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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 the Paperback edition.
Read this for an English class and found it quite enjoyable and, at times, profound. The tragically flawed protagonist and diverse array of cultures makes it somewhat hard to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Gabe
This book was recommended to me by a Nigerian friend and I really enjoyed the story, it was a great read and I look forward to reading more of Achebe's novelsPublished 3 months ago by John Galt
Had to buy this for school. As far as school books go, this book wasn't horrible.Published 4 months ago by Linda Carter
Exceptional book! Gives you an authentic and insightful view on traditional Igbo speaking people of West Africa. An African story, told by African and written by an Africa.Published 4 months ago by Kadar Alin
I had to read this book for my university class but I totally adored it!! IT's easy to read and it's also captivating!!Published 5 months ago by Joannie Charette
amazing book. It gives you an astonishing detail on African livelihood during colonial era.Published 6 months ago by Hooman
This book is a great read. It gives the reader a insightful perspective of the African culture and the journey of the African people. Once i started reading it i couldn't stop.Published 7 months ago by vanessa
I read this book in school this year and decided to purchase a copy for myself. The kindle edition offered the exact same quality of Achebe's writing at a fraction of the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by AthenaBolton