Analysis of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Human culture shares fundamental position in the ecological sophistication. Social responsibility often stems from an individual call to duty and later on the community at large is motivated. A hero has bearing on the success in the society and often is depended upon. The culture and nature works hand in hand by use of literature and language to make the necessary changes for life. The society being synonymous to the globe at large is a representative portion.

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The society at large is preserved through a system of ethics, justice enforcements and laws. Whether covered with traditions or unwritten customs, the society is organized by a standard outlined in their penal codes. This in relation to the civilized society is covered in the judicial system, code of ethics and laws which assist in maintaining social order. Social order is thus paramount for existence and relatedness of the diverse cultures. People pursue different aspirations and goals in life for their own good and that of the social or general group. During the pursuit of individual’s goals often conflicts are bound to rise as crisscrossing among the people often occur. Ethics is such instances play a crucial role in ironing out the conflicting dilemmas.

The Umofia society was well organized as evident in the societal structures that were exemplified during specific cases or events. The colonial adjudication created a conflict with the local society as a result prompting some negotiation as a result to be reached. The society at the time believed in polygamy, which made it constitute large families. This signified strength and provided the much needed labor for farming. The family values were highly respected, which depicted when Okonkwo takes wine to Nwakibie. The wine is not shared until the eldest wife arrives (15). The gender differentiation was evident in the different chores allocation where ethical values played a significant role (p. 16). The values were also considered in the cleansing of the land that was polluted (87). The life in the society in general was organized according to the norms that were prescribed.

The pertinent issues affecting the society at the time the book was written include water pollution, air pollution and deforestation. Chinua Achebe novel “Things Fall Apart” presents to us the relationship between humans and their nature. The denigration of the African continent by the colonialists is also presented in the novel. The social relatedness of the people with their environment is slightly eroded by colonization. The relationship that long existed between the African people and their environment is among the things that the writer termed as ‘Fall Apart’.

By making the forces of nature ideal, Umofia people respect the environment and are able to coexist with it. The different deities are respected and have unique roles which the people hold to a higher esteem. Oracles played a crucial role, especially during the times of war when people went to Oracle to consult and seek for help from Chukwu. The texts in the story are much rooted in the traditions, social customs and cultural milieu of the local people. The traditional political, social, cultural and religious structures have been destroyed with the passing of time and the introduction of the Western civilization. Okonkwo in the novel has been depicted as a hero who transforms the entire society. His heroism makes him to be well respected through his success in farming. He doesn’t enjoy a head start like his father however by mere hard work and dedication made him rise to grace. His success makes him famous and influential such that he plays an important role in the society (Achebe 18-19).

Weather conditions and seasons are vital for the affairs and lives of the people. The destruction of the natural nature of the environment has had adverse effects on the climate. For instance, an incident which rained excessively leading to flooding is described. The floods affected the crops in the farms and yams were rotting. The harvest that same year was poor and, as a result, one man committed suicide by hanging himself (Achebe 19). The seasons are thus a determinant of the activities to be carried out by the people.

The social ills in the society at the time of the story include the murder of twins, casting sickly into the forests and war among clans over trivial issues. Okonkwo violates the laws of the clan and their traditions by canning his wife during the week of peace (21). He is also accused of killing and later on taking his own life. Such ills were abomination to the society and, as such, against the goddess of the earth. In today’s society, ills such as corruption and bribery are highlighted as a detriment to development. The developing countries are engulfed in inequality as bribes and corruption deals continue to be a major issue.

The environment and nature plays a crucial role in people’s life. People depend on the environment entirely for satisfaction of their basic needs. The environment provides with food, clean and drinkable water, herbs for medicines, fiber for clothing and fuel as energy. To ensure that the environment is sustainable measures ought to be putting place to provide for its protection. In today’s society, people are expected to show social responsibility in their actions and way of life. Leaders are elected through a democratic process and should act as heroes for their electorates. The people are also expected to show a sense of social responsibility in undertaking their day to day actions. People should have respect for the environment and protect it by planting more trees and reducing pollution.


Work Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1958