How and why did things fall apart?Identify what you interpret to be major theme(s) and /or messages of Things Fall Apart.     grrrrrr, i thought i was finally done with these quiestions for my...

How and why did things fall apart?

Identify what you interpret to be major theme(s) and /or messages of Things Fall Apart.

 

 

grrrrrr, i thought i was finally done with these quiestions for my book! i didnt realize there was another page. blah. well thats besides the point, im pretty sure this is the only question id actually need help with.

 

please and thankyou ;]

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The title can be seen as a direct effect of European colonization/ Imperialism in Africa.  Certainly, this holds credence.  The presence of European powers in Africa disrupted much and caused a breakdown of the social structure in Africa.  The Europeans entered the worlds of Africa, Asia, and South America with the belief that they were "bringing" civilization to "the darker regions of the world."  Okonkwo's dismay at the results of Imperialism on his once proud village causes him to respond in the manner he does. 

The fact that the European presence, as depicted in the novel, fails to recognize that an established sense of order, tradition, and honor had already existed prior to their arrival goes to show that the collision of the two cultures resulted in things falling apart for the indigenous people of the region.  However, we can see the protagonist as an individual for whom things had already fallen apart in his own setting.  Poised as separate from generations (seeking to be completely different from a father he deems as lazy and a son he deems to be "not enough man"), Okonkwo is poised in a predicament where things are either close to falling apart or have fallen apart.  The internal drive and demons that drive him to work as hard as he does and accomplish what he does cannot placate the feeling that he is not at peace. 

This might be the underlying cause of his actions that cause him to be banished from the village.  While there is a social level where "things fall apart" when European imperialism comes to Igbo, there is also a personal and psychological dimension to Okonkwo that demonstrates "things fall apart" in his own mind.  The desire to uphold a self imposed view of being a man, the inability to make peace with his own sense of self, and the lack of understanding to make situations work while maintaining his own voice could also constitute the setting where "things fall apart/ the center cannot hold."

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