Artboard Created with Sketch. Close Search Dialog
! Error Created with Sketch.

Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe
Main Ideas Allusions
Main Ideas Allusions

Chapter Two

Literary

It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of the forces of nature, malevolent, red in tooth and claw.

The phrase “red in tooth and claw” is an allusion to the poem “In Memoriam A. H. H.” (1849) by the nineteenth-century British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Chapter Seven

Religious

In this way the moons and the seasons passed. And then the locusts came.

This is an allusion to the biblical story of the plague of locusts told in the Book of Exodus.

Religious

He heard Ikemefuna cry, “My father, they have killed me!” as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak.

This is an allusion to the biblical story of God testing Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as told in the Book of Genesis.

Chapter Sixteen

Religious

He told them . . . [e]vil men and all the heathen who in their blindness bowed to wood and stone were thrown into a fire that burned like palm-oil. But good men who worshipped the true God lived forever in His happy kingdom. “We have been sent . . . so that you may be saved when you die[.]”

This is an allusion to the Christian theological ideas of heaven, hell, and redemption.

Religious

It was a story of brothers who lived in darkness and in fear, ignorant of the love of God. It told of one sheep out on the hills, away from the gates of God and from the tender shepherd’s care.

This is an allusion to the biblical story of Cain and Abel as told in the Book of Genesis.

Chapter Seventeen

Religious

“Let us give them a portion of the Evil Forest. They boast about victory over death. Let us give them a real battlefield in which to show their victory.”

This is an allusion to the Christian belief in Jesus Christ’s victory over death by sacrificing himself to save humankind, thereby opening the gates of heaven for humans to live an everlasting life.

Chapter Eighteen

Religious

But they have cast you out like lepers.

This is a biblical allusion to the lepers who are healed by Jesus Christ.

Chapter Twenty-One

Religious

He had just sent Okonkwo’s son, Nwoye, who was now called Isaac, to the new training college for teachers in Umuru.

This is a biblical allusion to Abraham’s son, Isaac, who Abraham intended to sacrifice to God in a test of faith.

Chapter Twenty-Two

Religious

He believed in slaying the prophets of Baal.

This is an allusion to the worship of the pagan god Baal described in the Old Testament.

Religious

Enoch had killed an ancestral spirit, and Umuofia was thrown into confusion.

This is an allusion to the biblical story of Cain and Abel in the Old Testament, in which Cain establishes a line of evil in the world by murdering his brother, Abel. Cain’s first son is named Enoch.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Historical/Political

“We have a court of law where we judge cases and administer justice just as it is done in my own country under a great queen.[”]

This is an allusion to Queen Victoria, the reigning head of the British Empire from 1837 to 1901.

Chapter Twenty-Four

Historical/Political

He thought about wars in the past. The noblest, he thought, was the war against Isike.

This is an allusion to Chief Isike, a leader of the Nyamwezi people of Tanzania, who fought against German colonization.