Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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In Things Fall Apart, how are important decisions made for the clan, and what are major themes?

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In Things Fall Apart, decisions are made for the clan by the elders. The elders consist of a type of male democracy. Of course, these elders consult with the Oracle for advice. The Oracle of the hills is a goddess named Agbala.

One theme that is dominant in Things Fall Apart is the theme of cultural traditions and laws that focus on justice and fairness. The Ibo people have many traditions and cultural practices that keep life interesting and organized.

There is the week of peace when everyone rests from his or her work. Of course, Okonkwo is a workaholic and has trouble with this festivity. He has trouble relaxing and just having fun in his life.

There is also a theme that is closely associated with Okonkwo, the main character. This theme deals with his fear of being termed lazy like his father was. For this reason, Okonkwo is obsessed with hard work and authority. He is a strict disciplinarian and takes out his frustrations on his family of three wives and nine children. Okonkwo is also a great warrior who has earned many honors and titles from his battles. He is also a great wrestler. All of these manly traits make Okonkwo a respected leader in the village. That is an important theme in the Ibo tribe. Being respected, having honors, and working hard are themes that run throughout the story.


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