Things Fall Apart 9 Essay, Research Paper
Things Fall Apart
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
When Chinua Achebe was writing the book, Things Fall Apart, he had just read and thought about the poem written by William Butler Yeats. The book has many similar qualities and many of the things in the book symbolize objects in the poem. For example, the tribe becoming farther apart and widening of ideas is like the first line of the poem. Or Okonkwo s son leaving him to convert is like the second line. Out of the third line comes the title of Chinua s book and the clan and life altogether for Okonkwo, falling out the bottom. The fourth line has a lot of similarities to when the white men come to Umuofia. The poem made Chinua write the book, Things Fall Apart, because he felt so moved by the poetry of William Butler Yeats.
The first line of the poem, The Second Coming, is very similar to the section of the book, Things Fall Apart, when the tribe is loosing its camaraderie and heading more in the direction of the new religion. The widening gyre is the tribe becoming further apart. Obierika said, Our own men and our sons have joined the ranks of the stranger. They have joined his religion and they help to uphold his government. (Pg. 161, Paragraph 6) The tribe may have been able to get rid of the missionaries earlier but now it is too late and there are too many converts in their village; so to fight the religion would be like to fight with their friends. The problem has gotten out of hand, they cannot stop the new wave of change in the way the tribe handles its business. The missionaries are the gyre; spinning the tribe out of control, unable to stop in its tracks and go back before it is too late. The book has a lot to do with this first line and its meanings.
Okonkwo and his son, Nwoye symbolize this second verse in the poem, The Second Coming. The falcon in this verse is Nwoye who is slowly going farther away from his father and the falconer is Okonkwo. Okonkwo is trying to keep Nwoye from being too much like a woman. Living fire begets cold, impotent ash, (Pg. 143, Paragraph 2). This means that Okonkwo, being the living fire is replaced by Nwoye, who is the cold ash. Nwoye has already been pushed too hard and he cannot stand up to his father any longer so he converts to Christianity and leaves his Father. In the poem, it says that, The falcon cannot hear the falconer, which relates to this poem in that Nwoye doesn t hear or in other words, understand Okonkwo, who is written after the falconer. The second line is like a separate plot in the book but involves the main plot, which are the missionaries and the new religion.
The third line in the poem is very obvious to be significant because one half of it is used as the title of the book written by Chinua; Things Fall Apart. He uses that line as the title because it fits nicely with the theme of the story. The clan splitting over the new religion in the end symbolizes the second half of that verse. We who are here this morning have remained true to our fathers, but our brothers have deserted us and joined a stranger to soil their fatherland. If we fight the stranger we shall hit our brothers and perhaps shed the blood of a clansmen, said Okika, (Pg. 187, Paragraph 2). Many of the members of the clan, including some men with titles left their lives in the tribe to new religion and way of life. This hurt the pride and strength of the clan. Okonkwo wanted to return to his former life when he came back to Umuofia but this problem pushed him too far. He didn t like the way things were going so he took the tribe s matters into his own hands and killed the messenger. After there were so many converts in the village, the old ways were being thrown out and the village was weak to invasion.
The fourth line of this stanza sums up the end of the book and it is easy to tell that Chinua based the story upon the poem by Yeats. The white men are the anarchy that has been loosed upon the world. Some of these prisoners were men of title who should be above such mean occupation, (Pg. 160, Paragraph 1). The white men came and instated their own type of government with their own rules so that clansmen, who were following clan rules, were thrown into jail because of the new laws. The missionaries have been sent to convert some black men but they don t stop at that. They wait until they have some local support and they set up their own way of life and enforce it upon these clans. They do what is in their eyes as good, but not comprehending that maybe this isn’t such a good idea for some third world African tribe. By the time the black men figure out that the white men aren t there just to convert people, it is too late and the albinos have a grip on the Africans society.
The book written by Chinua Achebe has a lot of resemblances and many of the characters or plots have come from the poem written by William Butler Yeats. The first four lines are the basis of the book s main character and meaning. The tribe is symbolizing the first line in that the tribe is becoming further apart. Okonkwo s son, Nwoye left, which comes straight from the second verse with Nwoye as the falcon. The title and the splitting of the clan came from the third verse, and the white men coming symbolizes the anarchy being spread throughout the world. Through this evidence, we can incur that Chinua wrote, Things Fall Apart, after the poem, The Second Coming.