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Things Fall Apart

Given that knowledge and experience are valuable, what should constitute that knowledge and experiences is open to different interpretations. Some assert that a pursuit of knowledge should be highly focused, probing into one niche of the human experience as far as possible. Others take the position that knowledge should be of a broader scope, attempting to elicit the common truths as well as the differences of the worlds that we interact with.

Knowledge should be placed in perspective to other knowledge; there should be a balance between general and specific. When there is conflict in one part of the world, there are often changes and repercussions that reach further than local boundaries. Each event that occurs is both unique and at the same time part of a greater common human experience. With this in mind, this paper discusses Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. For although Things Fall Apart recreates and analyzes a particular place and situation, its themes of conflicting cultures, conflict within society itself, and the isolation of the individual, are all related to universal issues. The novel displays a universal need for a balance between tradition and change, meaningful compromise must be made particularly during periods of social transformation.

In the novel we see great cultural conflict aggravated by an imbalance between traditional and new values, instead of alleviated by a balance between the two. The Ibo people permit the whites to enter and settle, hanging on to their traditions ever more tightly as they believe their gods will protect them and drive out the intruders. The missionaries had come to Umuofia and "had built their church there, won a handful of converts and were already sending evangelists to the surrounding towns and villages . . . but many of [the clan's leaders] believed that the strange faith and the white man's god would not last" (Achebe 133). The villagers' tolerance of the white man...

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Things Fall Apart. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:17, November 29, 2021, from