Examine the structure of the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and the effect that it creates.

Expert Answers
junebug614 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the effects of the structure of the novel is the chaotic nature of the plot itself.  Achebe jumps around in time and place and transitions from using some ethnic words to a pretty sparsely descriptive English.  The longest section, part one, focuses on the lives and traditions of the people of Okonkwo's tribe.  The next two sections get shorter and shorter; however, it is necessary to know the specifics about their original traditions so that the reader can truly appreciate the importance of the tribe eventually turning on their ways and their leader in favor of Catholicism and the white man. Part Two is essentially a time of transition for Okonkwo and the Ibo people:  Okonkwo is banished from his tribe and lands, and rumors of the white man begin the make their way to the Ibo people.  Finally, in part three, the dissolution of Okonkwo's life is complete.  Okonkwo returns but is betrayed by his people in favor of the white man and their ways.  The Ibo tribe is essentially gone forever.  After focusing on the tribe and its traditions so thoroughly in part one, the fall of Okonkwo and his tribe is even more disheartening to the reader. 

Read the study guide:
Things Fall Apart

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question