Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe
Contributed by Jack Shields

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Overview
Author
Chinua Achebe
Year Published
1958
Type
Novel
Genre
Fiction
Perspective and Narrator
Things Fall Apart is told in the third person by a narrator who is all knowing and has an excellent understanding of the setting, a remote village in Nigeria in the 1890s.
Tense
Past
About the Title

Chinua Achebe’s idea of things falling apart superficially applies describing how Okonkwo, the protagonist and dominant persona of the novel, finds his social and personal situation deteriorating as a result of both internal struggles and earth-shattering external changes to his community. The latter reason embodies, perhaps, the more thematic or literary meaning of “Things Fall Apart” due to the breakdown of Okonkwo’s community and his position of reverence by an imperialistic, westernized Christian movement sweeping regions of Africa more broadly. In short, Okonkwo’s demise - whether brought about by his own personal choices or by his oppressors - symbolize a microcosm of how Western powers spread and impacted African communities through their imperialistic intentions.

Diagrams
replay Summary

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