Things Fall Apart PDF - Overview
Things Fall Apart is the debut novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, first published in 1958. It depicts pre-colonial life in the southeastern part of Nigeria and the invasion by Europeans during the late 19th century. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first to receive global critical acclaim.
The Things Fall Apart novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo (“Ibo” in the novel) man and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian clan of Umuofia. The work is split into three parts, with the first describing his family, personal history, and the customs and society of the Igbo, and the second and third sections introducing the influence of European colonialism and Christian missionaries on Okonkwo, his family, and the wider Igbo community.
Things Fall Apart
Characters in Things Fall Apart
- Okonkwo – the protagonist, has three wives and ten (total) children and becomes a leader of his clan. His father, Unoka, was weak and lazy, and Okonkwo resents him for his weaknesses.
- Ekwefi is Okonkwo’s second wife – Although she falls in love with Okonkwo after seeing him in a wrestling match, she marries another man because Okonkwo is too poor to pay her bride price at that time.
- Unoka is Okonkwo’s father – who defied typical Igbo masculinity by neglecting to grow yams, take care of his wives and children, and pay his debts before he dies.
- Nwoye is Okonkwo’s son – about whom Okonkwo worries, fearing that he will become like Unoka. Similar to Unoka, Nwoye does not subscribe to the traditional Igbo view of masculinity being equated to violence; rather, he prefers the stories of his mother.
- Ikemefuna – is a boy from the Mbaino tribe. His father murders the wife of an Umuofia man, and in the resulting settlement of the matter, Ikemefuma is put into the care of Okonkwo.
- Ezinma – is Okonkwo’s favorite daughter and the only child of his wife Ekwefi. Ezinma, the Crystal Beauty, is very much the antithesis of a normal woman within the culture and Okonkwo routinely remarks that she would’ve made a much better boy than a girl.
- Obierika is Okonkwo’s best friend from Umuofia – Unlike Okonkwo, Obierika thinks before he acts and is, therefore, less violent and arrogant than Okonkwo.
- Ogbuefi Ezeudu – is one of the elders of Umuofia.
- Mr. Brown – is an English missionary who comes to Umuofia. He shows kindness and compassion towards the villagers and makes an effort to understand the Igbo beliefs.
- Mr. Smith – is another English missionary sent to Umuofia to replace Mr. Brown after he falls ill. In stark contrast to his predecessor, he remains strict and zealous towards the Africans.