Cultural Differences In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Culture makes us who we are. Each individual has their own culture from their experiences in life and is developed from societal influences. The various cultures around the world influence us in different ways which we experience at least once in our lifetime. There are occasions, especially in history, where cultures clash with one another. For instance, the English colonization in Africa changed their culture. Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart, portrayed this change in the Igbo people’s society, especially through the character Okonkwo in the village of Umuofia; the introduction of Western ideas challenged him. In the novel Things Fall Apart, the author Chinua Achebe introduces to us Okonkwo whose character’s response to the…show more content…
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…show more content…
It challenged his identity by losing his high title in the clan due to the change in the village as well as new customs. He responded to the clash of cultures by attempting to encourage others to fight in his mission to get rid of the Western influences in the Ibo community. Because he failed to do so, he lost hope and refused to accept the new culture which caused him to hang himself. The conflict between Okonkwo and his clan’s decision to change their way of living was portrayed through characterization and plot development. Achebe gives the people of Africa a voice with Okonkwo’s character who stayed true to his roots. In Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe reveals to us Okonkwo’s response as the cultural collision of the English and Ibo challenged his sense of

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