Book Review: Things Fall Apart

The book, Things Fall Apart, is written by Chinua Achebe who was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. He actually considered this book as one of his greatest works. And, in 2007, he won the Man Booker international prize.

Things Fall Apart has a slow tempo at the start of the book and mainly explains the culture of the people of the tribe, located in an Ibo village and other tribes in Nigeria. The story circulates around a specific family but mainly on one man known as, Okonkwo. In the book, Okonkwo is known widely through his village as a ferocious warrior who seems to have no weaknesses and has a short temper with unsuccessful people, specifically pointing to his father, Unoka, who passed away as lazy, improvident, and hugely in debt with every neighbor. Okonkwo highly despised his father. Although, he had a tough time growing up and went through hardships that could “had been enough to break the heart of a lion”, Okonkwo was able to strive. He won fame as greatest wrestler throughout the nine villages, he was a wealthy farmer with two full barns of yam, he married his third wife, he has taken two titles, shown great prowess in two inter-tribal wars, and was one of the greatest men during his time.

The book has shown a different perspective on life and different type of people and their cultures. As the story ventures on, Okonkwo faces two main situations: first, he had to return to his motherland in Mbanta for seven years because he committed a crime categorized as female as his crime had been inadvertent. Then, the second thing he encountered was that a group of missionaries have come to their village and started spreading a new religion and faith, Christianity. The missionaries successfully set up a church located in the forest which is known to the village as their “Evil Forest”. 

In the end, the tribe starts to fall apart and more people join Christianity. Okonkwo then loses his hope in having his tribe back to the way it was at the beginning. He stops fighting against the missionaries and, unfortunately, this great warrior, took his own life. At the start, Okonkwo believed that since their tribe was full of strong warriors they would survive and keep their culture together, but no matter how strong he thought they were, they still broke apart.

Yours truly, 



 © Elizabeth Anne Villoria