By utilizing an unbiased stance in his novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe promotes cultural relativity without forcibly steering his audience to a particular mindset. He presents the flaws of the Ibo tribe the same way he presents the assets—without either condescension or pride; he presents the cruelties of the colonizers the same way he presents their open mindedness—without either resentment or sympathy. Because of this balance, readers are able to view the characters as multifaceted human beings instead of simply heroes and victims. Achebe writes with such subtle impartiality that American audiences do not feel guilty for the cruel actions of the colonizers or disgusted by the shocking traditions of the tribesmen. The readers stop differentiating the characters as either “tribesmen” or “colonizers”. They see them simply as people, much like themselves. With this mindset, the audience starts to reflect upon their own cultural weaknesses. Conversely, the colonizers forcefully declare their religion onto the tribesmen instead of neutrally presenting their beliefs. Achebe prevails over his anger to present his opinion without forcefulness and with open-minded consideration. Yes, the colonizers succeed in converting many tribesmen into Christians; however, their success is subjective because they destroy African culture in the process. Ultimately, Achebe is successful in delivering his political views, but he does so by encouraging open-mindedness and cultural relativity instead of forcing his individual ideals upon his readers.
Due to Okonkwo wanting to be the complete opposite of his father, he turned out to be a wealthy man with three wives and eight children. Okonkwo was also a warrior of the Umuofia clan. He was terrified to turn out like his father; his actions bring a lot of trouble, which affects himself and his family. Throughout the novel, Chinua shows the troubles that Okonkwo goes through due to his stubbornness and bad decisions such as beating his wife during the week of peace, which was not right because that week was supposed to be peaceful without any violence. Another example was when Okonkwo killed the slave that he was keeping with him which was considered as another wrong decision because he wasn’t supposed to take part in the killing. The last strike that Okonkwo was given was when everyone was at the funeral of the man who had the divine message to kill the slave and Okonkwo accidently shot the deceased man’s son, which made the village not happy at all. After this, Okonkwo was sent into exile for seven years (Achebe, 124). A couple years later, missionaries from North America came to the village and started preaching the gospel. This is where colonialism was becoming a huge
He was in great conflict with the ideas of the white men and the missionaries. Okonkwo saw that their beliefs had not only changed the daily life of the Ibo, but it also changed the people themselves: “He mourned for the warlike men of Umuofia, who had so unaccountably become soft like women” (Achebe 183). The author uses strong diction to compare the men before and after colonization. This quote also portrays Okonkwo’s opinion towards the cultural collision. He values strength and masculinity immensely because of his fear of appearing weak like his father Unoka. When he describes that the men of Umuofia changed to be soft like women, this shows how much he dishonors the Western ideas and how it has taken over the village. He made an attempt to get rid of the Western influence by urging the tribe to fight like men, but they refuse to. He was determined and still attempted to furthermore encourage the people of Umuofia to revolt against the new culture. He realizes that his attempts to return the village back to the way it was before were futile. He knew that Christianity was tearing his people apart, but knew he was incapable of making change to help his people. Okonkwo then starts to feel hopeless and abandoned by his clan, which causes him to commit suicide by hanging himself: “Obierika… turned suddenly to the District Commissioner and said ferociously: ‘That man was one of the greatest men
Large-scale education and social consciousness may not be enough, though; even when the government becomes involved and offers a scholarship for Babamukuru and Maiguru to pursue higher education in South Africa, the missionaries feel a sense of entitlement to the natives’ bodies and minds and later coerce this same pair to continue their education in England. This lends itself to a description of “missionary goodwill as a form of benevolent tyranny” that works to alienate individual natives from others and prevent them from taking any sort of united stand (Paustian
These approaches by European Americans were thought to be more socially acceptable means to acquiring more land and expansion of their new world. The missionaries were successful at baptizing hundreds of Native Americans. They used the bible, sermons and Christian beliefs in God to influence tribal members to give up their cultural beliefs. The bible was translated into their native language in order to provide instruction and commitment to the word of God. In this culture, the way to a better life and forgiveness for savage acts, would be offered to all who believe in one God and become Christians. Heaven was introduced to the American Indians as well as a new belief in Hell, as an alternative demise. In all, many Christians came about from the missionaries’ efforts. Catherine Tegahkouita was one of the most celebrated Mohawk convert. There would be no other as devoted to God as she was during this crusade. “Nothing could be more beautiful, but with that beauty which inspires the love of virtue. The people were never weary gazing on her, and each left with his heart full of the desire to become a saint”.5 As more and more time went on, villages grew in Christian numbers. Still the missionaries continued to venture on to new unexplored lands to bring God’s word to them. Their objective, to save them from their barbaric
...mparability. Neither party had anything to which the other could be compared. And, at the end of Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo kills a white man as the man tries to disrupt an important proceeding. He gives in to his “inner-darkness,” and extinguishes the messenger. As he does that, Okonkwo gives in to the final, eternal “darkness,” and his body is found hanging from a tree, an utter disgrace to his honour, rather than allowing the white men to take him.
The Europeans used their power of law and order to subdue and control the indigenous. They wanted to instill their beliefs, culture, and values onto the natives and used agents of directed culture change to influence the people. Missionaries played a major role in transforming the native communities. Missionaries believed they were helping the inhabitants by “converting and civilizing” the indigenous. They also used their power to exploit any resources they could find to benefit the church and their home land. However, while they worked with authority to take over land and culture, they often had conflict with the brutal treatment that authorities inflicted on the native people. Missionaries had many views on converting. Some thought “that indigenous people were subhuman and should be controlled… others assumed that indigenous people were … capable of intelligent thought and reasoning” (Bonvillain 2013). Missionaries claimed they were enlightening the people and used economic and political arguments to convert them. If the natives were to convert they awarded them with favorable trading and provided guns for their use. Missionaries also encouraged Christia...
When the six British missionaries arrive, they arrive very rude. They came to show the Umuofians that there is only one God, yet he tells the villagers that they are all brothers and sons of God. The white man accuses the Mbanta village of worshipping false Gods of wood and stone. He asks, “We have been sent by this great God to ask you to leave your wicked ways and false gods and turn on Him so that you may be saved when you die.” The British pushed their God onto the Mbanta, stayed in their town, and requested for a piece of land to build a church; and soon enough, the church is winning time and time again, getting more and more converts. “We do not ask for the wealth because he that has health and children will also have wealth. We do not pray to have money but to have more kinsmen. We are better than animals because we have kinsmen. ...
During the Western Imperialism era there were many changes made in Africa. One of the major changes that took place was that of religion. Most of the African tribes had their own religion and it was most of the time, polytheistic, with many Gods. When the Europeans came to these villages they brought the religi...
During the time period of the Spanish Conquest of the New World the native indigenous population underwent transformations in both their physical and spiritual lives. As Spanish missionaries and Spanish settlers attempted to change the New World to follow Christine doctrine and exploit or discover new economic and agricultural resources, the native population was left to fend for themselves against these violent foreigners. However, during the duration of the Conquest, activists such as Bartolome de Las Casas, Jose de Acosta, and Bernardino de Sahgun appear and play a crucial part in the preservation of many of the native people. Through the analysis of each activist’s distinctive characteristics, individual projects or writings, and overall approaches to the issue of conduct with the natives, it is shown their effectiveness of their activism battled with the limitations that each activist faced. Along with the analysis of Bartholeme De Las Casas and his outward activism supporting the physical well-being of the natives, the efforts of various other Catholic missionaries such as Jose de Acosta and Miguel Sahgun also provided additional knowledge and understanding of the indigenous people conveying an alternate approach of activism that attempted to provide an easier conversion of natives from their Ancient religion to Christianity.
...es of achieving great wealth. As Christian missionaries continuously attempted to convert people, conflicts arose when converted Africans rejected their community’s beliefs.
As a result of these changes, many African people adopted different strategies to ensure their own survival. Some Africans living outside cash crop producing areas found that they could get away with no contact with the Europeans. Others found loopholes, exploiting the system that the colonial government was enforcing upon them, due to the fact that the government was ignorant of specific regions histories. They struggled when the Europeans began breaking up their historical states and threatened their land. Some adapted to the changes and pursued Western education in Christianity wile holding on to their own beliefs. Creoles played a large role in the westernizing of Africa and the Christianizing of Africa. Much like before, the African’s were faced with the same racial ignorance. The Europeans soon replaced the archbishops and superintendents with Europeans, so the Africans responded by breaking away and forming their own churches. After seeing this occurring, the Europeans began to incorporate aspects of African ideas into their literature, showing their tolerance for African social institutions like polygyny and idea of an extended family. Meanwhile, Islam was spreading more rapidly than Christianity through Africa. Africans embraced Islam as part of a protest toward the Europeans. Islam offered Africans a wide view of the
... convert them by any means necessary. The idea that conversion made for a bettering of the people also aided in taking to harsh treatment. As for the actions taken against the natives, violence, murder, and rape were among the many. Such acts are fairly barbaric, not expected of a civilized society. Also, these actions are contradictory to Christian doctrine making them even more controversial.
I can’t decide whether to be livid or laugh at the ignorance and male, white entitlement this quote represents. I’m fully aware that that was the context in which many at the time were moving in, and that not all missionaries were out to destroy and pillage. But I am really wanting to know who decided that their indigenous lifestyle was hedonistic or wrong. Perhaps, my question is more rhetorical than anything, for sadly, control and fear always seem to rue the day. But it frosts me to think that once again, a bunch of white men decided the fate or faith of a whole people all in the name of God.