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Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe

Fire

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The narrator and characters often compare Okonkwo to fire, he even has the nickname around town as the “Roaring Flame.” For Okonkwo, fire is a symbol of boundless potency, life, and masculinity. However on realizing his complete disappointment in his son Nwoye, Okonkwo has the realization that “Living fire begets cold, impotent ash.” Like fire, Okonkwo sees his own progeny as impotent.

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