In the novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, a cultural clash between Ibo culture and Western culture was assessed through fictional literature. Several characters reacted to this in their unique ways, either by accepting or rejecting European beliefs. However, the character Okonkwo, a proud, strong and well respected warrior in the Igbo Society had a significant reaction to the new culture. When the new, western culture comes to Igbo society, Okonkwo, of Clan Umuofia, responds by using violence as the only choice. This decision carried dire consequences, and lead to Oknonkwo’s death.
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
Although the Igbo religious may often times seem unclear. It was very evident that the religious authorities are well respected. Achebe work displays the value that the community has for the powers that be. Achebe also shows that Igbo religious authorities, such as the Oracle, seem to possess supernatural insights. He approaches the matter of Igbo religion with a sense of wonder (Draper 15).
The world in Chinua Achedes novel, Things Fall Apart, was a society in which males had control of everything, and the women had control of nothing. As wives, women were seen as property, rather than as partners to be loved and cherished. The men of the Ibo tribe usually married more than one wife because the more wives, yams, barns, and titles each Ibo man held, the more successful he was considered. These possessions determined a man's social status. An example of a man looking for social status in these ways was Nwakibie, "who had three huge barns, nine wives and thirty children, and the highest but one title which a man could take in the clan"(18). The men controlled the children and women by treating them like slaves. Their only role in the man's life was to help him achieve a higher stature by working for him. The Ibo tribe's definition of family was much different than it was in many other parts of the world in the eighteen-hundreds.
In his novel Things fall apart, Chinua Achebe depicts how British colonisers destroy the traditional Ibo life. One of the pillars of the tribe is the chain of fathers and sons together in life and after death. This is best described towards the end of the story when the protagonist Okonkwo has driven away his son, Nwoye, to the Christian church. Okonkwo is in a state of confusion and fury, afraid that his other five sons will follow Nwoye: "He saw himself and his fathers crowding round the ancestral shrine waiting in vane for worship and sacrifice and finding nothing but ashes of bygone days, and his children the while praying to the white man's god."(142) This sentence is the core of the narrative. Here the two main conflicts are exposed clearly, the father-and-son conflict, aswell as the conflict between the Ibo people and the British colonisers, embodied in disparate religious beliefs.
Things Fall Apart was written from an African perspective about Africa to show the world a more clear perspective on Igbo culture than what had been written by European colonizers. The ways in which characters think and act in their cultural environment shows the complexities of their culture. Africans were not simpletons banging rocks and sticks together like many racist colonizers would like to portray them. They had their own society based off of complex religion, familial ties of kinship, and gender roles. Their interactions with white missionaries shows they were not savages all wanting blood, but a peaceful people that when pushed and feel their way of life threatened fight back. The savages in Africa were the people like James Smith in the story who refused to open their eyes to other people’s way of life and accepting that their way of life is their choice.
Achebe chose to write his novel realistically. He includes the beauty of the Ibo's culture, as well as the gruesome. He recorded that a man might help kill his own adopted son for fear that he would be "thought weak." He also revealed that newborn twins were thrown away. Along with the "great depth" comes tragedy, but all of the details were required to make an accurate presentation of the subject. The writer must understand that the truth is not selective to the pleasant facts. The District Commissioner believed that it was important that he "be firm in cutting out the details" and decreed that a paragraph would suffice for the explanation of Okonkwo. However, Achebe, in essence, wrote an entire novel about this character. It is arrogant to believe that the complete understanding of a human being can be accomplished so easily.
In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the Ibo culture and culture today have similar and contrasting marriages. The Ibo and cultures today are similar because people can get married whenever they want. However today, people usually don't get married at young ages like the Ibo people. The Ibo culture and people today can also have as many children as they want. Both cultures usually have a lot of help from different men, women, and even children. "Some of the women cooked the yams and the cassava, and others prepared vegetable soup. Young men pounded the foo-foo or split firewood. The children made endless trips to the stream" (113). The Ibo culture had a marriage system called polygamy, which is when a man is married to several women.
The worst feeling in the world is to not belong anywhere. That is exactly what Okonkwo, the main character of Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, faces. The story begins by describing the life of Okonkwo. He starts off poor and with no status, and as the story progresses he works hard to build his reputation and a family for himself. However, things start to go sour for Okonkwo when he repeatedly breaks the rules of his clan, which eventually leads to a seven-year exile to his motherland. It is when he is in his motherland that missionaries from Britain arrive in the area. The arrival of the missionaries in Umuofia caused a great cultural shock in the area, and Achebe’s character, Okonkwo, was faced with a struggle of identity.
The religious aspect of the Ibo culture is that of both pre colonial and post colonial aspects. The pre colonial ibo worshiped many gods and above all the other gods are Chukwu were the gods below him are just messengers such as the earth goddess ala. They as well worship their ancestors that give them better harvest and luck. Then when the white men came from england and other areas bringing christianity they changed the culture of ibo and if some towns and villages did not comply to them they would wipe out most villages, an example from Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe in chapter twenty it talks about how the people of this village of Abame. Another example of this is at the end of the book in chapter twenty five the District Commissioner
Chinua Achebe born November 16, 1930, was raised in a large village by the name of Ogidi, which is in southeastern Nigeria. Raised by his parents, he excelled in school and even won a scholarship for undergraduate studies and was a graduate at the University of Ibadan. In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, He tells a story about the protagonist Okonkwo who is the leader of the Umuofia Tribe for the Igbo people. The Ibo religion has one GOD by the name of Chukwu who was the believed creator of heaven and Earth. Similarly the Oracle was a prophecy from GOD that the people must obey, and if disobeyed they shall be dammed. The Christianity religion of the western people, impacts the Igbo tribe through education, language and traditional
In Things fall apart, Chinua Achebe showed us the richness of the Igbo traditional culture as well as the destruction of it through the activities of British missionaries. The appearance of Christianity on the Nigerian tribal land led to the disintegration of belief in the Igbo society, and made way for British colonization. Were the British the only cause of the destruction of the Igbo culture? The appearance of a new religion was not the sole reason for the loss of a tradition. The Igbo people also lost their culture because of many unreasonable conceptions in their spirituality.
Okonkwo is the protagonist of this story. The weak are compared to women and the strong are compared to men in this society. Chinua Achebe tried to sketch the position and status of women in the Ibo society. In this story, Achebe gives an account of gender discrimination prevailing over the Ibo society. The novel is a depiction of Postcolonial criticism. For example, it is mostly concerned with text critiques. Post-colonialism is a concept that goes against colonialism. Therefore, pos...
It is important to note that Achebe was a product of both traditional Igbo society and the colonizing British culture. Therefore, the narrative is influenced by two strikingly opposed philosophies. The tragic hero, Okonkwo, may have been crafted to express, not only the Igbo philosophy of harmony, but the outsider interpretation of a seemingly paradoxical belief system. Achebe's representation of Okonkwo may symbolize the collision of these two conflicting philosophies.