Things Fall Apart is story depicting how colonization changed the culture of Igbo villages in the early 19th century through the protagonist, Okonkwo. Although Okonkwos father was a pauper, Okonkwo was a respected leader of the Umuofia clan, after he defeated Amalinze the Cat in a wrestling contest. To overcome his fathers bleak legacy, Okonkwo made sure he maintained the faade of a manly, respectable man. Over some years, the clan leaders make Okonkwo care for a war prisoner, until they decide what to do with him.
Ikemefuna, the war prisoner, becomes more like a son than Okonkwos actual son, because Ikemefuna was manly like Okonkwo. The clan decided to have Okonkwo kill Ikemefuna. While Okonkwo did not want to kill Ikemefuna, his struggle to maintain respect in his clan caused him to kill Ikemefuna. His son, Nwoye, could never forgive Okonkwo for killing Ikemefuna for no other reason besides to follow the orders of the clansmen.
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Afterwards, Okonkwo visits his friend Obierika in the next village. He talks to Obierika about how he has sinned for beating his wife during the Feast of the New Yams and killing Ikemefuna. After speaking about his troubles, Okonkwo seemed to be better-off going back to his village. Until Okonkwo finds out that his favorite daughter, Ezinma, is dying. The ancestors for the clan take Ezinma into a cave to get rid of her sickness. During the same time, Okonwos friend, Ezeudu dies. At the funeral for Ezeudu, Okonkwo accidentally fires his gun and shoots Ezeudu son. The clan members exile his family for seven years for his misjudgment.
During the exile, Okonkwo has to start over in a new village with little to no money. The family deals with low yields of crops and no position in the new village. Due to the in-climate weather, Okonkwo had to become resourceful in the tools to grow his crops and which crops to grow. His entire family blamed him for their misfortune and kept in tune with the Umuofia clan. In the Umuofia clan, the people were beginning to notice European exploration of their land.
European men casually came into the village simply for tourism and learning the customs in the beginning. However, the villagers slaughtered the Europeans based on the ancestors belief that the Europeans were bad for the village. The missionaries came to Mbantu, the place Okonkwo is exiled to, and begins to spread Christianity to the villages. One of the new converts is Nwoye, Okonkwos son. Okonkwo disowns Nwoye for converting to the white mans culture and religious practices.
Once Okonkwo returned back to Umuofia, he did not recognize the village anymore. The people were leaving their religious practices behind and converting to Christianity. The white men became the leaders of the village.
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