Things Break Down, by Chinua Achebe, is the story of tribal Africa both prior to and during the colonial period.
The story follows the main character, Okonkwo, through his life as an extremely appreciated male in his tribe, a mishap that forced him away, his anger at the white man moving in and changing things, and his unfortunate death at his own hand. Things Break Down is a moving tale that mentions the normalcy of tribal life prior to the arrival of the white man, and the falling apart of society as it was understood due to the introduction of Christianity and the white male’s law.
Chinua Achebe’s purpose in composing this story was to present the colonial duration in Africa through the eyes of the people it truly impacted. Achebe utilizes the first and second parts of his novel to describe what everyday life resembled in an imaginary section of Africa prior to the white guy came (Achebe, 1959).
Through his writing, the reader discovers much about the way these people lived. Every part of their society, from cooking to home building to tribal ranks, is covered in information, however it is told through the eyes of people who would have actually lived that way.
Achebe appears to want his readers to see that there was more to African people than what little bit was told about them in history books. He pulls the reader in and makes them a part of the people by describing everything in minute information. It practically feels as if one is in the camps as they read.
The controversy that Achebe focuses on is the destroy of tribal society by the arrival of the white man, the Christian religious beliefs, and the white man’s law. The people had their own ways of handling issues and the breaking of their laws, but the white males relocated and altered all of that. They constructed courts and jails so they could perform their own type of justice (Achebe, 1959).
The tribal faiths were ancient, but Christianity was presented and made numerous villagers turn away from the gods that their families had followed for lifetimes (Achebe 1959). Achebe’s opinion of these actions appears to be less than accommodating.
From the manner in which he writes, it appears that he had compassion considerably with individuals who were going through such modification. One thinks that Achebe believes that the people would have been much better off left alone. His discussion of the details is split into three areas, and each section handles a different part of the main character, Okonkwo, life falling apart.
The very first area is a description of his pleased life in his people, the second part deals with his banishment to his mom’s family land, and the third deals with his encounters with the white male and his desperate bids to alter things back to the way they were (Achebe, 1959).
It is made extremely clear that things have been so altered that they will never ever be “normal” again, which seems to be the reason for the 3 point procedure. Life modifications before the reader’s eyes, just as it alters prior to the characters eyes. In this method the reader feels the loss of the securely woven society bit by bit, which seems to be what Achebe intends to accomplish.
Things Fall Apart is a fictional work, therefore it does not have a basis in outdoors printed sources, or a minimum of none that Achebe lists. This book is based upon a truth that has actually been passed down for generations, and no doubt Achebe used some old stories and tunes to base his story upon. However, the function of this book is not to focus on any one location. Rather, it is indicated to represent all of Africa and all of what was lost during colonization.
Narrowing the scope to a location and people that existed in truth would lessen the scope of the book. Maybe that is why Achebe did not choose to utilize printed sources as his guide. Melding the littles understanding that he had about the entire colonization process into one book provides the reader pieces of every tribe, not simply one in specific.
Things Break down has many chapters, but 3 significant areas. The very first area tells the reader all about everyday life in the tribes. The reader discovers how crucial it is to be seen as “manly,” and how essential it is to remain in the great enhances of the gods (Achebe, 1959). Also covered in this section are descriptions of the diet of the tribe, the clothes they used, and the buildings in which they lived (Achebe, 1959).
Tribal tradition is likewise presented, such as the idea that twin babies were evil and need to be left to pass away, and the idea of the obanje child, an infant born again and once again to the same female, only to pass away at a young age whenever (Achebe,, 1959). The reader likewise discovers of the tribal forms of penalty, particularly the guideline that accidental murders result in a banishment of 7 years to the motherland of the founded guilty (Achebe, 1959).
This guideline is particularly crucial to the remainder of the story, due to the fact that it is the initial step in the failure of Okonkwo. Achebe’s argument in this part of the story seems to be that although tribal life might be hard and harsh to outside eyes, it was nearly perfect for the people who lived it.
Everyone in the villages understood their location and their contribution to the tribe as a whole, and as long as everybody did their part and kept to the rules that had actually been in result for centuries, life ran efficiently.
Achebe paints a picture of a society that may not make a lot of sense to outsiders, but worked out simply fine for individuals within it. The underlying argument is, “Why force change on something that works?”