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Things Fall Apart

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Things Fall Apart Journal

1. The title of Things Fall Apart comes from a poem titled "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats. The connection between the novel and the poem begin at their titles. The poem was written after the end of World War I. Where as Things Fall Apart wasn't written until 1959, 40 years later. However the two works both tell stories of inevitable change and that change can be both hectic and destructive. When the colonization begins to occur in Mbanta the tribe is horrified by the white people. Over time some tribe members begin to join the church and change their beliefs. These changes cause the tribe to fall apart, hence the name of the novel.

2. "He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger."

3. This novel is based upon the working of the mind rather than the workings of the heart. Okonkwo, a man of great honor and praise among his tribe, would sooner put strategy before feelings. In the situation of Ikemefuna's death, Okonkwo kills the young boy rather than be seen as weak. "He heard Ikemefuna cry, 'My father, they have killed me!' as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak." (61). While Okonkwo shows some passion it is only in the fear that he will become like his father, weak and a failure. These fears are what motivate Okonkwo to rule with a strict hand and show no compassion towards anyone. Near the end of the story Okonkwo is ready to go to war with the white man. At a town meeting he listens as another man bellows about going to way even if it is against their own brothers because it is what is needed. Okonkwo was over whelmed with joy that war was to begin to end the life of those that had betrayed them and joined the white man and his church. However when five messengers from the church storm into the meeting and demand it to cease, Okonkwo beheads him with two swift blows of his machete. The reaction to his action was not was he was expecting. The other messengers were released and sent back to their church. "He discerned fright in that tumult." (205). At that moment Okonkwo knew that his village had gone weak and would no longer do what was necessary in order to return to their old ways. Many of the decisions of Umu

4. I found that I was able to identify with Ezinma, Okonkwo's favorite daughter. Ezinma is the only daughter of Okonkwo's second wife, Ekwefi. After birthing many and none living past the age of 2, Ezinma is very precious. Many times Okonkwo made the remark that Ezinma should have been born a boy. She showed initiative in her chores and was able to gain respect from her father. Being the only daughter in my family I am a Daddy's girl. I am able to get my father to agree to take us to a movie when my mother is unable too. I've also found that I can talk back to my father without consequence where as my brothers are unable to do so. Ezinma

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