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Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his little children. Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness. It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of the forces of nature, malevolent, red in tooth and claw. Okonkwo's fear was greater than these. It was not external but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father.And yet Achebe manages to make this cruel man deeply sympathetic. He is fond of his eldest daughter, and also of Ikemefuna, a young boy sent from another village as compensation for the wrongful death of a young woman from Umuofia. He even begins to feel pride in his eldest son, in whom he has too often seen his own father. Unfortunately, a series of tragic events tests the mettle of this strong man, and it is his fear of weakness that ultimately undoes him.
Achebe does not introduce the theme of colonialism until the last 50 pages or so. By then, Okonkwo has lost everything and been driven into exile. And yet, within the traditions of his culture, he still has hope of redemption. The arrival of missionaries in Umuofia, however, followed by representatives of the colonial government, completely disrupts Ibo culture, and in the chasm between old ways and new, Okonkwo is lost forever. Deceptively simple in its prose, Things Fall Apart packs a powerful punch as Achebe holds up the ruin of one proud man to stand for the destruction of an entire culture. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
I did not like this book. The character's names were too confusing to remember and say. The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo ("Ibo" in the novel) leader and local... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Samantha
I didn't enjoy this book very much. AT first it seemed interesting to learn about the African culture, and it was, but when the English came into the country, they were portrayed... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
Colonization really leaves scars. If only people could appreciate culture.Published 10 days ago by J. Gibson
Salute to our African brothers and sisters in the land of the diamonds who are still struggling to end the feudal society that is still prevalent in their homelands. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Werewolf
The best way to learn the mystical and rich culture of our brothers in Africa is absolutely by NOT going to Africa. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Whitney Brumbaugh