Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Things Fall Apart

After reading Americanah, I became interested in reading more about Nigeria. I was at a local library book sale looking around, and I found this book, which is apparently a classic (it was the 50th Anniversary Edition), so I bought it for 25 cents.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a very complex story of an African tribe in Nigeria before and after colonialism and the influence of Christian missionaries.

The story focuses on one man named Okonkwo whose father was considered weak and lazy by the tribe. Okonkwo was embarrassed by his father's weakness and therefore overcompensated for it in his own life. He would under no circumstance show weakness of any kind and was very stern with his wives and children. Even though Okonkwo beat his family into submission, the author managed to make me sympathetic to him.

Okonkwo's fear of weakness does not allow him to accept the changes that are inevitable in his land, and his life falls apart. His falling apart is symbolic of the the Nigerian traditions crumbling as the English government imposes their court system on the tribes. The book was published in 1958, which was two years after Nigeria declared independence from Great Britain. I would give this book five stars. Excellent read.

No comments:

Post a Comment