Reviews: Achebe, Chinua

Better to break than to bend

Things Fall Apart — Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe’s 1959 novel Things Fall Apart can teach us many things. What it taught me is that my memory is highly selective. I didn’t remember much about the book (having last read it in 1981) but I did remember one scene in particular! Go me! Except it turns out what I forgot can be summed up as “every important aspect of the novel.”

Driven by the memory of his father Unoka’s shameful indolence, Okonkwo has striven his whole life to live up to his personal ideal of the Ibo man: brave, hard-working, and prudent, someone who fulfills every duty his society demands of a man.

At a cost

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