Essay on Examination of “Things Fall Apart”

In the novel Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe depicts life struggle and troubles faced by native people during colonial era. In general, the quest for kinship means a quest for self-determination which shows evolution of the main characters and role of religion and native land in their lives. By noting the shifts from one identity to another, the ‘quest for kinship’ demonstrates that human beings search different identities to reach the target of aspirations.

Help With Essay on Examination of “Things Fall Apart”
Help With Essay on Examination of “Things Fall Apart”

Human beings living in Africa first activated a non-European racial identity against the European colonizers, then briefly switched to activation of a national identity against every other state. So the oppressors and the oppressed, the exploiters and the exploited, the racist and the colonized, and other polarizations are born. The often mentioned activation of identity, the activation that forms groups, is prompted by the perception of the role and characteristics of the ruler, leadership, or government in its function as an intermediary to the targets of aspirations.

In the novel, a quest for kinship means self-determination of ethical group and its spiritual development. Through Okonkwo, Rev. Smith and other characters Chinua Achebe unveils that African continent and its traditions are not “primitive” and “dark” as Conrad puts it. The quest for kinship is the quest for individual self-determination. The quest for personal self-determination does not contradict, nor is it subordinate to, the fact that people are social beings. Proud heart can survive general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone” (Achebe 21). In Ibo culture, a quest for kinship it is not the perceived difference between groups within the same political entity that prompts the quest for self-determination, but of a group’s view that it does not receive a fair share of the target of aspirations, perceived notions of “freedom” and the “good life: egwugwu ceremony and the killing of Ikemefuna. Through the character of Okonkwo, Chinua Achebe depicts that even if a person lost everything he hopes for forgiveness. ‘He discerned fright in that tumult. He heard voices asking: ‘Why did he do it?'” (Achebe 176). When the main character himself realizes that he does not have a fair share of the target of aspirations, his consciousness is changed and he accepts cultural traditions and asks for redemption.

In sum, in general sense and in the novel, the quest for kinship means self-determination and personal identity of ethical group such as Obo culture. Through the character of Okonkwo, Chinua Achebe depicts that an individual aspires to freedom in spite of all sins he committed and emotional burden he carries.


Works Cited Page

Achebe, Ch. Things Fall Apart. Anchor, 1994.

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