Things Fall Apart - White Missionaries Caused Umofia to Fall Apart
Faith has always been a guiding force in man's life. Chinua
Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart is a story that describes the effects of a
new Christian religion in a tribal village of Africa. The tribe has their
own language, known as Obi, a dignified culture and a value system that has
continued for many years as they trace back into their ancestry. Yet,
voids that this culture can no longer fill for modern tribesmen enable
white missionaries to intrude upon this system and convert many of the
tribe's younger members to the Christian faith. The tribal system falls
apart because younger members are unable to remember persons of the past,
unable to relate to violence when they have lived in safety and peace and
are uninterested in a faith that does not fulfill their needs for music,
joy and love, instead of discipline of a higher being.
Okonkwo, the protagonist of the story, could remember to "another
time" when children, like his own son Nwoye, were not lazy. He could also
remember the indolence of his own father, Unoka, and that his father had
not received any titles as a clansman. He was determined to be a respected
farmer of yams to ward off the shame of his unsuccessful and dishonorable
Fortunately, among these people a man was judged by
his worth and not according to the worth of his father...
As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could
eat with kings. Okonkwo had clearly washed his hands
and so he ate with kings and elder...
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Nnolim, Charles E. "Achebe's Things Fall Apart: An Igbo National Epic" Modern Black Literature. ed. Okechukwu Mezu New York: Black Academy Press, 1971, 55-60.
Smith, Peter A. "The Characteristics of an "Archetypal" Tragic Hero." Kentucky State University.
Traore, Ousseynou. "Things Fall Apart; A Poetics of Epic and Mythic Paradigms." Approaches to Teaching Achebe's Things Fall Apart. ed. Bernth Lindfors. New York: MLA, 1991, 65-73.
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