Things Fall Apart Annotation


Things Fall Apart


Elements of a Novel

Elements of a Novel

 Setting  Plot  Character  Point of View  Theme  Stylistic choices  What makes Achebe's work his?


  Note time and place of events Note descriptions of locations  Note changes of time and place  Note local color: behavior, speech, details and other characteristics of a certain region, culture, or time depicted in a novel to add authenticity


 Note significant events that develop the storyline including: conflicts, complications, rising action, climax, falling action, resolutions, etc.

 Consider why Achebe divided the work into three parts.


 Keep a list of significant characters in the front of your text noting important page numbers for character development  Note details of characterization and motivation  Note the connections between characters, especially minor characters to the main character  Pay particular attention to the character your are assigned

Elements of a Tragic Hero

 What elements of a tragic hero are evident in Okonkwo.

 Consider his hamartia, peripeteia, anagnorisis, catharsis, nemesis, etc.

 Does the novel include all the elements or are there differences from the classic definition we learned?

 Consider similarities and differences between Julius Caesar and Things Fall Apart.

Point of View

 What narrator is used?

 Note tone: consider reflective, ironic, tragic, satirical (towards missionaries?), fable like, sympathetic, but not sentimental. Find and note examples to support these as you read.

 Pay attention to Achebe's awareness of both cultures. Is he even-handed?

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Themes: Note examples and trace at the back of your book:

Masculinity and Femininity Fate/destiny Fear Change and tradition Culture Clashes Religion Ambition/Success/Failure Anger

Motifs/Symbols/Imagery Note the repeated use of these as you read and trace:

         Yams Rituals Fire Night Drums Wrestling Locusts Death culture          Silence Proverbs Nature Agbala Titles Spirits/gods Animals Folktales religion

Figurative Language/ syntax/Diction/Tense : Note the use of:

 Similes/metaphors-tend to connect with culture/animals relevant to the Igbo  Short simple vocabulary and syntax  Past tense-allows reflection, retrospect (can put in bigger picture)  Igbo words, proverbs, and folktales