Things fall apart is considered to be one of the finest African novels of the 19th century. A Nigerian author Chinua Achebe wrote the story and published it in 1958. It is the most widely read African novel in the world with more having sold approximately nine million copies in more than 50 translations. In the book, Chinua Achebe is the ideal teller of the story of a precolonial Nigeria, and the disastrous changes brought the British colonialist. The main character in the novel is Okwonkwo. He is an upholder of the ancestral ways and plays the role of the tragic hero. This essay will examine Thing fall apart by Chinua Achebe and how the author has used literally elements in developing the themes in the story.
Okonkwo’s defeat of Amalinze the cat is one of the greatest achievements in the novel. This is because Amalinze was the unbeaten wrestler in Umoufia for seven years. The setting of the story is in Umoufia, a village inhabited by the Igbo community in Nigeria. The Igbo community is characterized by its elaborate religious systems based entirely on nature. The author’s primary purpose in the story is to write a tragedy. In Aristotle’s literature, a tragedy story tells about the downfall of a person of high status. The central theme in the story is status. The author talks about Okonkwo’s significant achievements, his physical appearance and what he was capable of doing. All these portray the kind of status he held in the Igbo community. In developing this theme, the author uses figurative language. The description that “Okwonkwo was as slippery as a fish” and “Okonkwo’s fame had grown like bush fire” present the use of similes. In the story, Okwonkwo’s description in terms of strength and physical appearance is symbolic. It symbolizes life and boundless potency.
To sum up, things fall apart by Chinua Achebe is among the most excellent novels written about Nigeria and Africa. Some of the literary devices evident in the story include; symbolism, tone, figurative language, and setting. All these play a critical role in developing the themes of the story.