Top 3 Things Fall Apart quotes

  • " Turning and turning in the widening gyre

    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

    Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;

    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world."

     - Epigraph

     Achebe borrows the opening stanza of WB Yeats’ poem called “The Second Coming”. The title of the book is inspired by that very same poem, and it refers to a falling apart of things from the center. This reference is possibly about the fall of the African tribal system, which was interrupted by the imperialistic policies of the white colonials that came to take control of foreign lands.

  • "Among the Igbo, the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten."

    - The narrator, Chapter 1

    The author presents a comprehensive view of Igbo society, as he hopes to present an alternative to the predominant narrative about the ‘savage’ African tribal culture. Language is shown to be a complex subject in Igbo society, and conversations are dictated by customs and social protocols. This aspect of the Igbo culture happens to directly contradict how the Europeans view language. It is also important to note that the metaphor Achebe presents likens food with words, which stresses the importance of language since food is a quintessential subject for the mostly agricultural Igbo society.

  • "He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger."

    - District Commissioner, Chapter 25

    The conclusion of the book occurs with the thoughts of the District Commissioner as he returns from Okonkwo’s house after learning about his death. The district commissioner’s chosen title communicates his inability to understand the people he is seeking to govern. No reader of this book could ever think of the Igbo people as primitive, since their society is highly organized and ritualized. They are shown to be a highly industrious agricultural society that seeks to satisfy even the spiritual needs of its people.

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