This essay discusses that referring to the aforementioned excerpts, the use of proverbs in Things Fall Apart was evidently sequenced. This suggests proper timing in injecting proverbs – “introduced at the right times, for the right occasions and purposes and for the right audiences”. The placement of proverbs requires its appropriateness to the purpose and target audience to be recognized as indicative words of wisdom. This proper placement enabled Achebe to reap the full benefits, which may include the clear emphasis of themes, establishing of characters and effectively presenting the conflict and societal values. The most powerful use of these proverbs was its declining presence and concluding absence – an indicator of the slow death of traditional Igbo culture, which is expected as they were conquered physically and religiously. In Achebe’s work, the use of proverbs was not just contained at a sub-event level but impacted the whole story.
Achebe’s Things Fall Apart had dynamically used the richness in function of the Igbo proverbs. Although proverbs are dominantly seen as wordy adornments in prose, its functional feature significantly marked its crucial role in the story’s plot, characters, conflict, and the evident setting. It functions as an ‘analogical element,’ a weight-incrementing substance and a determining influence over any reader’s judgment. Its usage also requires prompt timing and appropriateness to exploit opportunities of improving the theme, characters, conflict, and values embodied in the story.