Book Review: “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

Book Review: “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” is a literary masterpiece that has had a profound impact on African literature and beyond. Set in the late 19th century, at the height of the European powers’ scramble for African territories, the novel explores the clash between cultures and the devastating consequences of colonialism. With remarkable economy and subtle irony, Achebe weaves a compelling narrative that delves into the complexities of Nigerian culture and the profound effects of external influences.


A Tale of Cultural Clash and Tragic Consequences

“Things Fall Apart” tells the story of Okonkwo, a “strong man” who struggles to navigate the changing social and cultural landscape of his Igbo society. Okonkwo’s life is dominated by fear and anger, stemming from his desire to distance himself from his father’s weakness and the fear of being perceived as weak himself. However, as the arrival of European colonizers disrupts the traditional way of life, Okonkwo’s world begins to crumble.

Achebe’s portrayal of the clash between the indigenous Igbo culture and the encroaching European colonialism is both poignant and thought-provoking. Through Okonkwo’s journey, we witness the erosion of traditional values, the loss of cultural identity, and the tragic consequences that unfold as a result. Achebe skillfully captures the complexities of the human experience, highlighting the nuances of power, masculinity, and the struggle for control in a rapidly changing world.


A Call for Understanding and Respect

At its core, “Things Fall Apart” is a profound exploration of the clash between cultures and the importance of understanding and respect. Achebe presents a nuanced perspective that challenges simplistic notions of “good” and “evil” in the context of cultural exchange. The novel encourages readers to take the time to understand and respect different belief systems, rather than imposing one’s own values onto others.

Through his vivid and evocative storytelling, Achebe emphasizes the significance of preserving cultural heritage and the dangers of unchecked imperialism. “Things Fall Apart” serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of cultural diversity and the need for mutual respect in a rapidly globalizing world.



Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with readers around the world. Through the story of Okonkwo and the tragic consequences of colonialism, Achebe invites us to reflect on the complexities of cultural clash and the importance of understanding and respect. The novel’s enduring impact lies in its ability to challenge our preconceived notions and inspire us to embrace cultural diversity.

“Things Fall Apart” is a must-read for anyone interested in African literature, the effects of colonialism, and the power of storytelling to illuminate the human experience.

    This Post Has One Comment

    1. Shukrani Maina

      Chinua Achebe is such a great writer

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