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"The Second Coming"
By William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer,
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosened upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosened, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned
The best lack of all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
"Things Fall Apart" vs. "The Second Coming"
Chinua Achebe based his story, "Things Fall Apart," on the poem by William Butler Yeats called "The Second Coming." These two pieces of literature have many similarities but no differences.
When analyzing the poem, "The Second Coming," I notice that the title of the story is included in the poem. The poem is based on changes and it implies that when mere anarchy is in play, the whole community lets go and things fall apart. The only reason why the society fell apart is because the people did not stand up for their religion and government. They let the missionaries change their ways. That was also referred to in the poem. The poem stated that things fall apart when the center cannot hold.
At the bottom of page 176, Obierika quoted that the white man has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart. I think that Achebe is trying to give William Butler Yeats some type of recognition because in the beginning of the book, Achebe included a stanza from the poem.
"The blood-dimmed tide is loosened, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned"
First of all, I think this means that once the white missionaries interfere with their religion, it could encourage the whites to feel they could do anything to their society and the people would not say anything. For example, After the white missionaries introduced their religion, they tried to introduce British law and force them upon villagers. "The ceremony of innocence is drowned" could mean that the Ibo society’s culture is done away with and can only come back if they put up with a fight.
Although Okonkwo attempted to arrange a fight against the Christian religion, it was always stopped. After the British convert some villagers to Christianity, they introduce British laws and force them upon villagers. By the time Okonkwo returns, the British have established a stronghold in the village, and most of the people are afraid to confront them. So Okonkwo calls many meetings and tries to organize a way to stop the British. Every time a meeting is called, the British officials break it up. One time, Okonkwo fought back and when the others failed to join the attack, he loses all hope and hangs himself.
As you can see, "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe is greatly based on the poem "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats. These two pieces of literary artwork show many similarities and hardly any differences.
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African Writers Series, Postcolonial literature, Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo, Chinua Achebe, The Second Coming, W. B. Yeats, Second Coming, Ceremony of Innocence, Yeats, No Longer at Ease
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