Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

Book - 1994
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"'Things Fall Apart' tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a strong man of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul."--P. [4] of cover.
Publisher: New York : Anchor Books/Random House, Inc, 1994, c1959.
Edition: 50th Anniversary ed.
ISBN: 9780385474542
0385474547
9780679446231
0679446230
Call Number: ACHEBE
Characteristics: 209 p. ; 21 cm.
Subjects: Igbo (African people) -- Fiction.
Race relations -- Fiction.
Men -- Nigeria -- Fiction.
Nigeria -- Race relations -- Fiction.
Historical fiction

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ArapahoeMaryA Aug 27, 2018

Achebe’s art and his criticism mark the beginning of African post-colonial literature. His work explores the exploitation and abuse of colonizing forces and the resulting loss of cultural identity of those being colonized.

h
humbleworm
Apr 26, 2018

The theme of clashing cultures here reminded me of the films Little Big Man (1970) and, to a lesser extent, The Last Emperor (1987). There's a sense of unfairness when the rules change around you. You might also enjoy Ishmael Beah's autobiographical book A Long Way Gone.

s
scribby
Apr 02, 2018

What begins as a folktale (“Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and beyond”) soon becomes a detailed description of life in a tribal society (not always benign, and sometimes extremely puzzling, such as the incident with the priestess at night). Perhaps the latter is intended as an evil omen of what is to come: parts two and three change this short novel into a tragedy in the classic sense: Okonkwo does exhibit one maddening character flaw that leads to his downfall. The tragic course of the novel begins suddenly and unexpectedly, and leads into a new direction (only suggested once before): what happens when well-meaning foreign missionaries are replaced by fundamentalists and colonialists. Yeats’ dire prophetic poem (the source of Achebe’s title, quoted in the introduction) comes true.

u
uncommonreader
Sep 16, 2017

A masterpiece.

p
peacebenow
Apr 27, 2017

"The pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger Delta". Compelling story of an African tribe invaded by the English religious who destroy these clans way of life for the the purpose of doing good for their own God.

c
Candaceb108
Dec 18, 2016

I could not put this book down. We white people/westerners think we are so advanced, but in the face of today's global immigration, we are not acting very differently than the African's whose story this Achebe describes. We invaded the earth's peoples for profit; today's refugees run for their lives. Africans' culture was in touch with life, birth, death, family, the earth. We are in touch with our iphones, and laptops, but we are just as afraid and aggrieved as they were. Our ancestors invited them into an antiseptic hell what does our invitation say?

p
pookyy
Jun 22, 2016

I liked it. It was very interesting. There's a lot of culture behind the book, so be prepared for that.

e
EliA14
Jun 20, 2016

if you want to read a book that is about africa from an african, this is it. Achebe tells his peoples story beautifully in a time where all of it is falling apart.

s
sspaniolo
Sep 09, 2015

This was one of the few book I actually read in high school. Why? Because from start to finish I just could not put the book down.

x
xzhang17
Jul 19, 2015

A compelling story narrative concerning tribal culture. Although the book opens slowly, Things Fall Apart grows more and more interesting to read as the novel progresses. The writing as well as the character development are admirable.

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Quotes

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ArapahoeMaryA Aug 27, 2018

The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.

x
xzhang17
Jul 19, 2015

“Among the Igbo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.”

x
xzhang17
Jul 19, 2015

“Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.”

x
xzhang17
Jul 19, 2015

“When the moon is shining the cripple becomes hungry for a walk.”

x
xzhang17
Jul 19, 2015

“The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”

o
omdarbandi
May 25, 2014

"He [Okonkwo] had a slight stammer and whenever he was angry and could not get his words out quickly enough, he would use his fists."

o
omdarbandi
May 25, 2014

"During the planting season Okonkwo worked daily on his farms from cock-crow until the chickens went to roost."

Summary

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h
hmatulek
Jun 04, 2018

Things Fall Apart tells the story of an Ibo (Igbo) man, Okonkwo, whose life in southern Nigeria is one of local fame and high standing. He has worked aggressively and tirelessly for everything he has- much unlike his father, whom he finds detestable. Despite his successes, some of his family members suffer in silent turmoil at the hands of their violent and volatile father. When European colonization comes to his village, the world where he grew up changes in an instant. Loyalty, exile, betrayal, and redemption all play a role in this globally-acclaimed modern African novel.

x
xzhang17
Jul 19, 2015

Okonkwo is a celebrated wrestling champion and a well-off member of Umuofia society. As the novel explores his background as well as his struggle against the spread of Christianity, the reader is transported to pre-colonial Africa.

o
omdarbandi
May 25, 2014

The main character of this book is Okonkwo, who work very hard but all the sudden, he would see a problem which he cannot deal with it.

Age

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xzhang17
Jul 19, 2015

xzhang17 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

o
omdarbandi
May 25, 2014

omdarbandi thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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