What Makes A Written Piece A Story: “Things Fall Apart” By Achebe

Naturally, the narrative element of a written piece is essential to present and describe a story from scratch. However, there are more elements that make the text more complex and exciting to the reader. For instance, a basic narrative cannot give characters their personalities, and thus, writers opt for using dialogues or different points of view to make the personas unique and relatable. Furthermore, the writing style plays a pivotal role and can add complexity to, at first sight, big and boring paragraphs of descriptions. As a result, a story can be found within a text as it is carefully crafted with the help of settings, characters, plot, and prose.

At first glance, the structure of “Things Fall Apart” may appear to be traditional and somewhat dull. Yet Chinua Achebe (1994) strongly connects the narrative to the culture of Igbo to show the disintegration of the main character, Okonkwo, and his village. As a matter of fact, the implementation of countless Igbo proverbs makes a straightforward narrative so much more complex, giving life and meaning to this novel (Achebe, 1994). Besides, the text is also noteworthy because it includes a realistic and intelligent presentation of tribal beliefs that are critical to the narrative of the novel.

However, authors can easily employ the same narrative elements as Chinua Achebe used in “Thing Fall Apart” in the short stories. As a matter of fact, as both a novel and a short story stem from prose writing, they are mostly similar in their structure and writing process. They share the same focus on plot, characters, theme, and conflict (Cardona-López, 2021). Nevertheless, the only difference between the two is the complexity of the piece and its length.


Achebe, C. (1994). Things fall apart. Penguin Publishing Group.

Cardona-López, J. (2021). The modern novella or nouvelle beyond the short story and the novel. Theory in Action, 14(4), 77–90.