Analysis of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Title: Things Fall Apart

Author: Chinua Achebe

Context: Things Fall Apart (1958) is a post colonial debut novel by Chinua Achebe. Often this master piece has been compared to great Greek tragedies. The story is about a strong man whose life is influenced by anger and fear. Being thoroughly and uniquely African, the novel reveals the author’s keen awareness of qualities common to humans of all places and times. The novel has helped in the creation of the literary renaissance of the 1960s in Nigeria.

Synopsis: Things Fall Apart records the life of an Igbo community leader, named Okonkwo.  His community banishes him when he kills a clansman accidently, after which he is sent to exile for seven years. After his return, the colonial government and the white missionaries encroach his homeland, the emergent Africa of the 1890s. Some of the finest Igbo proverbs have traditionally peppered and structured the novel while describing the crumbling down of Okonkwo the protagonist and the village he lived in.

Things Fall Apart is a novel noted for psychological disintegration coincident with social unraveling and its realistic and intelligent treatment of beliefs amongst the tribal community.

In the twentieth century, this is one of the finest novels in Africa. Okonkwo is wounded by his overweening ambition, his fatal and tragic flaw. He has a frenzy desire to become anything except what his father wants him to be. Even though the old has collapsed already, the new order is not at all acceptable by his principal character.

Other works by the Author:


1960 – No Longer at Ease

1964 – Arrow of God

1966 – A Man of the People

1987 – Anthills of the Savannah

Short Stories

1952 – Marriage is a Private Affair

1953 – The Sacrificial Egg and Other Stories

1971 – Civil Peace

1973 – Girls at War and Other Stories (including “Vengeful Creditor”)

1985 – African Short Stories

1992 – The Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories

The Voter


1971 – Beware, Soul-Brother, and Other Poems

1978 – Don’t Let Him Die: An Anthology of Memorial Poems for Christopher Okigbo

1998 – Another Africa

2004 – Collected Poems

Refugee Mother and Child


Essays, Criticism, Non-Fiction And Political Commentary

1965 – The Novelist as a Teacher

1975 – An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness

1975 – Morning Yet on Creation Day

1984 – The Trouble With Nigeria

1988 – Hopes and Impediments

2000 – Home and Exile

2009 – The Education of a British-Protected Child

2012 – There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra

2018 – Africa’s Tarnished Name

Children’s books

1966 – Chike and the River

1972 – How the Leopard Got His Claws

1975 – The Flute

1978 – The Drum

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