Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a compelling novel that provides a unique glimpse at the seldom seen world of pre-colonial and pre-christianized tribal Africa. The everyday life, customs, and traditions of an Ibo village in Nigeria are recorded as the plight of one warrior in particular is told in tragic fashion. Driven by a fear of succumbing to the laziness and worthlessness of his father, the protagonist strives for notoriety, but mostly endures misfortunes and his world inevitably begins to unravel. The title is at first prescient, then apt, as his family, status in the tribe, and way of life all crumble to pieces. On a larger scale, the encroaching of British Colonialism begins to fracture this part of the world in the name of progress and civilization. Achebe manages to capture both the sweeping overtones and the simple human elements of his tale with a clarity of precision and subtlety that is rare.

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