Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is the first book that I had the honour and pleasure to study in my literature class so many years ago and I did pour over it with great relish.

It is a rare luxury indeed to be able to take time to immerse oneself in language and prose, to live through every line and breathe the joys and tribulations of the characters. The book tells the tale of an african tribe leader as he grapples with change with the arrival of the White Man. It chronicles his fear and helplessness which he vainly masks with pride.

What is scary is that I keep seeing parallels between his world and mine. If that is so, it bodes ill for me as in the end, the protagonist succumbs to despair.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

- Second Coming, Keats

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