Point of view is one of the most important aspects of a story. In the novel Things Fall Apart, the narrator has used third person omniscient point of view, which means the narrator is not actually a character in the novel; rather, he is an external voice who knows everything. This essay analyses the effect of my point of view as the reader, on my understanding of the novel. Firstly, I will point the aspects that were the most interesting, and grabbed more attention. Secondly, explaining how my perspective changed and developed throughout the novel, and Finally, what lesson or moral I learned from Things Fall Apart.
To begin with, one of the most interesting aspects of the novel was the customs and rituals of Igbo people that I did not know anything about before reading this story. First, the fact that the Igbo people have so many gods in their religion that they worship and listened to. For instance, Chukwu, their supreme god that they compared to the god of Christians, that they believed had created all the other gods. Second, their ceremonies to respect and thank the earth, namely egwugwu ceremony. Third, how men were known to be more successful in their society by having more wives. Overall, I think most of my attention was grabbed by the social structure and customs of the Igbo people, especially through the first part of the novel.
In addition, after the first part of Things Fall Apart, the story was clearer and character development became an important aspect in my perspective. The most noticeable thing that influenced my point of view in the second part of the novel, was the fact that I was able to relate to the situation Okonkwo, the main character, was dealing with. He had to move to another village and even though they gave him a warm welcome and a good place to stay, he was depressed and sad with low motivation to do things. My similar experience of moving to Canada 10 months ago, played an important role in the change and development of how I related to the story and respectively how my perspective changed.
Finally, the most significant lesson I learned from this amazing novel, was how different ways of responding and reacting to change in our lives can affect us. In Things Fall Apart, both times that Okonkwo was going through a change in his life, he reacted very poorly. He became depressed when he moved to Mbanta, and when he moved back to Umuofia and observed all the changes that had been made in his village, got upset and ended up committing suidcide. As a reader I could see that Okonkwo had zero tolerance for change and could not accept any of those changes. On the other hand, Obierika, Okonkwo’s friend, acted very wisely toward the changes that were being made, he accepted them and moved on with his life even though he was not happy about them either. Thus I could receive this significant moral from this story, to try my best to deal with change with patience and acceptance throughout my life.
In conclusion, many aspects of the story influenced my point of view, like the social structure and rituals of Igbo people that were new to me. Furthermore, as I went on other parts of the novel my perspective kept developing and the fact that I could relate to the story on some level, helped my understanding. Last but not least, I enjoyed learning the importance of dealing with change from the novel Things Fall Apart.