Things Fall Apart stands out from so many other works of its era because it
does not sentimentalize Africa. Situated in the village of Umuofia it speaks of
brutality and suffering, tradition and community.
Follow the story of Okonkwo, the son of a lazy but amiable man and the father
of several children of his own. Overcoming the obstacles set before him in
childhood, he becomes a prosperous farmer and winning wrestler and gains the
respect of his peers.
The 1958 novel chronicles the life of
Okonkwo, the leader of an Igbo (Ibo) community, from the events leading up to
his banishment from the community for accidentally killing a clansman, through
the seven years of his exile, to his return. Addresses the problem of the
intrusion in the 1890s of white missionaries and colonial government into
tribal Igbo society, and describes the simultaneous disintegration of its
protagonist Okonkwo and of his village. The novel was praised for its
intelligent and realistic treatment of tribal beliefs and of psychological
disintegration coincident with social unraveling. Things Fall Apart helped
create the Nigerian literary renaissance of the 1960s.