Marxists Ideas In “Things Fall Apart”

Classes In society

Even in the tribal setting of Things Fall Apart, everyone clearly has a role in the society. Those stronger lead the tribe, but instead of economic strength, our protagonists demonstrate physical strength, and this is what divides them and drives them in there society. We see that those who lose those fights must bow down there head in shame as those who are higher up in the society rule and change what is right and wrong.


People in Okonkwo’s setting are also bind to there position by age, those who are the son of an authority are expected to perform traditional and make their parents proud. While whoever were fed and raised by somebody was expected to worship and listen to every wish or command of the elder. The most elderly are very well respected in this society, they are a part of the ruling class and the most powerful.


In such a society, women do not have very much power. They were expected to give all the power to the men and allow the men to run the family. They did not have the power to obtain large amounts of valuables and were expected to stay at home and care for the children. They were part of the lower and working class. The wives of those with more powerful husbands had more powerful possessions but were still not among the upper class.

Massive changes

We see many large scale revolutions in our current society. This also exists in Things Fall Apart, when christians came with new philosophies, the lower class saw this as an opportunity to thrive, they fought for equality and in a way has succeed. The Christians deftly manipulated the Nigerian society by altering their culture and changing their social layout. While the society benefited as a whole, the upperclass lost a lot of power but had to submit to the new changes.

Adapting to society

Okonkwo believed in hard work, seeing his fathers laziness and unwilling to perform labor. He worked hard to become a direct contrast of his father. However, Okonkwo failed to adapt to changes in society, he stuck to the old methods of life and quickly fell behind of the quickly moving society. His lost much of his achievements in life and lost his life at the end.