The novel Things Fall Apart is a literary peice of art. This book takes place in Western Africa in the 1890's. The book starts off talking about the protagonist of the story, Okonkwo, who is a wealthy and well respected man in the village. The text describes Okonkwo's wealth in terms of his belongings; he is the owner of two yam farms and had just recently married his third wife. Okonkwo is also described as someone with drive and motivation. "He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had had no patience with his father." This quote shows the reader that Okonkwo is very determined to be better than his father, who wasn't successul at anything but being unsuccessful. Okonkwo's father, Unoka, was so in debt that people would just laugh and deny him whatever he needed to borrow. Unoka was only happy when he was drinking or playing his flute. The way that Unoka's character is described makes him seem very child-like; he likes to celebrate and he doesn't work. He just wants to have fun.
    The ssetting of this story is very significant because it explains the beliefs of the villagers. The next part of the story tells about the twon crier yelling his message in the middle of the night. This was unusual in this village because the darkness is looked at as something that holds evil. Okonkwo awoke to hear the message, which just told all men of the village to meet in the marketplace the next morning. Okonkwo assumed that the meeting was to discuss war. The quote "That seemed the most likely reason, and he was not afraid of war." is an example of situational irony because he is afraid of the evil that lurks in the dark, but is not afraid of the evil that takes place in war. The next morning at the meeting, a leader of the clan announces that a neighboring village has killed the daughter of another leader. In order to avenge the woman's death, the clan leader, Ezeugo, gives the other village an ultimatum; to either give them a male and a virgin, or to go to war. The second option was obviously not going to happen, because of the amount of power the Umuofia clan's military held. So, the village agrees to hand over the man and the virgin. This is the introduction to a new character, Ikemefuna, who is the young man that is given to the clan.

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    Chinua Achebe

        Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria on Novemmber 16, 1930. He published the novel Things Fall Apart in 1958. Achebe has written other novels as well. He is still living.


    January 2013