Why is Things Fall Apart a suitable title for the novel?

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kcoleman2016 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The title Things Fall Apart directly relates to the major themes in Chinua Achebe's novel. The protagonist Okonkwo is first introduced in an environment in which he has truly succeeded. He has worked his way up from a childhood of shame and poverty, caused by his father's inaction, into a role within his society that is considered the epitome of masculinity and power. 

However, as the novel progresses, things do fall apart for Okonkwo. With the arrival of the European colonists and missionaries, his family and culture rapidly deteriorate. His son leaves his family and becomes Christian, adopting a new name. He accidentally kills another man, and he is banished from the village for nine years. Finally, he cannot rally his village around him to rise against the imperialist threat. As such, his entire life falls apart, just like the title.