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Things Fall Apart (1958)

de Chinua Achebe

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: African Trilogy (1)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas / Menções
20,617431210 (3.76)5 / 1047
First published in 1958, this novel tells the story of Okonkwo, the leader of an Igbo (Ibo) community who is banished for accidentally killing a clansman. The novel covers the seven years of his exile to his return, providing an inside view of the intrusion of white missionaries and colonial government into tribal Igbo society in the 1890s.… (mais)
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» Veja também 1047 menções

Inglês (408)  Espanhol (6)  Sueco (3)  Italiano (2)  Alemão (2)  Francês (2)  Norueguês (1)  Catalão (1)  Finlandês (1)  Dinamarquês (1)  Holandês (1)  Todos os idiomas (428)
Mostrando 1-5 de 428 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Although the main theme of this novel is the colonialization of Africa by Great Britain in the late 19th century, it also exposes the folly of hubris, particularly of its protagonist, Okonkwo. The first part of the story centers on Okonkwo's life in his agriculture-centric society, Umuofia, and its kinship ties, superstitions, and rituals. Okonkwo has some reason to be proud: he pulled himself up by the bootstraps, so to speak, not having the same advantages as his Igbo clansmen because his father was considered lazy and contemptible, and he suffered an outcast's death. Okonkwo fear of failure haunts him throughout, and he becomes hard man with an inflexible will and a fiery temper that he blames on his personal god because of the shame his father brought to the family. Although he achieves great success in his fatherland, Okonkwo is ultimately banished for seven years and seeks shelter in his motherland, Mbanta, where he again prospers but still longs to return to his fatherland. Upon his return to Umuofia, he finds much has changed, largely as the result of the British missionaries and administrators who are trying to "civilize" the non-Christians. Achebe explores the impact of colonialism on different aspects of village life and the different categories of villagers. It was refreshing to see colonialism portrayed through the eyes of the colonized, not of the colonizers, as in Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. To be, the real reason things fell apart was a failure of communication between the Western interlopers and the natives. ( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
An engaging story about an African man, his family and tribe. Achebe depicts the brutality of the animistic, pagan patriarchal, honour-shame culture before colonisation. When the colonisers arrive they bring their own form of brutalitiy coloaked beneath British law and order:

It is a story of contrasts: strong vs weak, masculine vs feminine, fortune vs failure, pagan animism vs Christianity, African tribal culture vs Western colonisation.

Achebe depicts the first missionary to the tribe in contradistiction to the colonisers. The Christianity that arrives is bold yet gentle, confident yet wiling to suffer. In contrast to the darkness of pagan animism, the missionaries bring freedom from the fear of evils spirits, curses and capricious gods. They welcome outcasts and adopt twin babies who have been left to die in the jungle. They speak of a Father God full of love in a culture where fathers were harsh and unyielding. The missionaries weren’t perfect (especially the second who arrives later in Achebe’s story), but Achebe makes the point that the Christianity the missionaries brought enriched the lives of the Africans.

The final sentance in the novel reveals what Achebe thinks his work is about:

"The Commissioner went away, taking three or four of the soldiers with him. In the many years in which he had toiled to bring civilization to different parts of Africa he had learned a number of things. One of them was that a District Commissioner should never attend to such undignified details as cutting a hanged man from a tree. Such attention would give the natives a poor opinion of him. In the book which he planned to write he would stress that point. As he walked back to the court he thought about that book. Every day brought him some new material. The story of this man who had killed a messenger and hanged himself would make interesting reading. One could almost write a whole chapter on him. Perhaps not a whole chapter but a reasonable paragraph, at any rate. There was so much else to include, and one must be firm in cutting out details. He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger."

I found this review helpful: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/830031498 ( )
1 vote toby.neal | Jan 9, 2024 |
Things Fall Apart is fascinating as it depicts what it felt like living in a clan in the SE part of Nigeria on the cusp of British colonization during the late 19th century. Written from the point of view of of someone living then and there, it personalizes that part of the world in a way I hadn't before experienced in literature.
The plot follows the story of Okonkwo, a man who worked to rescue his family name from his father’s disgraceful failure, becomes successful in his Igbo Chinua Achebe details the clan’s parameters of rules, etiquette, beliefs and hierarchies and shows via internal monologues the difficulty of questioning the rules and going against the flow.
Okonkwo holds fast to his deeply held machismo ideal and derides any man who acts womanish, a trait he sees in his own son. He prides himself on his successes, and plans to become a great leader but he himself breaks a rule that changes the course of his life. Eventually the clan – who had never seen or dealt with white people – are confronted with the influx of Christian missionaries and British political envoys. The intercultural clash brought in by the colonists is psychologically and physically brutal.
( )
  dcvance | Dec 21, 2023 |
Katie lent this book to a friend at GMU 12/2023
  KellyObrien | Dec 18, 2023 |
Non credo di aver mai letto un libro come questo sul colonialismo in Africa: a fine lettura mi è ben chiaro come mai sia considerato un classico sul tema e un testo imprescindibile. Infatti, gran parte dei testi sull’argomento presentano un’impostazione manichea: colonialistз cattivз e colonizzatз buonз. Non che sia sbagliato: non c’è molto di positivo da dire su un gruppo di persone che saccheggia la terra altrui e mette su un sistema volto a discriminare le persone indigene.

Però come sempre le visione manichee eliminano i dettagli che ci aiutano a farci un’idea più chiara della complessità delle situazioni: Achebe inizia mostrandoci il funzionamento della società ibo attraverso uno dei suoi membri più in vista e rispettati, Okonkwo, un uomo molto ambizioso che gode della stima del suo villaggio, conquistata a fatica a partire da una condizione familiare di svantaggio.

Okonkwo, però, non è il tipico personaggio positivo per cui ci viene spontaneo fare il tifo: affogato nel suo bisogno di affermare la sua mascolinità a tutti i costi per smarcarsi dall’ombra del padre, un uomo lontano dell’ideale guerriero ibo, è difficile provare simpatia per lui mentre maltratta il figlio, che vorrebbe più simile a lui, e picchia le mogli.

Achebe lo ha reso un esempio perfetto della società ibo nel momento i cui l’uomo bianco è arrivato: una società niente affatto idilliaca e non una mitica età dell’oro precoloniale alla quale aspirare a tornare, ma una società come tante altre, con i suoi pregi e i suoi difetti. Sicuramente una società bisognosa di un cambiamento, un bisogno che diviene drammaticamente evidente a tuttз nel momento in cui la religione cristiana manifesta tutta la sua attrattiva sullз abitanti del villaggio.

La tesi di Achebe è che entrambe le culture si siano dimostrate rigide e si siano rifiutate di lasciarsi contaminare l’una dall’altra, vedendo nella contaminazione solo la corruzione della propria purezza e non una preziosa evoluzione. Alla fine la cultura inglese è diventata quella colonizzatrice (e distruttrice) solo perché la sua potenza offensiva in quel contesto era maggiore, non perché fosse culturalmente superiore: non c’è nessuna superiorità morale nell’essere solo il bullo più forte. ( )
  lasiepedimore | Dec 3, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 428 (seguinte | mostrar todas)

Set in the late 19th century, at the height of the "Scramble" for African territories by the great European powers, Things Fall Apart tells the story of Okonkwo, a proud and highly respected Igbo from Umuofia, somewhere near the Lower Niger. Okonkwo's clan are farmers, their complex society a patriarchal, democratic one. Achebe suggests that village life has not changed substantially in generations.

The first part of a trilogy, Things Fall Apart was one of the first African novels to gain worldwide recognition: half a century on, it remains one of the great novels about the colonial era.
[Achebe] describes the many idyllic features of pre-Christian native life with poetry and humor. But his real achievement is his ability to see the strengths and weaknesses of his characters with a true novelist's compassion.
adicionado por Shortride | editarThe New York Times Book Review, Selden Rodman (Web site pago) (Feb 22, 1959)

» Adicionar outros autores (62 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Achebe, Chinuaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Appiah, Kwame AnthonyIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bandele, BiyiIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Dicker, JaapTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Dicker, JanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
James, Peter FrancisNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Okeke, UcheIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Puigtobella, BernatTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rodriguez, EdelArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Serraillier, IanIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vertaalgroep Administratief Centrum BergeykTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Werk, Jan Kees van dePosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

—W.B. Yeats, "The Second Coming"
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Okonkwo was well-known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements. As a young man of eighteen he had brought honour to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat.
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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.
If I hold her hand she says, Don't Touch!. If I hold her foot she says Don't Touch! But when I hold her waist-beads she pretends not to know.
A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.
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First published in 1958, this novel tells the story of Okonkwo, the leader of an Igbo (Ibo) community who is banished for accidentally killing a clansman. The novel covers the seven years of his exile to his return, providing an inside view of the intrusion of white missionaries and colonial government into tribal Igbo society in the 1890s.

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