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Themes in Chinua Achebe's

            The book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is about European Imperialism. The main character is Okonkwo from a village in Africa called Umuofia. In Umuofia Okonkwo is known as being a fierce wrestler and warrior. The book tells of how Okonkwo despises his father because of his reputation and tries extremely hard to make sure that he never lives a disgraceful life like his father. The book also talks about Okonkwo's family which consists of his many wives and numerous children. All is well with Okonkwo and Umuofia until Okonkwo kills a young boy by accident and has to go into exile for seven years. Okonkwo takes refuge in his mother's village Mbanta. While Okonkwo is there major changes take place. Missionaries began to migrate to Mbanta and begin converting villagers who in turn help them to build a church. In the beginning the villagers and the missionaries are able to coexist but that begins to turn sour when their cultures and beliefs begin to collide. Okonkwo returns to Umuofia and finds that matters have become worse there also. The white missionaries have set up a government and are even trying cases in court. That's when things really begin to fall apart, hence the title of the book. Okonkwo refuses to accept the white man's government or his religion and wants Umuofia to go to war with the missionaries but few of his kinsmen agree with him. They are afraid of being wiped out like the people of a neighboring village called Abame. They are also hesitatnt to rebel because the white men made Umuofia wealthy by building trading posts. Things turn for the worst when the District Commissioner asks the leaders of Umuofia to meet with him. Okonkwo warns them to be on guard but they are taken by surprise and held as prisoners for ransom. They are beaten and starved which makes Okonkwo vow for revenge. The people of Umuofia meet to discuss what should be done. Some want to go to war but others are still afraid.

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