The Second Coming Vs. Things Fall Apart


Word Count: 796

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