Review Essay:




The life of Unoka, the father of Okonkwo, the latter being the protagonist of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, had been dismissively concluded as inconsequential. This is evident in the fact that Unoka’s presence, as the author presented it in the novel, apparently ended in the very first chapter. But the meta-life of Unoka formed an original and inevitable basis for the thought and consequences that pervaded the life of Okonkwo and his first son, Nwoye. None of these three achieved the traditional, metaphysical height that defined fulfilment of a life well spent in Igbo’s religio-sphere. Circumstantially, Unoka could not become an ancestor; inadvertently or deliberately, Okonkwo could not become one either; and consciously, Nwoye refused to become one. Thus, through the gristmill of Peircean semiotic pragmatism, which revolves around Firstness, Secondness and Thirdness, it is argued that the fates of these three personae in the novel are the same, despite its denial within the text. This is the fulcrum that dictates reconstruction of the meta-life of Unoka, as an original and inevitable foundation that the protagonist, Okonkwo, and his son, Nwoye, could not surpass.


Keywords: Semiotic pragmatism, Okonkwo, Peirce, Igbo’s religio-sphere, Unoka.