Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe


It has been at least 20 years since I first read “Things Fall Apart” and discovered it's author, Chinua Archebe. The book must have resonated with others because today it is the most translated African work of all time. It has been translated into 50 languages and has sold over 8 million copies.

In “Things Fall Apart” the main character was Okonkwo from a village in Nigeria. He was a warrior, father, and husband. A single minded hard man. 

In the beginning of the book the Africans appeared uncivilized. As the book proceeded we understand that they were indeed a African tribe with strong traditions and values.

The dignity and humanity of their lives just falls away with the influence of the white missionaries and intruders, whose teachings are foreign to the tribe and of which resistance is impossible. The Christian salvation just doesn't resonate. 

Okonkwo can't change himself, and seems to be alone in his understanding of what is happening, and he commits suicide. The culture is lost and a civilization is lost


“The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”

 “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.”