Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart is a novel by the African writer Chinua Achebe and it is a compulsory reading for my Posctolonial Literature course.

Okonkwo lives in his village under the memory of his father, a lazy and disrespected man who despite his good intentions with his neighbours, proved he wasn’t capable of taking care of his own family. So, Okonkwo decides to live with just one idea in his mind: to live his life as differently to his fathers’ as possible.  This universal idea will bring him many troubles since he will be trapped between how he wants to be seen and what he really feels.  From this point on, we get to see the development of  a man in a totally different culture to that of us, the Western, who faces the very same conflicts and problems as any person in the Western world; despite the fact he has three wives and at least eleven children.

Although this reading can be boring at some points because of the cultural gap, I think this is a novel about the universality of the human emotions and feelings despite those imaginary borders we have created between us and that imaginary distinction of  “race” that has become so popular among certain groups.  A completely recommended reading nowadays when racism is  sadly at his peak.

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