Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer, things fall apart; the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosened upon the world.

“And at last the locusts did descend. They settled on every tree and on every blade of grass; they settled on the roofs and covered the bare ground. Mighty tree branches broke away under them, and the whole country became the brown-earth color of the vast, hungry swarm.” March 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — clareowens @ 2:24 am

This particular excerpt from Chapter 7 of Things Fall Apart is highly symbolic in its references towards the locusts who have come in a sort of swarm and “settled”, breaking away the branches underneath them. The locusts in which Chinua is talking about, are symbolic towards the colonizers who have come in to the village within the book and settled on the other’s native turf. The “locusts” or colonizers, have then “broken the branches” which symbolize the traditions/cultural roots of the Igbo village’s people, and have thus taken over the entire village in a hungry swarm until the “brown-earth color” could be seen no more, which further represents the village people’s way of life that has been ultimately altered and lost forever due to the “swarm” of colonizers who have taken over the area. The entire concept found behind the meaning and symbology of the locusts taking over and “breaking the branches” such as the colonists who came in and took over the Igbo village, changing its way of life forever, did is one in which Achebe focuses most all of his writings, and seems to highlight the overall message and inspiration behind his inclusion of this reference. Although this passage is fairly short, in my opinion, it seems to be everything that Achebe is trying to say throughout the entire book, only here, it is enclosed in a small paragraph of symbolic reference toward a swarm of locusts.

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