Things Fall Apart Essay

737 words - 3 pages

Jonathan Ellerbusch
World Literature
ENG 203
Paper One

In Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart many cultural ideals are passed between members of the tribes, cultures, and generations by proverbs and storytelling. One of these proverbs states “the lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did” (21). In telling this proverb Okonkwo is expressing his willingness and capacity to do hard work. Okonkwo in this story shows how he is determined to be a successful, respected, hard-working man unlike his father, who he resents for being soft and lazy.
It is obvious to Nwakibie, the man in which Okonkwo is asking to borrow yams ...view middle of the document...

Then it reads, “without further argument Okonkwo gave her a sound beating and left her and her only daughter weeping” (38). His temper and propensity for violence would later be his downfall.
When the British missionaries and government officials gained a foothold in their community, Okonkwo and many other villagers became very apprehensive. His own son was one of the converts to this foreign religion. Okonkwo recommended killing the British colonists before they could take over and destroy their culture. Many did rise up and actually destroy the Church itself, but spared the British leader Mr. Smith’s life. One of the leaders of the revolt, Ajofia, said “tell the white man that we will not do him any harm.” Speaking of Mr. Smith, “Tell him to go back to his house and leave us alone. We liked his brother who was with us before. He was foolish, but we liked him, and for his sake we shall not harm his brother. But this shrine he built must be destroyed” (190). Okonkwo and other leaders were then...

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