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Why Umofia Fell Apart in Things Fall Apart

" Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe's An analytical look at why the village of Umofia fell apart.

Faith has always been a guiding force in man's life. Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart is a story that describes the effects of a new Christian religion in a tribal village of Africa. The tribe has their own language, known as Obi, a dignified culture and a value system that has continued for many years as they trace back into their ancestry. Yet, voids that this culture can no longer fill for modern tribesmen enable white missionaries to intrude upon this system and convert many of the tribe's younger members to the Christian faith. The tribal system falls apart because younger members are unable to remember persons of the past, unable to relate to violence when they have lived in safety and peace and are uninterested in a faith that does not fulfill their needs for music, joy and love, instead of discipline of a higher being.

Okonkwo, the protagonist of the story, could remember to "another time" when children, like his own son Nwoye, were not lazy. He could also remember the indolence of his own father, Unoka, and that his father had not received any titles as a clansman. He was determined to be a respected farmer of yams to ward off the shame of his unsuccessful and dishonorable father.

Fortunately, among these people a man was judged by his worth and not according to the worth of his father...

As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings. Okonkwo had clearly washed his hands and so he ate with kings and elders. (page 8) This was Okonkwo's motive in life and so he remained prosperous throughout his life and worked hard to prove to others that he was not the same man as his father. Unfortunately, this was not the feeling shared by many in the clan and Okonkwo, in trying to make-up for his father's mistakes, took on the responsibilities of an old man as a young boy and had the mind set of an elder in the community because as was stated, those were the people he ate his meals with and held his discussions with. ...

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