Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

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The classic African literary tale Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe, is a brilliant account of historical African culture and the destruction colonialism can cause upon such cultures. As the reader follows the narrative and complexity of the characters through the novel, a sense of pride, trust, and faith in history emerges. Yet, with the introduction of colonialism the characters must learn to embrace and adapt to a new culture and set of beliefs or face termination from society. The novel explores the troubles of African cultures and their adaptation to colonialism. As the novel progresses, one can also observe the influence of religion throughout history and how it has changed the face of many societies. Although many readers would describe the collision of culture and colonialism in Africa as inevitable; a closer examination of this novel would suggest that the need(s) of human nature to expand their values and beliefs upon others causes ancient cultures to evolve or fade out of existence. Things Fall Apart was set in the time period of the 1890’s, when colonialism was beginning in Africa and the effect would be felt for many years throughout the African nation. Chinua Achebe was born and raised in the 1930’s in Nigeria and was the son of a father and a mother who converted to Christianity. Achebe was raised during a period of tension in Africa, caused by the height of colonialism and western culture influence upon African societies (Liukkonen, 2008). Achebe was a firsthand witness, to the troubles and tribulations associated with religion and colonialism upon ancient customs. These customs, rites, and troubles were expressed beautifully in the novel Things Fall Apart; as were the destruction by western man ... ... middle of paper ... ...d we have also witnessed cultures press upon each other their own values in an attempt to control others. History plays an important role in human culture, upon reading Things Fall Apart we can witness human natures incestuous need to press upon others their own beliefs, values, and customs. We can also witness through Okonkow, that a failure to adapt to a changing society, can cause even the strongest and proudest of men to fall apart when it appears to them that everything around them is falling apart to. Things Fall Apart is a tireless tale of human’s nature’s ultimate struggle with evolution. As we move forward year after year the world we live in continues to evolve around us. As these new evolutions are introduced through religion and colonialism, societies are faced with the ultimate choice to evolve or fade out of existence, letting things fall apart.

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