Good Literature Review About “Things Fall Apart” Book Review
1. Obierika and Okonkwo had a strong friendship. Their characters were a lot different, but they have always shown much respect to each other. Okonkwo was famous for a strong spirit, was a brave and honored warrior, and was known for his hard work. Oberika also shared the respect of his clan, was a wealthy and intelligent man. Unlike Okonkwo, Obierika was more calm and reasonable as he never allowed himself to hurt a woman; he always preferred to think before acting. He respected and served his clan due to the laws and customs, and when it was necessary to burn the possessions of Okonkwo, as long as he inadvertently killed a boy, Obierika, despite the friendly relations, participated in the ceremony. However, he also distinguished by a special kindness and responsibility. Obierika visited his friend when Okonkwo was in exile and brought him the money received from selling his yams: "I shall do that every year until you return." (Achebe 105). And he kept his word. He supported his greatest friend in all situations, until the last days of Okonkwo.
2. There was a hierarchy in the clan, defined by four titles. Social status played a very important role in society, and the owners of the highest title "became the lords of the land." (Achebe 93). The villagers believed in different gods and tried to live in harmony with nature. Most of their rituals and ceremonies were associated with sacrifice to the earth goddess, so she blessed the plentiful harvest of yams, the most valuable root in Umuofia. The Feast of the New Yam was a very special celebration which marked the beginning of the new year. People arranged sumptuous feast for the entire village in order "to honour the earth goddess and the ancestral spirits of the clan." (Achebe 26). Also, there were special ceremonies on the occasion of weddings, funerals and harvesting. Such holidays united villagers among themselves and with nature. Gathering with the whole family for dinner was a valuable tradition at any ceremony.
3. Women played a great role in the village life. They were engaged in child rearing, cooking and gardening. In the social hierarchy, they occupied a position lower than men. Decisions were made exclusively by men, and women's opinion was never taken into account, as they considered foolish. Husbands often beat their wives in a fit of anger. Typical attitude towards women can be described in the phrase Okonkwo shouted at his first wife: "Do what you are told, woman." (Achebe 11).
4. The glorious traditions of that time began to come to the end for Africa with the arrival of the white man. Missionaries were speaking sweetly, affecting the immature minds of young people and some other people. And things fell apart. Mr. Brown was a kind man and treated the local people with respect. He was also respected by the elders, because "he trod softly on its faith." (Achebe 131). His successor, Mr. Smith was a strict colonizer. In his understanding, beliefs of the Umuofians were created "by the Devil to lead men astray." (Achebe 135). He was obsessed with conversion into Christianity and tightened rules for indigenous pagans, exposing them to death and a lot of danger.
5. Achebe's ending of the story renders a verdict to the old world - the old has to go in any case, despite the fear and dislike of the new colonizers. Okonkwo, a strong-willed man who feared to seem weak and infirm, whose labor has brought him an incredible success, sincerely advocated the old foundations and took to heart any changes that happened to his community. Mores degraded, ancient customs are no longer respected. New ideas came in their small world and changed everything. Obierika regretted the death of his friend and concluded that it was the colonizers who "drove him to kill himself" (Achebe 153). Okonkwo was not able to withstand a drop of old traditions and, as a sign of protest, preferred to hang himself, rather than to serve the colonizers.
Achebe, Chinua. "Things Fall Apart." Escuela Campo Alegre, n.d. Web. 6 April 2015. <http://kathystefanides.escuelacampoalegre.wikispaces.net/file/view/things-fall-apart-chinua-achebe+%281%29.pdf>
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