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Things Fall Apart a novel by Chinua Achebe where he tells two different storiesat the same time One is of Okonkwo the villager whose rise to power is halted becauseof all of his misfortunes The other is of Okonkwos village Umuofia and its struggle tohold on to its cultural tradition while facing colonialism from the West The titleThings Fall Apart describes perfectly what happens to both Okonkwo and his villageOkonkwos life falls apart and as a result he commits suicide by hanging himself Thecultural tradition of Umuofia falls apart and becomes influenced by the West In ThingsFall Apart Achebe uses Okonkwo and the villages falling out to show how Africanculture as well as other cultures around the world suffered as a result of Westernization In the book Achebe focuses mainly on the character of Okonkwo Okonkwosstory follows the general pattern of a Greek tragedy He experiences many successes inthe beginning but everything eventually comes crashing down on him His early life isthe typical success story He starts poor but works hard to earn everyones respect Fromthe beginning he is disgusted with his father He is a lazy old man who borrows moneyand never pays it back Okonkwo realizes that he does not want to be like his father andit is this hatred that drives him to work hard After his fathers death Okonkwo pays offhis debts and starts his long journey to the top of the clan In a short time Okonkwoshard work pays off and he becomes one of the villages most respected members Heearns three out of the four village titles He is recognized as the greatest warrior inUmuofia He takes three wives and has many children He is almost to the top of the clanwhen his journey to greatness starts to crumble Because of a scuffle with one of thenearby villages Okonkwo is given a boy to take care of The boy Ikemefuna showsmany similarities to Okonkwo and they become very close
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