What is the plot structure of the novel?

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slcollins eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The plot of Things Fall Apart is structured into three parts, each bearing its own distinctive actions and purpose. In the Part One we see the greatness of both Okonkwo and Umuofia. Achebe allows the reader to see the rich culture that the Ibo people hold dear. Okonkwo  is written as a strong character with a well-respected place in Umuofian society; he has worked hard to farm his yams and grow his family, ensuring himself numerous titles and a role as an egwugwu. Much of the conflict is also set up for us in Part One. We see the conflict between Nwoye and his father and the conflict within Okonkwo regarding his weak father. Part Two of the book gives us a climax in regards to Okonkwo’s character and the Umuofian culture. Okonknwo is exiled to Mbanta, his motherland, and the white man comes to the surrounding villages. These serve as points where Okonkwo could change but won’t. The last part of the book serves as the resolution to this conflict: Okonkwo cannot stand to live with the changes that have come to Umuofia at the hands of the white man, so he hangs himself.  

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Things Fall Apart

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