The Novel Things Fall Apart

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Chinua Achebe wrote the novel Things Fall Apart to show the Igbo culture and the effect of colonization on it from an Africans point of view. Throughout the novel, the themes of masculinity vs. feminism and weak vs.

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strong were developed with regards to a clansman named Okonkwo. Pre-colonial Okonkwo was a wealthy clansman who had many titles. After colonization, he was poor, lost all of his titles, and lost his freedom. This, in part, was due to Okonkwos internal struggles of masculinity vs. feminism and weak vs. strong. Before colonization, Okonkwo did not want to be like his father. His father was a lazy alcoholic who did nothing but drink and play his flute. Okonkwo saw this as being weak. He was very much the opposite of this.

He was a hard worker, had many titles, and was wealthy. Achebe writes, it was fear from himself, least he should be found to resemble his father. This fear drove Okonkwo to be the best and noblest man in the clan, however, he was very violent toward his three wives. Okonkwos anger gets the best of him when he gets into a fight with one of his wives. The story shows this in the passage, he pressed the trigger and there was a loud report accompanied by the wail of his wives and children. After colonization, Okonkwo realized that he had become a relic in that compliance rather than violence constitutes the wisest principle for survival when white man came to live among the Umuofians. This goes against what Okonkwo places value in. Fear of being like his father is what drove this in him.

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