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The Second Coming vs. Things Fall Apart

The book Things Fall Apart , by Chinua Achebe , is very similar to the poem , “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats. A comparison of “The Second Coming” to Things Fall Apart will show many corresponding aspects between both of these literary masterpieces. Seeing the line “Things fall apart” in the poem , Achebe makes an outstanding association. At this point in time he says to himself, “I should name my book Things Fall Apart , It will show the main idea of the book. ” One of the many coinciding concepts between the two is the daunted apprehension of both the poem and the book.

In Things Fall Apart it seems like whenever the main character, Okonkwo, gains hope things happen to fall apart . The contents of “The Second Coming” told of a chaotic world and a base that could not hold because of it’s own inner conflicts. In Addition to the synonymous feeling both the book and the poem give, they both expose a great shift from and old era to a new era. “The Second Coming” reveals an apocolypse. Yeats shows this change by describing the conversions our world, as a global community, made throughout history .

Key lines that refer to these changes in time are “Turning and Turning in the widening gyre the falcon cannot hear the falconer”. These lines refer to the constant adjustments we have to make and also the fact that we cannot go back in time . Chinua Achebe also reveals a major shift by describing Umuofa as it was in the beginning. In describing Umuofa as it was originally he makes it easier to catch sight of the major changes throughout the story . Another coinciding idea in both pieces is the sacrifice of something to avoid changes that come along .

Okonkwo ends his life as a last resort . In doing this he feels that he saves his honor and heritage . He also kills himself to dodge the pain and suffering that Christianity brought to his culture . “The Second Coming” warns us of an apocolypse . The apocolypse is the end of civilization in our world . What makes the poem so synonymous to the book is that in either case it is not possible to stop the changes from happening . A fourth coinciding idea in “The Second Coming” and Things Fall Apart is the loss of control of a higher power over a lower power .

In Things Fall Apart Okonkwo tries to teach Nwoye the old ways of their people . He also tries to make his son unlike Okonkwo’s father . Nwoye wanted to be his own man . He didn’t want to have to live up to the expectations of his father , Okonkwo . Nwoye takes on the ways of Christianity in hope of a better life . Okonkwo feels dishonored by Nwoye’s turn towards Christianity. Okonkwo now looks his son as he did his father . Nwoye’s move to Christianity shows the loss of Okonkwo’s power over his life . In “The Second Coming” the loss of control is symbolized by the line “the falcon does not hear the falconer ” .

Where the falcon is the symbol of the lesser power and the falconer the symbol of the higher power . The line says that after time passes and changes take place powers change . The last reflective idea between the poem and the book is the respect towards a superior force . The superior force is not always an object that one can feel or hold in his or her hand but it could be as simple as an idea. The superior force in “The Second Coming” was not the apocolypse but it was time . Time cannot be paused or turned back so whatever is done may never be changed .

Time does not allow the world to prepare for “The Second Coming” , So all hope is lost . The Superior force in Things Fall Apart is the spread of Christianity . Christianity creates Chaos in Umuofia . It makes all the people that were loyal to their ancestors forget about where they were from . The culture of the people in Umuofia was slowly put to extinction by the spread of Christianity . Our world changes from day to day . Everything we do now reflects on how the future will be . If there is one concept one learns from comparing these two fine literary works .

It is to not dwell on mistakes in the past but to make them up by doing well in the future . Chinua Achebe and William Butler Yeats make this idea understandable to us by using it in their works of art. Okonkwo new the end of his culture was coming so he tries to do whatever he can to stop it . After years of hopelessness he finally sees a way out through death . In “The Second Coming” there is no way to stop the apocolypse from happening . So the world becomes helpless and falls victim to “The Second Coming” . The stories that both the book and the poem told were of life’s end.

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