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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

So here we go, we were talking about this as the night wore on and though it sounded interesting.

The Summary admittedly stolen from wikipedia:

Set in pre-colonial Nigeria in the 1890s Things Fall Apart highlights the clash between colonialism and traditional culture. The protagonist Okonkwo is strong, hard-working, and strives to show no weakness. Okonkwo wants to dispel his father Unoka’s tainted legacy of being cheap (borrowed/lost money, neglected wives/children) and cowardly (feared the sight of blood). Okonkwo works to build his wealth entirely on his own, as Unoka died a shameful death and left many unpaid debts. Although brusque with his three wives, children, and neighbours, he is wealthy, courageous, and powerful among the people of his village. He is a leader of his village, and he has attained a position in his society for which he has striven all his life.
Because of the great esteem in which the village holds him, Okonkwo is selected by the elders to be the guardian of Ikemefuna, a boy taken prisoner by the village as a peace settlement between two villages after Ikemefuna's father killed an Umuofian woman. The boy lives with Okonkwo's family and Okonkwo grows fond of him. The boy looks up to Okonkwo and considers him a second father. The Oracle of Umuofia eventually pronounces that the boy must be killed. Ezeudu, the oldest man in the village, warns Okonkwo that he should have nothing to do with the murder because it would be like killing his own child. Rather than seem weak and feminine to the other men of the village, Okonkwo participates in the murder of the boy despite the warning from the old man. In fact, Okonkwo himself strikes the killing blow as Ikemefuna begs his "father" for protection.
Shortly after Ikemefuna's death, things begin to go wrong for Okonkwo. During a gun salute at Ezeudu's funeral, Okonkwo's gun explodes and kills Ezeudu's son. He and his family are sent into exile for seven years to appease the gods he has offended. While Okonkwo is away, white men begin to arrive in Umuofia with the intent of introducing their religion. As the number of converts increases, the foothold of the white people grows and a new government is introduced. The village is forced to respond to the imposition of the white people's nascent society—whether by appeasement or through conflict.
Returning from exile, Okonkwo finds his village a changed place because of the presence of the white man. He and other tribal leaders try to reclaim their hold on their native land by destroying a local Christian church. In return, the leader of the white government takes them prisoner and holds them for ransom for a short while, further humiliating and insulting the native leaders. As a result, the people of Umuofia finally gather for what could be a great uprising. Okonkwo, a warrior by nature and adamant about following Umuofian custom and tradition, despises any form of cowardice and advocates for war against the white men. When messengers of the white government try to stop the meeting, Okonkwo kills one of them. He realizes with despair that the people of Umuofia are not going to fight to protect themselves — his society's response to such a conflict, so long predictable and dictated by tradition, is changing.
When the local leader of the white government comes to Okonkwo's house to take him to court, he finds that Okonkwo has hanged himself. He ultimately commits suicide rather than be tried in a colonial court for killing a white man. Among his own people, Okonkwo's action has ruined his reputation and status, as it is strictly against the teachings of the Igbo to commit suicide.

So I look forward to seeing all of you, and for the record Jeff I tried to book for Thursday but they already had a group scheduled.

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  • Marie E.

    Have to work.

    April 23, 2013

  • Malia M.

    Here is a link to a 2009 TV interview with Chinua Achebe, on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Things Falls Apart, in which the author details what he was trying to accomplish with the novel.

    April 23, 2013

  • Michele

    late meeting

    April 23, 2013

  • Leah

    Traveling for work unfortunately

    April 22, 2013

  • Carrie

    Hey guys--can't make it after all :( Hopefully my schedule will calm down by next month and then I can be a more regular regular :)

    April 22, 2013

  • Jeff V.

    Class again I'm afraid :/. Next semester ill be available on Tues though!

    April 1, 2013

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