Seniors explore the deeper meaning of ‘Things Fall Apart’


Isaac Goldstein

‘Things Fall Apart’ follows the story of Okonkwo, a leader in a fictional clan in Nigeria. As the story progresses, it becomes apparent that internal and external forces are causing things to fall apart. Perspective plays a key role in how certain characters view others.

Isaac Goldstein

Seniors in AP Literature and Composition have begun to read the book “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. This is the second novel so far that students in this class have read together.

“We are going to read a lot of books this year, but I am looking forward to the group discussions and insights we will all gain from the texts,” said senior Jonathan Rollins.

The title “Things Fall Apart” is based in the famous poem “A Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats. To gain a better understanding for the background of the novel, these students have read this poem and others by Yeats.

“The whole poem is about the fact that things are falling apart as a result of several forces that have been brewing over time and not just a single catalyst,” said senior Anthony Popenoe.

In general, when the AP Lit classes explore a text, they usually delve into other related pieces to develop an overall better context for their analysis.

As the students now dig into the concept of The Other, it is becoming apparent that perspective governs a major aspect of people’s views.

“Reading the poem ‘A Second Coming’ added to the context of ‘Things Fall’ Apart and helped us understand the message Achebe was trying to convey when writing the book,” said Popenoe.