Things Fall Apart

In the book Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe is trying to give an explanation ofwhat it is like to live in an African society. The story is about a man named Okonkwowho is a member of the Ibo tribe. Achebe is telling the story of Okonkwo from hischildhood till his death. Before I read this book I did not have a very good idea of howpeople lived in Africa, and the ideas of I did have about life in traditional African societiesturned out to be untrue. Achebe did a very good job of illustrating a traditional Africansociety, and by reading this book I now have a much better idea of what life is like in anon-western society. I think that this was Achebe's goal in writing this book, to educatepeople about some of the struggles people have and life in traditional African societies. The title Things Fall Apart is a good choice for a title of this book. The maincharacter, Okonkwo, did not like the way his father lived. He thought that a man shouldbe strong and do typical male tasks. But Okonkwo's father, Unoka, did not fit moldaccording to Okonkwo. Okonkwo was ashamed of his father, and told himself that hewould make a better life for himself and his family. Okonkwo was able to do this, hebecame very successful in the Ibo tribe and had gained a very high standing in the tribe. Itwas his goal to become an elder in the tribe, and it looked like he was going to achievethat goal. Okonkwo was banished form the tribe for seven years for killing a boy, and wasforced to live with his mother's tribe for the seven years. Okonkwo lost all of his titles andhis standing in the Ibo tribe. After the seven years had passed, Okonkwo went back to theIbo tribe and had to start his live over. Over the seven years that Okonkwo was away, theIbo tribe changed a lot. Most of these changes were do to the missionaries which hadcome to Africa to try to convert people to Christianity. Okonkwo could not accept thesechanges, and in a rage of anger he killed a clansman. This was the worst crime a mancould commit. After Okonkwo did this he realized that there was no hope for redeeminghimself and no way that he could become an elder. So he hung himself because he couldnot live with the fact that he would never regain his standing in the tribe. He would havemost likely been killed for committing this crime anyway. Basically Okonkwo's life fellapart on him, hence I feel that the title Things Fall Apart is very fitting for this book. I thought that Achebe did a good job at writing this book. After getting into thebook I found it very easy to read and follow. It took a while to get use to the names ofthe people in the book, and the Ibo words and phrases. I thought that the purpose of thisbook was not directly stated, but it was implied. The purpose was to show people what itis like growing up in a traditional African Society, and Achebe did a good job a showingthat. The book is chronologically organized, starting with Okonkwo as a child and endingwith his death. I feel that the audience level for this book would be high school andabove. I think that there are a lot of implied messages and ideas that mature readers willpick out easier than younger readers. I feel that the book is not biased, and I feelrepresents the African people as well as the white missionaries fairly. So overall I feel thatthe book was very well written and found it enjoyable to read. I found it ironic that both Okonkwo and his father, Unoka, ended up the sameway. Both ended up being put in the evil forest after their death. Unoka ended up in theevil forest because he did from a strange disease, while Okonkwo ended up in the evilforest because he had killed a clansman. I found this ironic because it seemed theOkonkwo tried to everything different from his father. Okonkwo did not agree with theway Unoka lived, and he told himself that he was not going to live that way. And for themost part his life was