Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart (Study Guide)

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Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart Study Guide Read the following poem, which is the source of the title of Achebe`s novel:William Butler Yeats: The Second Coming (1921)Yeats was attracted to the spiritual and occult world and fashioned for himself an elaborate mythology to explain human experience. The Second Coming, written after the catastrophe of World War I and with communism and fascism rising, is a compelling glimpse of an inhuman world about to be born. Yeats believed that history in part moved in two thousand-year cycles. The Christian era, which followed that of the ancient world, was about to give way to an ominous period represented by the rough, pitiless beast in the poem. Turning and turning in the widening gyre (1) The falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity.Surely some revelation is at hand;Surely the Second Coming (2) is at hand;The Second Coming Hardly are those words outWhen a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi (3)Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desertA shape with lion body and the head of a man,A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,Is moving its slow thighs, while all about itReel shadows of the indignant desert birds.The darkness drops again; but now I knowThat twenty centuries (4) of stony sleepWere vexed to ...

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