Why the Name "Things Fall Apart"


Yaniv Schiller
10/31/96

There was a man who dreamed as a child of being well known and respected
throughout his village and neighboring villages. This man, Okonko, worked hard
at his goal, and he achieved it. Okonko, a man with great strength and
personality, had achieved his goal to become rich and famous, a privilege that
was unseen before in his family. Although Okonko reached his goal at an early
age, his life began to Fall Apart when tragic episodes took place.
One can see that Okonko\'s life first began to fall apart when Ikemefuna,
a captive who stayed at Okonko\'s home, was killed. Okonko had thought of
Ikemefuna as one of his own sons. He was deeply saddened when he was killed. One
can see the effects on Okonko from that event. First Okonko was unable to sleep
for the following three days. He also kept on getting drunk, and that was a sign
that he was depressed. This incident also had a long-term effect on Okonko. From
then on his family would look at him as if it were his fault that Ikemefuna is
dead. This episode can be seen as an event where Okonko looses some faith from
his family. This corresponds to Okonko loosing faith in his father.
Another important occurrence where one can see that Okonko\'s life falls
apart was when he was thrown out of the clan for a few years. From this episode
one can see that Okonko\'s hopes dreams have begun to fall apart. His hopes of
being a rich and popular individual had drifted away with this upsetting
incident. Okonko had no longer had his farm or animals. Also Okonko lost faith
with most of his friends. This goes to show that Okonko lost faith with his
friends, like his father lost faith with his.
Another episode that showed the downfall in Okonko\'s life was when Nwoye,
his oldest and favorite son, converted to the white mans religion, Christianity.
To Okonko this was very upsetting because Nwoye was his eldest son, and Okonko
had the greatest expectations for him. When news came to him that Nwoye was
among the white men, one could have foreseen that only no good was coming to
Okonko after that.
By glancing at Okonko\'s life, one could see that the title Things Fall
Apart fits perfectly with the book. Starting from the episode with Ikemefuna,
one can see that Okonko\'s life will fall apart. Then, later on in the book, when
Okonko was thrown out of his clan, one could have been sure that Okonko\'s hopes
of being rich and famous were ruined. After all that, with the incident of Nwoye,
one could see that Okonko\'s life was a total failure. Any speculator could see
that Okonko had not achieved his goals, but instead, by the end of his life, he
had become a failure like his father.

Category: English