He is consumed by one passion and one passion alone—and that is to prove his worth. We learn about the Ibo culture from the inside. However, there are differences between the characters and themes from the two books as well. Though this was a brave act, he commits suicide realizing that his clan is no longer with him. With all its deep roots in tribal heritage, the community hardly takes a stand against the intruders — against new laws as well as new religion.
He is banished from the tribe for seven years for a terrible accident caused by him and it was during this time imperialism begins. Respect is usually at the heart of formal speech. Achebe thus succeeds in striking a profoundly sad and ironic note in his novel Things Fall Apart. Similarly, Igbo culture cannot be understood within the framework of European colonialist values. In their new community, these converts enjoy a more elevated status.
The dominant role for women is: first, to make a pure bride for an honorable man, second, to be a submissive wife, and third, to bear many children. When the reader reads about the egwugwu , the marked representatives of the ancestral spirits, the mood conveyed is extremely dramatic and even frightening. He is not able to overcome his sense of complete alienation. Additionally, in a meeting towards the very beginning of the book, Okonkwo insults a man without title by calling him a woman, demonstrating how much masculinity is valued when ranking those in Umuofia society. At the funeral of the leader of the tribe Ezeudu, there is much dancing and firing of crackers and guns. The author further shows how the embrace or rejection of change can either lead to a positive or negative growth pattern in society.
If one is in imbalance, it makes the whole system haywire. One of those things was gentleness and another was idleness. In other words, the Ibo had a thriving culture and economy in pre-colonial Umuofia. Because it was an accident, Okonkwo isn't executed, but he is banished from the tribe for seven years. Without custom and tradition, the tribe does not exist. Reputation Reputation is extremely important to the men in the novel. Do you hate bullies but find stories about them strangely interesting? Language as a Sign of Cultural Difference Among the Ibo, the art of conservation is highly regarded, and proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten.
He is often too harsh with his family, and he is haunted by a fear of failure. GradeSaver, 3 March 2000 Web. Okonkwo tries to act against the British colonizer by killing one of their messengers and stopping their influence; however, no one follows Okonkwo's lead. Things Fall Apart Themes-Theme Analysis Cliff Notes, Cliffs Notes, Cliffnotes, Cliffsnotes are trademarked properties of the John Wiley Publishing Company. Ironically, by exerting his will, Okonkwo chooses a path to destruction. Throughout the novel, Achebe shows how dependent such traditions are upon storytelling and language and thus how quickly the abandonment of the Igbo language for English could lead to the eradication of these traditions.
He rises from being the son of a debtor to being one of the leaders of the clan, thanks to his hard work and aggression. There are traditions for just about every type of interaction. The reader is exposed to different aspects of Ibo culture like the role of women in society and the process of growing food. Storytelling is also a form of education for the clan—whether they're masculine war stories or feminine fables, storytelling defines different roles for clan members and moves them to action. He does not understand why his fellow tribesmen have not stood up against the white intruders.
Okonkwo racks up two barns full. Destiny Related to the theme of cultural clash is the issue of how much the flexibility or the rigidity of the characters and by implication, of the British and Igbo contribute to their destiny. The Igbo emphasis on numerous gods associated with nature and also on ancestors. In the first part of the book, Okonkwo clearly has a high status because of the titles he has taken and because he is a great warrior, but when the Christians come and welcome every outcast of the clan, saying that all men are equal, Okonkwo´s status is in jeopardy. For when there is nothing left to burn no reason to live if he cannot live for success , Okonkwo must extinguish himself.
They also believe that powerful spirits walk the Earth and make important decisions for the tribe. The book takes great pains to dramatize the complexity of Igbo culture and the value these cultural mechanisms have for the people. Also, in Umuofia there was a democratic system of government with no one ruler and a complex system by which people could gain political power through economic success. Nothing is hidden from the eye of the narrator, which enables him to explore the characters and events going on in the novel effectively. By the time they come back to Umuofia, everything's different. The entire village meets in the village playground, or ilo, for the drumming, dancing, and wrestling.
Such evil has never before invaded the clan. And so Okonkwo was ruled by one passion — to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved. In this lesson, you'll learn about the basic story and the characters involved, and you'll pick up on a few of the novel's major themes. For him, any kind of tenderness is a sign of weakness and effeminacy. Tribal belief and Traditions Particularly since one of the threats to Igbo life is the coming of the new religion, tribal belief is a theme of some importance. Characters: There are a number of characters that are used by the author to relay his message in the novel.