Title: Things Fall Apart
Author: Chinua Achebe
Goodreads Plot: THINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.
The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within.
My Thoughts: Chinua Achebe did a masterful job of portraying the clash between natives and the European missionaries. He was really the first person to write it from a third person perspective. He never sided with either the natives or the Europeans. He illustrated all the good and the bad of both sides. The book also really good job at exploring gender roles as well as defining masculinity in the native culture. The beginning of the book was slow for me as the author really takes his time building and describing the culture. While I did enjoy it, it did drag on. However, the second part of the book was amazing. It flew by much quicker. For a short book, the characters were incredibly developed and complex. This review doesn’t do the book much justice. Everyone should just go read it.
My Rating: 10/10