What is the significance of the structure of Things Fall Apart?
Structure is important to Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, even though the story is a rather straightforward narrative with only a few easy-to-follow flashbacks. I want to focus on the division of the novel into Part One, Part Two, and Part Three, as this organizational method allows the plot and character to develop in important ways.
Part One introduces us to the protagonist, Okonkwo . We learn about his history, his family (including his conflict with his father), and his current high status in his tribe. He is a respected leader, a strong wrestler, and an accomplished yam farmer. He is the...
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First part: introduction of the Ibo people, of Okonkow and of his relatives. Introduction of their culture, religion, habits and beliefs.
The first part is here to make us discover (from the Ibo point of view) the daily life in their society, the way it was before the arrival of the white man. The story happens in Umuofia.
Second part: the seven years of exhile of Okonkwo inMbanta. We also hear about the arrival of the white men and see how they settle.
Third part: return to Umuofia. The white people have completely settled and they now rule the land.
The three parts represent in a way the history of the Ibo people: before the arrival (which covers a large period of time, this is why it is also the largest part in the novel), the setting of the white people and finally the new life under the reign of the white people.