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Epigraphs for Things Fall Apart

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All three parts of the story have the same main character, Okonkwo. However, each part is different and deals with different things. The first part of the book is mainly the setting of the plot, although a main conflict is Okonkwo and his fear of becoming like his father. When he kills a clansman accidently, he is exiled to his motherland, Mbanta. This links part one and two together because at the end of part one he is exiled, and at the beginning of part two he arrives to his motherland. In part two, the Christian missionaries come to the African tribes to try and convert them to Christianity. This brings out a new theme- Change vs. Tradition. Okonkwo does not like these missionaries at all, and is having a very hard time fitting in with them. When his son is converted, he feels ultimately betrayed and disowns his son. The third part starts out at the end of his seven year exile, where he goes back to Umuofia. But the reception is not as big as he had hoped, because the Missionaries are there. Okonkwo continues to struggle because in this society, masculinity is not everything, as it was in the first part. Finally, he realizes he cannot do anything to rebel against this, and commits suicide.

Part One- "Manliness consists not in bluff, bravado or loneliness. It consists in daring to do the right thing and facing consequences whether it is in matters social, political or other. It consists in deeds not words." -- Mahatma Gandhi, an Autobiography: The Story Of My Experiments With Truth. This relates to the first part because in the first part he does things because he considers them to be manly and tough.

Part Two-"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." -- Desmond Tutu. This relates to part two because the missionaries took the land over in Umuofia.

Part Three- "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay." --Jiddu Krishnamurti. This is an appropriate epigraph because In part three Okonkwo struggles with accepting change, and tries to rebel against it.



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