Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ Things Fall Apart Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.

Things Fall Apart (1958) | Written by: Chinua Achebe | Published by: Anchor

Things Fall Apart
Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

Whassap yo? This week we tryin to keep it together with Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

Okonkwo got one of da illest reps of any hood in the Nigerian Umuofia clan. But bein high baller don’t run in the family. Errybody know that Okonkwo’s daddy was nuthin but a broke-ass scrub and now Okonkwo gotta be a hard-ass hustla to shake off dat family shame.

When some fool mercs a dame from Umoufia, Okonkwo gotta take care of his boy Ikemefuna to make everything cool between the clans. Okonkwo got mad love for this kid even though he don’t show it. And it ain’t long before Ikemefuna starts callin Okonkwo daddy.

Then one day the Oracle say dat fool Ikemefuna gotta get put in dirt. Some geezer named Ezeudu tells Okonkwo he best stay away from dat mess. Cuz no matter how much of a bad-ass thug you are, killin yo own son is whack.

But Okonkwo don’t wanna be seen as no sensitive bitch, so he straps up ready to bang out. When Ikemefuna cries “lil help, pops?”, Okonkwo ENDS dat fool. And for the next few days, Okonkwo all torn up.

Shit gets even more cray for Okonkwo during his boy Ezeudu’s funeral. During the salute, Okonkwo’s gat accidentally busts a cap in Ezeudu’s son! So Okonkwo and his family get booted outta town for 7 years!

Okonkwo and his people shack up at some hood called Mbanta. While he gone, a bunch of bible thumpin crackers roll up to Umuofia tryna convert homies all ova town. Soon they got a whole new government up in this piece!

When Okonkwo gets back home, he all like “Man who are all these honkies?!” So he and his tribal leader homies roll up to a church and stomp dat shit to the ground. “This our turf, sucka!”

After gettin thrown in the slammer for a bit, Okonkwo rallies errybody to wage WAR against them imperalist fools. When one of dem oppressors steps to, Okonkwo takes that fool OUT.

But when he tries to get his posse to revolt against these haters like all good Ufuomians do, they all back down like a bunch o’ bitches.

Later, the top-dawg white man rolls up on Okonkwo’s crib to take him downtown. But when he walk in, Okonkwo hangin by a noose. Fool took himself out for good.

First thing you best recognize is that lil’ Achebe came up in Nigeria after it was taken over by the west.

Even though this book definitely got beef with the empire that did Igbo culture straight dirty, good art don’t just give one perspective.

See, Okonkwo reppin all the social values of the ol Igbo society. He clockin mad courage, goes hard for the hood, and don’t let no candy- ass emotions get in the way. And for bein the realeast brutha on the streets, the elders trust him to raise Ikemefuna. But it ain’t all gravy for Okonkwo.

When time comes to kill Ikemefuna, Okonkwo knows bein the one to shank his boy gonna piss of the Goddess real bad. But he ain’t no lazy coward like his daddy, and fool desperate to prove it. After Ikemefuna dead, it’s just one tragedy after another til Okonkwo offs himself. Even his main man Obierika tell him dat was a messed up thing to do.

Sparky reads passage: “If I were you I would have stayed at home. What you have done will not please the Earth. It is the kind of action for which the goddess wipes out whole families.” (40-41)

Ain’t no doubt that them crooked ass imperialists took a big ol dump on Africa. But like we can see with Okonkwo icing his boy and disrespecting the goddess, maybe things start fallin apart before they got there.

Just like Yeats preachin in the poem that opens the book, it ain’t that one culture know the world better than another. Whether it be Igbo culture, western culture, or whateverthefuck- time is enemy. And as time goes on, any culture can fall apart.

But you know what don’t fall apart? These sick threadz you can get at my store. See y’all next week! Peace.

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