Things Fall Apart

From Academic Kids

Things Fall Apart is a 1958 novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, about the downfall of Okonkwo, a traditional Ibo (also spelled Igbo) village leader, or "big man," as the British took over the village. From a larger perspective, it describes the impact of colonialism on traditional African life. It takes place in a small Ibo tribe (the Umuofia clan) in present-day Nigeria.

The title of the book is derived from a poem, "The Second Coming," by William Butler Yeats, which opens with the lines "Things Fall Apart, the center cannot hold/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world." Things Fall Apart is considered by many to have been a milestone in African literature. It was followed by two sequels, No Longer at Ease (1960; originally written as the second part of a larger work, together with Things Fall Apart) and The Arrow of God (1964), featuring the descendants of Okonkwo and the problems they face under colonialism.

Achebe attempts to counter the common Western belief and view of the traditional African society (that of disorganized, barbaric tribes). He received many awards (mainly for this book, which has sold millions of copies) for his works, both literary and physical (in promoting the actual nature of the African tribes).


Things Fall Apart is also the name of an album by the hip hop group The Roots.

External link

  • Study guide (http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~brians/anglophone/achebe.html)
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