Things Fall Apart

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade November 2001

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Throughout my African history class, I have learned and seen how various African countries have been colonized by various European countries. Sometimes, these acts have been beneficial for the Africans because the Europeans are able to bring their positive influences to the African villages. Such influences may include technological innovation whereby the Africans are able to live a better lifestyle or another positive influence could be demonstrating ways that promote civilized living among the Africans. However, when the Europeans entered into Africa during the late 1800s and slavery had become non-profitable for them, their intention was not to help these African villages and people, but to take over the villages, and start ruling. They would start their own life there, and they would preach their beliefs and rituals by setting up colonies in African villages. After reading Achebe's Things Fall Apart, I have to completely agree with your analysis of the novel and how you said "things totally fell apart"¦how Africans were destroyed socially, culturally and politically by the power of the colonial state and the 'civilizing mission' of Christian missionaries".

I don't think you could have given a one-sentence summary better than that.

From the beginning of the novel, we get a descriptive view of the way the people in the village are living, both socially and culturally. The novel is basically based around the character, Okonkwo who is known as one of the most powerful men throughout the nine villages. As Okonkwo was growing up, he knew that he wanted to be different than his father, Unoka. His father was lazy, and spent money on worthless goods, hence it resulted in him in debt. Okonkwo had a goal to be completely opposite of his father. He worked very hard through his childhood and adulthood. He wanted to...