Okonkwo considered Nwoye to be lazy and wanted him to be a successful strong man like himself.”Okonkwo wanted his son to be a great farmer and a great man. I will not have a son who...