CliffsNotes on Achebe's Things Fall Apart
John Chua, Suzanne Pavlos
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The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also feature glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format.
In CliffsNotes on Things Fall Apart, you explore the ground-breaking work of author Chinua Achebe, considered by many to be the most influential African writer of his generation. The novel, amazing in its authenticity, leaves behind the stereotypical portrayals of African life and presents the Igbo culture of Nigeria in all its remarkable complexity.
Chapter summaries and commentaries take you through Achebe's world, and critical essays give you insight into the novel's themes and use of language. Other features that help you study include
• Character analyses of the main characters
• A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters
• A section on the life and background of Chinua Achebe
• A review section that tests your knowledge
• A Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites
Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
disappointment about the loss of community position by reaffirming his beliefs in traditional Igbo ways and taking traditional steps toward recognition. In light of his near obsession with status and titles, Okonkwo must find it particularly hard to understand how some of the leaders of the community can give up their titles when they became Christians. In Part Two of the book, the major change introduced by the white man was the Christian church, which not only divided the community, but
they cannot understand what he is saying. He tells them that the egwugwu will not harm Mr. Smith for the sake of Mr. Brown, who was their friend. Mr. Smith will be able to stay safely in his house in Umuofia and worship his own god, but they intend to destroy the church that has caused the Igbo so many problems. Through his interpreter, Mr. Smith tries to calm them and asks that they leave the matter to him, but the egwugwu demolish his church to satisfy the clan spirit momentarily. Commentary
the destruction of the church was triggered by the actions not of a white man, but of Enoch, a converted clansman—the ultimate irony. Glossary palaver a conference or discussion, as originally between African natives and European explorers or traders. a great queen Queen Victoria, reigning head of the British Empire for sixty-four years (1837-1901). Who is the chief among you? The kotma (court messenger) guards see by the anklets that all six leaders own titles and joke that they must not be
fight for which they may not have full justification from their gods. creepers plants whose stems put out tendrils or rootlets by which they can creep along a surface as they grow. Chapter 25 Summary Following the killing of the messenger, the District Commissioner goes to Okonkwo’s compound and, finding a small crowd, demands to see Okonkwo. Obierika repeatedly says that he is not home. When the Commissioner threatens the men, Obierika agrees to show him where Okonkwo is, expressing the hope
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. In this poem—ironically, a product of European thought—Yeats describes an apocalyptic vision in which the world collapses into anarchy because of an internal flaw in humanity. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe illustrates this vision by showing us what happened in the Igbo society of Nigeria at the time of its colonization by the British.