Things Fall Apart PR

I had mixed feelings about “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. There were things I did and did not like about the book.

One thing I really liked was how Okonkwo reminded me of characters in Greek tragedies. He is neither completely good nor bad, but is flawed enough to be granted our sympathy. Also, I liked how many characters were not two-dimensional, but were complex and well-written. For instance, when Okonkwo kills the 16-year-old son of Ezeudu, “Obierika and half a dozen other friends came to console him” (pg. 124). Okonkwo typically demonstrates what today we call “toxic masculinity”. He is often devoid of emotions that he deems to demonstrate weakness, such as empathy. However, Achebe crafts a more emotional and tragic version of his protagonist. This was one of my favorite aspects of the novel, being Achebe’s masterful and unique approach to characterization.

However, one thing that inhibited me from enjoying the novel to the fullest extent that I could was the fact that “Things Fall Apart” is very different culturally. For instance, the names of places and characters, as well as Achebe’s use of a traditional Ido narratiuve technique, resulted in a greater difficulty regarding comprehension and in-depth understanding of the novel. However, I want to reiterate that this “drawback” is not the fault of Achebe, but rather my own lack of cultural background knowledge.

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