Okonkwo Was A Legendary Man Of His Time Holding Many Titles

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Okonkwo was a legendary man of his time holding many titles. From the very beginning he had distinguished his masculinity from all the others in the village. He wished to prosper in the way great Igbo people always had. Okonkwo’s form, ideas, and life, all represent the African tradition and memory. The western culture and memory ruined everything that Okonkwo held dear. This was seen as early as Okonkwo’s banishment from the tribe. Okonkwo had brought his gun to a festival that was honoring the marriage of a girl in the village. That gun accidently exploded and killed a clansman. This was seen as the ultimate disgrace and was banished for seven years from the tribe. The gun, which was a western tool, had caused Okonkwo to be separated from his people. While Okonkwo is away, Christian missionaries started to settle down among the tribesman of several different villages including Mbata, where he was staying. Okonkwo was very against this, but he had been banished so he did not have a say. Eventually colonialism had gotten hungry again and started setting up courts and administration buildings among the people. The people feared the white men because of what happened in Abame, “… And they began to shoot. Everyone was killed, except for the sick and the old…” (Achebe 81). Many people did not want the white man there, but they were afraid of being killed. The new courts were enforcing the laws of Great Britain, and punishing people for doing things that just years earlier, would have been deemed acceptable. Okonkwo, being the man he was, wanted to exterminate these white men with force, despite their power. He wanted to go into the courts, the administration buildings, and the churches and kill the white men. In other words, violent ... ... middle of paper ... ... aspects of the old African identity would survive. Colonialism sought to control the people physically, economically, and spiritually. In doing so, the western memory, or the ideas and “morals” that they held were passed on to the people they had conquered and generations to come. To understand how Africa has been shaped today, one must understand both sides of the story; from both the oppressors and the oppressed point of view. In the words of Chinua Achebe, “If you only hear one side of the story, you have no understanding at all” (The Atlantic Online). Resistance kept the African memory alive. Even though colonialism forever changed Africa, it had failed to control the people fully. The attitudes of resistance were passed down generation to generation, until the new African identity allowed the people to unite and free themselves from the chains of colonialism.

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