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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
The rave reviews as a classic had me expecting more. Good solid story but highly predictable and lacked deep character development - actions based on pride and tradition PERIOD. Read morePublished 4 days ago by bubba
Because it was really boring. Yayatourej6. But yeah banjo get right Vincent Tran. Oh yeah u know Vincent Lam TranPublished 6 days ago by Kyle Tran
I cannot contest the skill with which Chinua Achebe has written part one of his trilogy. I was drawn to a life very different from one I will ever experience. Read morePublished 10 days ago by nancy
I had to read this book for an African Studies class. This book is very interesting but I hate the ending. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Christopher Ott
Captivating, rich writing. Work of a true literary genius. I loved every moment of this poignant story. Should be read by all at least oncePublished 11 days ago by LydiaK