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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Honors Humanities B4

Livia Yergeau

on 2 June 2014

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Transcript of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe wrote
Things Fall Apart
and many other amazing books. After writing
Things Fall Apart
, Achebe was called the "patriarch of African novels." Achebe's
Chinua Achebe
Symbols are something that represents another thing. There are many reoccurring symbols in
Things Fall Apart
, called motifs.

By Livia Yergeau
Things Fall Apart

An example of irony is how Okonkwo killed himself in the end. It's ironic because he was supposed to be a warrior, and he stopped fighting at the end. Warriors would keep on going and keep up the fight, but he didn't.
father was one of the first people of his region to convert to Christianity. He was raised a Christian, and exposed to the Ibo culture, but not as much as he would have liked. Achebe's grandfather was very successful and claimed three out of the four titles in the village.
Things Fall Apart

Written by: Chinua Achebe

Presentation by: Livia Yergeau

Music: Sparks by Coldplay
Background Information
Umuofia, one of the nine villages in Nigeria, is where Okonkwo lives. Okonkwo is the son of Unoka, an efulefu. Okonkwo fears becoming like his father, who he views as worthless, and with no title. Okonkwo fears being an efulefu so much that he tries everything in his power to not become one. When he is eighteen years old, he throws Amalinze the Cat. Amalinze had been undefeated for seven years. This event brings a lot of honor to the village of Umuofia.
Locusts are yet another symbol that involve importance in this book. They are so heavy that they break the tree branches. This represents the breaking of the Igbo culture and tradition after the Colonialism and settlement by white people.
Okonkwo is a great hero and honored after he threw Amalinze the cat. He is very wealthy, with many wifes and yams. Throughout the book he feared to be like Unoka, his father. Okonkwo became determined, prosperous, powerful, brave, demanding, and poignant at a young age.
Nwoye is the son of Okonkwo. Because of his mother's stories about women's rights, Nwoye became very feminine. He is very hopeful and faithful to most situations. Also, Nwoye was conflicted after the death of Ikemefuna.
Ezinma is the daughter of Okonkwo and Ekwefi. She is very masculine, opposite of Nwoye. She is quite extraordinarily intelligent, with a mind that could reach high remarks. Although she is masculine she is beautiful and confident about herself.
New Religion
In Mbanta, the missionaries settled, built churches, and won converts. The missionaries sent evangelists to the surrounding villages and towns. Most people saw the situation of the new Christian religion as a threat. They saw it as a threat because the community didn't like efulefus. The outcasts of the new religion were welcomed. A beneficial thing that came out of this religion was twins were not considered evil and thrown away. Although there are positive outlooks on this religion, there are some very negative aspects as well. The religion separated families with differing opinions apart, and people became cruel and violent towards Christianity.
The elders believed that gave the missionaries a battlefield from the portion of the Evil Forest to show their victory. This backfired on the elders because they all did not die after day four like they were supposed to. They didn't die because the white man's fetish had enormous power. The white man wore glasses that helped him see and talk to spirits in the forest. This was a very ironic situation on the elders part.
One motif is yams which represent wealth and new life .
Another is a cola nut, which represents the welcoming of someone to your home.
Drums are also a representation of communication throughout the village.
A second theme is the philosophy to "Master your fear, or your fear will master you." An example of this theme is that Okonkwo never dealt with his fear of failure and it ultimately leads to his downfall.
Finally, another theme is the philosophy that if you achieve things you will be great. An example of this is titles. Okonkwo fears that he will be like his father, worthless and with no achievement. Okonkwo values his title.
There are many themes throughout this book which take a significant toll on Okonkwo and his peers.
One theme often found in
Things Fall Apart,
as well as daily life, is change. Change is inevitable, although most people don't see change in themselves. An example of change is when Okonkwo sees Nwoye becoming feminine, like his father, but doesn't see himself changing into another person.
Irony is a situation that is humorous or uncanny because things turn out in a way the reader didn't expect
In the Igbo tradition, the group of the nine masked spirits (Egwugwu) represent each of the nine villages in Umuofia. These spirits represent the sons of the first father of the clan

“Each of the nine egwugwu represented a village of the clan.”

Foreshadowing is an caution of something that will happen in a future appearance.
A flashback is a vivid memory from an experience in the past.
Imperialism affected Umuofia by the Europeans. The factors within Africa
also made the continent easier for Europeans to colonize. There are disadvantages of colonial rule in Africa. One disadvantage is Africa lost control of their land and independence. Africa also lost thousands of their people in resisting the Europeans.
Characterization is the description of the qualities and looks of a character.
Themes are a significant moral in a story that reappear throughout the story.
Another ironic situation in Things Fall Apart is the death of Ikemefuna. It's ironic because in his perspective, he was going to a beautiful place, to be sent home. Little did Ikemefuna know, he was being sent to be killed. Ezeudu told Okonkwo that Ikemefuna would be killed and he can not take part in it because he was close with him. Okonkwo doesn't listen to him and does the opposite of what he asked, he killed Ikemefuna himself.
Thank you so much for watching! :)
Full transcript