Chinua Achebe’s Use Of Imagery In Things Fall Apart

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

In Achebe’s book, “Things Fall Apart,” the author uses imagery to help the reader better understand the environment of the Igbo tribe. Imagery helps create a scene in the reader’s head, so that they can make connections and provide more meaning to the story. Achebe’s book is about a man by the name of Okonkwo, who achieves great success, despite coming from nothing. The book is based around how Okonkwo’s father was a lazy man, and how Okonkwo breaks free of this characteristic to become a dignified man. He starts by defeating the greatest wrestler of the nine villages, thus making him champion. He then goes on to live in success, by having three wives and owning two barns full of yams. His downfalls, are his inability to show much emotion of love to his family. He only shows his frustration and anger, ands compares his children to him.

Symbolism is likewise utilized in the novel to give the peruser a more clear picture of an occasion that is occurring. We see imagery when Okonkwo is young and has gone to visit Nwakibie. Nwakibie is a rich man in the town, and Okonkwo plans to get yam seeds from him. During his discussion and solicitation, Okonkwo utilizes this symbolism to depict himself, “The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did”. Okonkwo utilizes imagery, in his description of himself, to represent that he has needed to battle for himself for quite a while and can succeed even without somebody, explicitly his father, there to help or acclaim him. The symbolism helps Okonkwo put forth his defense and persuade Nwakibie that he will be effective and can be trusted with the yam seeds.

We can see a genuine case of this with the horrible reap year Okonkwo experienced when he was youthful. The climate that year was depicted utilizing amazing imagery. Achebe writes, “The blazing sun returned, more fierce than it had ever been known, and scorched all the green that had appeared with the rains. The earth burned like hot coals and roasted all the yams that had been sown”. This imagery helps the reader picture how the high heat affected the growth of the yams. Instead of the author simply stating it was hot or there was a drought, the reader can grasp a better image of what happened to the crops that year. This use of imagery intensifies the importance of the weather on the crops of the village. Chinua Achebe, throughout the book, does an outstanding job at helping the reader understand the novel, by making them picture what is happening during that time. This all helps the reader better understand the importance of specific details and helps the theme come across better. Overall, the imagery used produced much more clear and precise details, that I would not have gathered, had the author not used such remarkable imagery.


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