What does the title mean? Things Fall Apart is a tragic novel that is set in the Igbo community of Africa. Chinua Achebe, who is the author of this novel, portrays how an ambitious, well known, and respected African, Okonkwo, life falls apart. He was a man with great intensity and personality. He had accomplished his goal to become rich and famous, an advantage that was unseen before in his family.
Okonkwo’s life first began to fall apart when Ikemefuna, a prisoner who stayed at Okonkwo’s home, was killed. Okonkwo considered Ikemefuna as one of his own sons. He was truly saddened when he was killed. There were quite a few effects on Okonkwo from that horrible event. At first, Okonkwo was not able to sleep for days. He also kept on getting drunk, and that was a sign that he was miserable. Another thing, his family would look at him as if it were his fault that Ikemefuna is dead. This can be seen as an event where Okonkwo loses belief from his family. This relates to Okonkwo losing faith in his father.
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Another significant incidence where Okonkwo’s life falls apart was when he was thrown out of the clan for seven years. From this event, one can see that Okonkwo’s hopes dreams have begun to fall apart. His hopes of being a rich and popular individual had drifted away with this disturbing incident. Okonkwo had no longer had his farm or animals. Also, Okonkwo lost faith in most of his friends. This goes to show that Okonkwo lost faith in his friends like his father lost faith in his.
Another episode that showed the downfall in Okonkwo’s life was when Nwoye, his oldest and favourite son, converted to the white man’s religion, Christianity. To Okonkwo, this was very upsetting because Nwoye was his eldest son, and Okonkwo had the greatest expectations for him. When news came to him that Nwoye was among the white men, one could have foreseen that only no good was coming to Okonkwo after that.
Taking a quick look at Okonkwo’s life, the title Things Fall Apart goes perfectly with the book. Starting from the event with Ikemefuna, you could see that Okonkwo’s life was starting to fall apart. Then, later on, when Okonkwo was kicked out of his clan, his chance of being rich and famous was destroyed. After all that, with the event of Nwoye, Okonkwo’s life was a complete breakdown. Anyone could see that Okonkwo had not attained his goals, but instead, by the end of his life, he had become a failure like his father.
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