Nigerian Culture In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart Essay The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe displays a strong significance based solely on Nigerian culture and how it slowly evolved due to European immigrants. Both culture and gender play a huge role in the way of life in the Ibo village. As it was a common custom in the past, the male was dominant in the family. Achebe tells of an Igbo tribesman, Okonkwo, and his prosperous life in the village of Umuofia. Being prized of personal achievements such as defeating Amalinze the Cat, Okonkwo is expected to accomplish much more in his lifetime, but will his actions turn out to ruin his reputation and furthermore? Throughout the novel, Okonkwo displays various actions in response to the European invasion of his culture…show more content…
This crime from Okonkwo left him away from his homeland for seven years, and during his escape, his old culture would soon be evolved. This unintentional action also played a domino effect, first moving his family away and having his home destroyed, then having his son, Nwoye turn back on him and become a missionary in Umuofia joining the white culture. Achebe describes how Nwoye declines Okonkwo being his father towards Obierika who is doing favors for the family (144). Hearing this, his father seems to not be harmed and is disappointed in his son. These missionaries began assembling into Umuofia, convincing the clansmen that there is only one God, and He is the creator of everything unlike what the clansmen had believed. They had a god for everything, but they now were being persuaded. Hearing this, Okonkwo is in shock and believes that the only way to solve the issue is to chase the men out of the village some way (Achebe 146). Nwoye is attracted to the new religion but has yet to reveal it to his father for fear of him. When Okonkwo heard the news, he is infuriated with anger. “… sprang to his feet and gripped him by the neck”…show more content…
As you see, Okonkwo was a deprived man after hearing about the whites expanding their beliefs and customs to Umuofia. Being unable to contain it, he had no choice but to give in. Okonkwo wanted to go to war and fight the invading Europeans, but he soon realized that he was the only one hungry for war. “I shall fight alone if I choose” (Achebe 201). Being the only one seeking for revenge, he had no choice but to behead the head messenger who was trying to end a clan meeting. Letting the other messengers escape, Okonkwo’s visual was the truth. “He knew that Umuofia would not go to war” (Achebe 205). Everything that he stood for was now distant. His once powerful and running clan was now weak and resistant to fight off enemies. What was the point to live when everything else had failed him and he could do nothing to resolve it? He struggled with the changes occurring in the tribe. He was known as a very strong and honorable tribesman, but when the whites arrived promoting Christianity and other tribe members began to change as a result, even his own son, he could not bear the change. While viewing the others as weak, like his father, he tries to remain strong against change however he is the only one. Killing the messenger was the last attempt to try and save the tribe from the influence of the white man. Seeing the others not join in his action, he loses hope and in desperation ends his life

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