Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart Whenever you are focusing on what to say in your response, remember to keep the whole text in mind. Sometimes it can be helpful to start with the conclusion and work backwards. Remember that you will be asked ‘how does the writer’ or ‘in what ways does the writer’ or something similar. These are all prompts to talk about the way in which the writer has chosen to present the book and the reasons he has chosen the words he has to write it. That should be your response to the ‘how’ in the question. How does this structure support the issues of character (Nwoye)? Some points to think about: The opening section is the longest and gives an account of many aspects of the Ibo culture prior to the arrival of the white men. Look through these pages to see how clearly and firmly the culture is presented. Many key aspects of culture are highlighted and questioned: • The role of the family and the place and status of individuals within the family.
• The differences in gender roles, both literally and symbolically.
• The concept of heroism and the purpose and function of war and fighting.
• The concept and purpose of justice.
• Relationships between parents and children.
The second section concerns Okonkwo’s exile. He is exiled because his killing of Ezeudu’s son is a female crime: it is accidental, committed in a society which is obsessed with masculinity. As a result Okonkwo is limited by his incapacity to do anything other than attend to his family’s needs, and hence to the nurture of his basic sense of himself as the ‘hunter-gatherer’ Ibo man. Because Okonkwo has been uprooted from his homeland, we focus on his second-hand responses to the news of the white man’s arrival. He is consumed with anger and hatred at what he hears (is there any evidence of fear here, also?). Increasingly he finds himself in conflict with the society he has left behind. He accuses his fellow tribesmen of being no longer men but old women: the very reason for which he has been exiled from his homeland. What follows is the inevitable consequence of this contradiction.
The third section, therefore, charts the inevitable consequences of the contrasts of the first two sections. It is brief, clear cut and predictable. Okonkwo commits suicide because he has failed to recognise and respond to the way his community is changing. His eldest son has changed sides: the head messenger becomes the personification of Nwoye. Okonkwo and the white missionaries and bureaucrats are equally ruthless and intransigent. We are left to judge the niceties of this comparison for ourselves. So each of the three sections informs the other two. Some questions for you to consider: 1. What would be the gains and losses of making the final section the first?
2. Looking back from the last section to the first: can you find clues in the opening descriptions in the first three chapters that suggest the inevitability of the ending? 3. Look closely at the descriptions of Okonkwo and the comparisons made with his father, Unoka. 4. Conversely, in what ways does the ending of the novel – the beheading of the head messenger – come as a surprise to you? Or did you guess that the story would end l ike this? 5. In the first section, which are the most important chapters when it comes to understanding the conclusion of the novel? Look especially for chapters that deal with conflicts between children and their elders. 6. What are the three best examples of the way the second section links the first and third sections? Think especially about the things Oberieka says to Okonkwo.     ORDER THIS ESSAY HERE NOW AND GET A DISCOUNT !!!

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