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Deeper Meanings Behind Things Fall Apart

A collection of themes and symbols from Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart.
by

Faith Bartello

on 13 November 2012

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Transcript of Deeper Meanings Behind Things Fall Apart

Explore the Deeper Meanings Behind the Story Things Fall Apart Symbols - Locusts

- Fire The Clash Between Change And Tradition Throughout the novel, Achebe introduces different aspects of change and how it affects each character. Achebe depicts the arrival white missionaries. They invade the Igbo culture with their own. This leads to the some of the tribe to change their religious and political beliefs while others are very resistant to the very presence of the new settlers. For example, Okonkwo is stuck in his culture taught by his fathers, but his son, Nwoye is converted. He completely ignores his original religion. Complex Language Leading to Cultural Difference The language used represents the dynamic culture of the early Igbo people. It helps prove that africans are not uneducated beings susceptible to the colonization of whites. The tongue of these people is difficult to understand by the europeans just like the values of each culture are easily misunderstood. With the many variations of african language, it is obvious that other villagers would pick fun at Mr. Brown's translator due to his difference in dialect. Themes -The Clash Among Change and Tradition

-The Perceptions of Masculinity

-Complex Language Leading to Cultural Differences

-Pride Brings About Negative Effects The Perceptions of Masculinity Pride brings About negative Effects


Okonkwo is constantly concerned with what others think of him. With this in mind and the fear of becoming like his father, he allows these principles to dictate his life. His son, Nwoye, was never deemed good enough in Okonkwo's ideas. The demise in their relationship is attributed to this. Also, he kills Ikemefuna and beats his wife for the fear of being looked down upon. Though Okonkwo tried all he could,his pride led to the eventual depiction of Okonkwo hanging himself. Themes And Symbols Within the book, differing variations of masculinity are witnessed. The main character, Okonkwo, is traumatized by his father's lazy and moocher attitude. He associates femininity with weakness. He does whatever he can to ensure his name is not known as he weak. Okonkwo beats his wife and kills Ikemefuna.

In the mother village of Okonkwo, qualities such as negotiation, compliance, and avoidance are all considered to be feminine. To Uchendu, his uncle, they are perfectly masculine. MEDIAFRICTV. "THINGS FALL APART - Scene 32." YouTube. YouTube, 12 Mar. 2008. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSvGqBrsgDg>. Works Cited: "Strong Man Clip Art #1 of 20." Art Photos. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://art-icio.ru/image.php?id=1198905>. "SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/things/themes.html>. Locusts Fire MEDIAFRICTV. "THINGS FALL APART - Scene 37." YouTube. YouTube, 08 May 2008. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8eL8o-CTPM>. Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor, 1994. Print. The locusts hint to the arrival of the white men. When the villagers feast on the locusts, it infers that the white missionaries will use the Igbo people's resources and devour their culture.

The locusts are heavy. They break tree branches, and this symbolizes the breaking apart of the African culture under colonialism and white settlement. The main character, Okonkwo, is given the nickname "Roaring Flame" in the novel. Due to his immense anger, he is associated with fire. Fire destroys everything in its path just as it destroyed the church and Okonkwo's compound. In the end, his anger ultimately leads to his own demise. By: Destiny Sessums and Faith Bartello MEDIAFRICTV. "THINGS FALL APART - Scene 45." YouTube. YouTube, 20 Feb. 2009. Web. 03 Nov. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEbrAX57c60>. Smith, Daniel. "Swarming Locusts Have Big Brains." - Sunday Mercury. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2012. <http://blogs.sundaymercury.net/weirdscience/2010/05/swarming-locusts-have-big-brai.html>. "African Warrior by ~ManicMinor on DeviantART." African Warrior by ~ManicMinor on DeviantART. ©2010-2012 ~ManicMinor, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2012. <http://manicminor.deviantart.com/art/African-Warrior-190161712>.
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