Why might have Achebe taken the title for his novel from a line in Butler Yeats' poem "The Second Coming"?Achebe takes the title for his novel from a line in a classic Western modernist poem “The...

Why might have Achebe taken the title for his novel from a line in Butler Yeats' poem "The Second Coming"?

Achebe takes the title for his novel from a line in a classic Western modernist poem “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats. Read “The Second Coming” and consider why Achebe might have chosen to take the title of his novel from Yeats’ poem.  Consider how Achebe’s literary allusion to Yeats’ poem might deepen or extend-by comparison and/or contrast-the meaning (s) of Achebe’s title and his novel.  Write about your considerations.

 

THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come at last,
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

 

 

The question and the poem are above.

This is the last question im having issues with. thankyou for the help ;]

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Part of what makes Yeats' poem such a powerful image with which to frame Achebe's novel lies in its articulation of a world that has lost control.  Yeats' is writing his poem in the wake of the First World War, an event that transformed morality, human action, the institutions that were supposed to guide individual actions, and a world that is both gone and one whose destination is eerily unknown.  The title's referential lines, "Things fall apart, the center cannot hold"," can serve as a good way to view how Ibo might come to view his life at several points in the novel. His banishment from the village represents a sense of a moral center "that cannot hold."  He is lost without the identity of his village, and when he returns, he cannot identify with its change and how his traditional vision has been replaced with a modern rendering painted with the brush of Imperialism.  His confrontation with the Christians who have forever altered this world represents a moment where "mere anarchy is loosed upon the world."  Finally, his lost relationship with his son is a moment where "the falcon cannot here the falconer."  The use of Yeats' poem highlights a transformation from what was once loved to something unknown, where comfort and understanding has been replaced with insecurity and doubt.

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Things Fall Apart

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