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Analysis of Things Falls Apart.

Analysis of Things Falls Apart.

The cultural presentation in society is common among African novels. Africans had a rich culture before the invasion of the European countries with the aim of exploration and colonization. In the early 20th Century, African culture was unique with the unique African natives who adhered to the dictates of their culture irrespective of the pressure of the transition and civilization. Things Fall Apart dwells on the intrigues and misconceptions of people about the African culture.  The people in the novel are unique due to their belief in their culture, and the application of drums and culture makes the new universal leading to its relation to a period of time.

Characters in the Things Fall Apart such as Okonkwo of Umuofia village was one of the few African women who value their cultural tradition and cannot be swayed by the European lifestyle into giving up in what they believe in. He forms a unique African culture valued by natives. The phrase, “suddenly overcome by fury, sprang to his (Okonkwo) feet and gripped him (Nwoye) by the neck.” In response to Nwoye disrespecting their religion and house by siding with the Christians (Achebe, 1996) is symbolism of a unique African man who feels treated by the aspect of erosion of his traditional belief in worshipping. Hypocrisy also mars the type characters in the novel; Things Fall Apart. Okonkwo perceives people like women who cannot face significant battles, but deep inside he fears the wrath of the Europeans. He has a unique trait making the novel, and the characters in Chinua Achebe applies unique. The strong adherence to the African culture by the characters in the novel; however, the pressure from the European colonizers define the uniqueness of these people.

Drum presents the beat of celebration and the roar of all civilization. Every global country has in some instance experienced colonialism from the outsiders intending to take over their country and change their culture (Foley, 2001). Colonization and civilization are global making the drum a symbol of the celebration of the civilization and warning against the invaders as used in Things Fall Apart. Fire is a global symbol of destruction. Cultural practice is a global phenomenon that faces several nations. Every country and society has its own cultural practices and its intensification. The emphasis on the African culture, specifically Igbo beliefs is a symbol of the global trot in regards to people/s beliefs. It is therefore evident that cultural practices and the use of tools for celebration is present worldwide defining the universal aspect of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

The early and middle 1900s represented the colonization period were European countries invaded African countries to introduce the western way of life. The period presented the westernization process. The introduction of western education, Christianity and western politics by the European in Nigeria showed the erosion of African culture and the appreciation of the Western way of life (Jerven, 2018). The novel further dwells on the period where African believed in archaic means of way of life according to the Europeans. The period was mainly early 20th Century. It is therefore evident that Chinua Achebe intended to mirror an era of civilization and cultural intensification.

The novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is universally accepted due to the unique presentation characters, explanation of the western civilization and African culture and the application of symbolism as a technique of composing literary texts. Its all-around aspect defines its acceptance and candid information about the representation of social aspects of life such as education, religion, politics, and tradition.


Achebe, C. (1996). Things Fall Apart. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Foley, A.  (2001). Okonkwo’s fate and the worldview of Things Fall Apart.  Department of English Johannesburg College of the Education/ University of the Witwatersrand. Literator 22(2) Aug. 2001:39-59 ISSN 0258-2279

Jerven, M. (2018). Controversy, facts, and assumptions: Lessons from estimating long term growth in Nigeria, 1900–2007. African Economic History, 46(1), 104-136.

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