Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, explores the impact of culture in everyday life in a small village called Umuofia, located in Africa. The members of Umuofia have been following their Ibo traditions for many years, but when Christian missionaries invade Umuofia, many people must come to a decision whether to convert to Christianity or stay with the clan. More specifically, the story focuses on a man named Okonkwo , his family, and the struggles they must overcome. Through Achebe’s use of juxtaposition between Okonkwo and his son, Nwoye, Achebe highlights how the influence of culture can damage the bonds of a society. The opposing views from Okonkwo and Nwoye in regards to Ikemefuna’s death reveal the importance of culture in decision making. When the clan members brought Ikemefuna, a sacrifice to the village, outside Umuofia to kill him, Okonkwo played a substantial role in his killing. When the time came, Okonkwo, “dazed with fear…drew his machete and cut him down…he was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe 61). Okonkwo’s actions in Ikemefuna’s death illustrate the role of culture in his values and his fear of being viewed as weak among the strong men of the village. His internal fear of becoming like his lazy, unsuccessful father also plays a role as he values the clan’s opinion of him over saving an innocent boy’s life. After Okonkwo arrived home after…show more content…
First, Okonkwo and Nwoye had different views on Ikemefuna’s killing. They then disagreed on the imposition of Christianity on Umuofia. Lastly, Okonkwo’s actions and words highlighted his disapproval of Nwoye’s membership among the Christians. Culture plays a major part in many people’s lives. Differences in anything, but especially culture can break the close relationships that develop in a
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