Chinua Achebe through his tale, Things Fall Apart, invites one to delve deep into the juxtapositions that are the layers of this story. This is not just a story about colonialism. It is one about Umiofia the village, the tight-knit community, and Okonkwo the hero, and most importantly, the strong and prideful male.
There is no story that is not true, […] The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.
Throughout the novel, Achebe delves deep into the layers and the differences between males and females, the hierarchy among the people and beginnings of colonialism. It has always been same old same old where we only get to see what life was like for those people after colonialism. However, Achebe offers us -more than- a glimpse to life before.
‘It’s true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother’s hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you. She is buried there. And that is why we say that mother is supreme. Is it right that you, Okonkwo, should bring your mother a heavy face and refuse to be comforted?
This was not an easy read. It takes some time to get used to the language and the different traditions. I struggled with the fact that I was not eased into the novel, or maybe I am used to easy ones? However, a little bit past halfway, the book intrigued me even more, and I flew through the last chapters, hence the four stars.
This novel is timeless, and the ending awoke a lot of senses within me. This sharp contrast to the past 200 pages was effective. I was stuck and I did not want the book to end anymore. Okonkwo took his own decision and became in control of his own life, showing how a man deals with life when things fall apart.
My rating: 4 stars.