Things Fall Apart is a classic tale about the African colonial experience in the village of Umuofia and its surrounding villages. Things Fall Apart PDF is the electronic version of this now 63-year-old award-winning masterpiece with three parts into it. The story revolves around the protagonist Okonkwo, a brave warrior named Roaring Flame. Everyone knows from the beginning that this is a simple story about Okonkwo. A great warrior of West Africa and a hero of his village during the British colonization.
Achebe’s first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958) is considered the most important work of an African author. Over five million copies of the novel have been sold and translated into over thirty languages.
Glance at “Things Fall Apart PDF“
In the first part of the book, the story revolves around his life with his relatives in his homeland Umuofia. The actions of men were dictated by personal gods that each villager worshiped. The strict laws that governed the tribal clans provided a framework in which the members of the group lived and internalized. Penalties for crimes committed, whether intentional or not, were set in such a way that expectations of fair behavior were clear.
The second half of Things Fall Apart examines the turmoil and trauma that Okonkwo experiences as an individual and within his community as a result of evangelization by European colonial masters. Things Fall Apart is set in the late 19th century at the height of the dispute over African territories with major European powers. It tells the story of Okonkwo, a proud and respected Umuofia from Lower Niger. The novel has astonishing descriptions of pre-colonial African culture and detailed descriptions of the initial consequences and long-term effects of colonization. And it follows Okonkwo as a man who was a powerful member of his village before the colonists arrived.
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Chinua Achebe & “Things Fall Apart”
Achebe’s ability to bring competing cultural systems and their languages to the same level of representation, dialogue, and confrontation makes Things Fall Apart more complex and rich. Things fall apart is a novel that should be praised as an impartial and true account of pre-colonial Igbo society as Achebe does not idealize society and criticizes many of the practices. Especially the practice of twin murder and discrimination against the OSU caste. And about the tradition of Ekwe titles given to wealthy self-made women who speak with male titles and male councils. But, this makes some question Achebede’s narrative of African society. They see that Things falls apart is not balanced or free of gender bias.
“Things Fall Apart PDF” writing style
Chinua Achebe tells the story through rich descriptions of a society and its people. The structure is reminiscent of Greek tragedies and reflects similarities with Western culture, which creates a conflict between style and content. Although Achebe writes in English, he wasn’t restricted to one style. He used words and descriptions to add music to the story and make it accessible to a wider audience.
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Many reviewers have praised Achebe’s neutral narrative within the book, describing Things Fall Apart as a realistic novel. There are modern stories from fellow American writers who are foreign and that provoke more culture shock and alienation. Achebe once said in an interview how difficult it is for an African author to publish a novel because it is assumed that if an African wants to write his own story. Moreover, the original manuscript is lost because the writing agency did not take it.
It is the very idea of Africa and the history of Egypt that is controversial because it seems to us so simple and obvious. But of course, every person and nation has its own history and the desire for its unique voice to be heard. Hence it is impossible to write a complex book if it is not positively received. And Achebe is the first generation of his people to open a college branch at London University in Nigeria and to learn under a white English teacher.
The achievments and the Imapcts
Achebe wanted to lecture his African readers about their past and imperfections, not as a long night of barbarity. But as Europeans acting in the name of God to set them free. Remarkably, Things Fall Apart has been translated into over 50 languages and is the first African book written with the real voice of Africans to be taught in high schools around the world. It was the first proper representation of the real Africa and its natives. Moreover, over ten million copies of this remarkable book have been sold worldwide. This now 63-year-old novel, which won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature, is best understood because it promotes colonized peoples, their colonizers, colonized people in general, and the world in the broadest sense.
Again, Things Fall Apart was one of the first novels to depict African village life from an African perspective. And Achebe began a literary reappraisal of his country’s history by a generation of colonial writers. In the course of a writing life that included five novels, a collection of short stories, poems, and numerous essays and lectures. Chinua Achebe won the right of African writers to tell their own stories in their own way and attacked the misleading representation of European writers.
Not only in English-speaking countries, but the book is also a standard work in schools across Africa as well. It’s not easy to write a book that is both accepted locally and globally. In the internet era that we are living, Things Fall Apart PDF sells worldwide on many online book-selling platforms, Amazon is being the biggest of them all.
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The Plot of “Things Fall Apart” PDF
The rise of Okonkwo
Okonkwo was a prominent citizen of his Ibo community, which is located in a Nigerian village. Okonkwo’s impressive reputation was based on several factors. Such factors including his impressive wrestling record, his successful career as a farmer, and his prowess on the battlefield. He was an honest husband to his three wives, yes you heard it right, three wives! He was a strict father to his many children. And, Okonkwo’s ability on the battlefield was well-known. As Achebe declares: “Okonkwo was a man of action, a man of war.”
Okonkwo had a heart of stones for his enemies. In Umufia’s last war, he was the first to bring home a human head. It was his fifth head, and he was not yet an old man. “If someone were to take a human head home as a souvenir of war in our culture, most would think the warrior was mad.
Because, in Okonkwo’s world, the act of beheading was proof that one is a real man. The actions of men were dictated by personal gods that each villager worshiped. The strict laws governing the tribal clans provided a framework in which the members of the group lived and internalized. Sanctions for crimes committed, whether intentional or not, were set in such a way that expectations for correct behavior were clear.
Okonkwo hated his father
But interestingly his father couldn’t bear the blood! That part of his father was ultimately the motivation for Okonkwo. Well in an indirect way! Because his success was in response to his father, who had been ridiculed by the village for his laziness.
The flashbacks of his friends making fun of Okonkwo as a kid because his father was “agbala” (another term for a woman) is still bitter for him. As the book tells, “And so Okonkwo had a passion to hate whatever his father Unoko had loved.
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Okonkwo didn’t get anything from his father
Due to the laziness of his father, Okonkwo had inherited nothing from his father, neither land, barns, cows, nor seed. Okonkwo, therefore, had to borrow yam seeds from community members to start cultivating himself. As a result of successful work, Okonkwo grew in esteem with his people for being a self-made man.
Oknokwo and his family get expelled from their lands
After being successful, something catastrophic happens to Okonkwo. And as a result, he falls from his high status. Despite all his hard work to become a rich and respected man, by an accident of fate, he and his family have to flee from their lands. They are forced back to the tribe from which his mother had come many years ago. And they receive a sentence of seven years in exile from their native village.
Arrival of European missionaries and fallen native tribes
The second half of the Things Fall Apart PDF moves from the order and stability that tribal traditions depended on for their survival and continuity, to the chaos that is created when intruders are allowed to infiltrate their culture. European missionaries came to teach the savages that there is only one true God, Jesu Kristi, and the gods they worship are only wood and stone; their culture, including Oknokwo’s eldest son named Nwoye. Although Nwoye does not understand the logic of the Holy Trinity, he is fascinated by the poetry of the new religion. “The lyrics of the hymn were like freezing raindrops hitting the dry palate of the panting earth,” Nwoye realizes.
Nwoye rejects his father
As Okonkwo rejected his father for his laziness and gentle manners, Nwoye rejects Okonkwo for his old traditions. And he accepts Christianity as his faith. For Okonkwo, this blasphemy predicts the downfall of their society. Not only have whites brought a new religion with them, but they are also establishing a new government. The rejection of his culture by his first child is an unbearable blow. An old friend of Okonkwo from his village comes to visit him and informs him of what is happening at his home. “The white man is very smart. He came quietly and peacefully with his religion and we let him stay. Then he put a knife on the things that unite us together and now we are no longer together, we have fallen apart!. We have lost our brothers and our clan does not work as one anymore.”
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Returning from exile
Returning from exile, Okonkwo discovers that his village has changed due to the presence of white men. After a convert does a bad deed by exposing an elder while embodying an ancestral clan spirit, the village takes revenge by destroying a local Christian church. The district commissioner representing the colonial government takes Okonkwo and several other indigenous chiefs, prisoners, pending payment of a fine of two hundred bags of cowries. Despite the district commissioner’s instructions to treat Umuofia’s rulers with respect, the native “court messengers” humiliate them. By doing things like shaving their heads and whipping them.
As a result, the people of Umuofia finally come together for what could be a great revolt. Okonkwo, a warrior by nature and inflexible in respecting the customs and traditions of Umuofia, despises all forms of cowardice and supports the war against white men. When white government messengers try to stop the meeting, Okonkwo beheads one of them. Because the mob allows the other messengers to escape and does not fight alongside Okonkwo. He desperately realizes that the people of Umuofia will not fight for protection. And, Okonkwo finally realizes that his tribe’s response to such conflict, which for so long had been predictable and dictated by their tradition, is changing now.
Suicide of Okonkwo
Then District Commissioner Gregory Irwin comes to Okonkwo’s home to bring him to justice. But he finds out that Okonkwo hanged himself. Okonkwo does that to avoid colonial court. Ironically, among his own people, Okonkwo’s actions have tarnished his reputation and status. Committing suicide is strictly against the Igbo teachings. The district commissioner thought that Okonkwo’s story will make a good chapter for his own book. Or, at least a “good paragraph” in it…
The legacy of Things fall apart novel in Africa
Achebe’s publication of Things Fall Apart has helped pave the way for many other African writers. The novelists who published after Achebe has found an eloquent and effective means of expressing the particular social, historical and cultural situation of modern Africa. Prior to Achebe’s publication, most novels about Africa were written by European authors. The authors described Africans as savages in need of Western enlightenment.
Conclution and Summery of Things Fall Apart PDF
In Achebe’s beautifully written masterpiece, he gives his answer to a question. The question of what causes a civilization to fall apart in a moving and powerful way. Although, now that the Things Fall Apart is over half a century old, it is perhaps even more relevant today. Our societies still struggle to survive the many struggles that lie ahead by dominating nations. Colonization is happening as we are reading this, in a very sophisticated way. It’s sad that no law or regulation in the world can stop it. But again, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a fascinating novel.
If you haven‘t read it yet, now it’s time to grab and read Things Fall Apart PDF!