Michael Cataldo's Reviews > Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
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's review
Nov 28, 2011

really liked it
Read from November 28 to December 11, 2011

After getting negative feedback from fellow classmates about this book, I was close-minded into diving into what this story had to offer. As I finished reading, I was actually frustrated that the ending happened so quickly, with the suicide of Okonkwo. Okonkwo fits into the "warrior" and "outcast" archetypal characters. In part two, Okonkwo began as an outcast, but slowly acculturated into the village of Mbanta. I felt that he was well received in the village, but Okonkwo showed flashes of his "warrior" intellect (choking his son, Nwoye). Through his consequential and unconscious actions, he suffered. Okonkwo showed countless Animus qualities (ego-centered, aggressive, prone to violence, etc), but in the very last chapter of the book, a dramatic change in his personality occurred. He swore to himself to never show weakness and passiveness, but when he hung himself, he did just that. He realized his mistake of decapitating the messenger, and his "warrior" in him faded away; he had no fight in him. People let him know that his action was wrong, and for once, he listened. I've been waiting all story long for Okonkwo to express vulnerability, and it so happens that I got it in the third to last page. I don't understand why my classmates didn't enjoy the book, but I appreciated learning about a different culture while analyzing Okonkwo's character. I recommend this book to all audiences.

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Reading Progress

11/28/2011 page 15
7.0% "Since Okonkwo is seen as fearless and robust among his village, he's been chosen to represent them in battle (versus Umuofia) Underneath this sturdy appearance, Okonkwo does fear weakness. His father is his opposite, and he was unwilling to engage in violence. As I'm just beginning to read this story, it will be interesting to see how Okonkwo's weaknesses will be revealed."
12/04/2011 page 129
62.0% "After reading through Chapter 13, although Okonkwo hasn't revealed any signs of weakness, he's exposed his authority in his family. He see,ms like he takes pleasure(ID) in beating two of his wives, Ojiugo and Ekwefi, and loses consciousness. Realizing that his lack of sensibility, he repents. I predict Okonkwo to surrender his violent nature, build his way up to consciousness(EGO), and learn from his brutal actions."

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