Proverbs from Things Fall Apart

WITW 4: 5 Proverbs from Things Fall Apart That You Should Apply To Your Life

When reading some books, reading the book word for word just isn’t sufficient, especially when it comes to China Achebe’s proverbial Things Fall Apart. This classic tells a brief but insightful story about pre-colonial life in Nigeria before the nation’s culture was corrupted by Englishmen. Chinua Achebe portrays a vivid image of aspects of the Igbo culture with great emphasis on their persistent use of proverbs, many of which could be applied to our daily lives.

Looking At A King’s Mouth, One Would Think He Never Sucked At His Mother’s Breasts

This is simply a proverb of humility. When you think of some of the celebrities in our world today, you would think some of them had been successful their entire life. The way the act, the way they talk, the way they give back…

When reaching certain levels of success it’s easy to forget where your journey started. But one needs to make a conscious effort to remind themselves.

When Mother-Cow Is Chewing Grass, Its Young Ones Watch Its Mouth

There have probably been times where you’ve done something in an exact or similar fashion to the way your parents have. You may even notice your younger siblings emulating your behaviour. As children grow, they’re constantly imitating those older than them. So if you want your child or younger sibling to stop acting a certain way, chances are they learnt it from you. The best way to get them to change is by changing yourself.

I Cannot Live On The Bank Of A River And Wash My Hands With Spittle

Make the most of the resources you are given. For example, if you’re fortunate enough to have parents who are willing to pay your university tuition, make the most of that opportunity. Take advantage of it because it would be a waste if you didn’t.

An [Umuofian] Man Does Not Refuse A Call. He May Refuse To Do What He is Asked; He Does Not Refuse To Be Asked

Many people miss out on great opportunities simply due to pride. A friend might come to us with an idea but before we listen to the plan we’ve already come to the conclusion that this person has nothing interesting to offer.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to listen to the plan and confirm that you aren’t interested. Than dismissing it and come to find out later that it could have been profitable to you.

The Lizard That Jumped From The High [Iroko] Tree To The Ground Said He Would Praise Himself If No-One Else Did

There are points in life where we do amazing things but sometimes we don’t get the credit or recognition for it.

This proverb is basically telling us to be our own biggest fan. If people don’t see what it is you’re doing at least you know you’ve done it. Give yourself a pat on the back. Whether it’s you catching a glass cup using matrix-like reflexes or you landing a backflip off the top of your house. Don’t just do things for people to see it. Be happy enough to know that you did it yourself

Things Fall Apart Proverbs - TheLizard That Jumped From The High [Iroko] Tree To The Ground Said He Would Praise Himself If No-One Else Did
Conclusion

Things Fall Apart is a great story filled with vivid imagery of life in pre-colonised Nigeria. After reading the book I finally understood why Chinua Achebe is such a renowned author. If you’re someone looking for a short story to get you into the habit of reading, Things Fall Apart would be a great start.

Not only is it an easy read, but it’s also filled with lessons and proverbs that you can apply to the way you live. The story itself will definitely turn you into a literature lover. Whether or not you’re an avid reader, Things Fall Apart is definitely a book you should attempt to read.

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