Fall Of Umuofia

Fall Of Umuofia

Length: 1550 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Fall of Umuofia
Chinua Achebe's novel "Things Fall Apart" is a story that illustrates the effects of a new Christian religion in a tribal village in Africa. It is a well distinguished culture and has a value system that continued for many years as they trace back into their ancestry. However, a conflict arises when the culture suddenly starts to fade and modern tribesmen allow white missionaries to intrude on their system and convert many of the tribe's younger members to the Christian faith. The tribal system eventually falls apart because younger members are not able to remember people of the past or unable to relate to violence when they have lived in safety and peace. They then become uninterested in a faith that does not fulfill their needs for music, joy and love, instead of focusing on the obedience of a higher being.
Okonkwo could remember to another time when children, like his own son, were not lazy. He could also remember the laziness 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 father.
"Fortunately, among these people a man was judged by his worth and not according to the worth of his father. Okonkwo was clearly cut out for great things. He was still young but he had won the fame as the greatest wrestler in the nine villages. He was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and had just married his third wife. To crown it all he had taken two titles and had shown incredible prowess in two inter-tribal wars" (8).
Okonkwo becomes a man with great strength and personality, achieves his goal to
become rich and famous, a privilege that was unseen before in his family. Age was also an extremely important and greatly valued among his people, but success was honored. "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 elders" (8). This was Okonkwo's drive in life and so he remained successful and worked twice as hard to prove to others that he was not the same man as his father. Unfortunately, this was not a mutual feeling in the clan, and Okonkwo, in trying to make up for his father's mistakes, took on the responsibilities of an older man as a young boy which led to him having the mindset of an elder in the community.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Fall Of Umuofia." 123HelpMe.com. 27 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=161372>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Women of Umuofia in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay

- The Women of Umuofia in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart   The only women respected in Umuofia are those like Chielo, the priestess of the Oracle of the Hills and Caves, who is removed from the pale of normalcy. Clothed in the mystic mantle of the divinity she serves, Chielo transforms from the ordinary; she can reprimand Okonkwo and even scream curses at him: "Beware of exchanging words with Agbala [the name of the Oracle of the Hills and Caves]. Does a man speak when a God speaks. Beware!" (95)....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays Females Achebe ]

Research Papers
1991 words (5.7 pages)

Converting the Umuofia People to Christianity in Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe

- There are many different religions in the world but they are all capable of doing similar things. Religion plays a significant role in the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. In this book religion is important to the people of Umuofia ,which is the village where the protagonist, Okonkwo lives. The people of the village believed there was only one religion ,and when another religion was introduced to them they would not believe in it. This religion was Christianity. During the novel the power of religion both guides and destroys the society of Umuofia....   [tags: religion, society , Igbo]

Research Papers
766 words (2.2 pages)

Things Fall Apart by Chinau Achebe Essay

- The Berlin Conference of 1902, concentrates on the way European countries can go about colonizing Africa. Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, follows a man through the colonization of his clan in Umuofia. Throughout the novel, there are specific references to how the European powers were able to take over and settle in Africa. The main cause of European colonization is the use of religion and their missionaries. Christianity uses three tactics to colonize Africa: gaining ground through outcast converts, the setup of a government, and the economic value that the church brings....   [tags: christianity, colonizing africa, umuofia]

Research Papers
991 words (2.8 pages)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Okonkwo Essay

- In the book Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo comes across as a tough, proud leader of the Umuofia clan. He is well respected and many people look up to him. He has strong beliefs regarding his village and he prioritizes the laws and the well being of the clan ahead of his own feelings. His father had an impact on his life that changed his mind set to feeling that he constantly needs to prove himself and his courage. Once the village is taken over by the white men, he takes his own life because he cannot bear to see his people forced to go against what they believe....   [tags: umuofia clan, village, father]

Free Essays
577 words (1.6 pages)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay

- Umuofia is a village in Africa, and the inhabitants there are usually united. However, when the Christians arrive and permeate the village, the clan changes but also falls apart. The novel in which this story takes place is called Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The story is about a well-respected man named Okonkwo who has three wives and many children, the oldest being Nwoye. Okonkwo is banished for seven years from Umuofia, and during those seven years, Umuofia is changed fundamentally by the Christian faith....   [tags: african village, Umuofia]

Research Papers
946 words (2.7 pages)

Masculinity in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Okonkwo Essay

- Things Fall Apart: Okonkwo’s Masculinity The Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a straight to the point story, embedded with interesting elements that capture readers’ attention. In my view, when I read the story, I found many interesting things about the theme of the book. But The Masculinity Okonkwo was what captures my attention. The story opens up to a Traditional Igbo lifestyle, a theme which is highly stylized from its ritual to the actions performed for certain ceremonies. Most of the action Igbo tribe has been an attempt to show respect to the gods, for example, when ikemefuna became sick and his stomach swelled up their traditions says that he take them to the evil forest and kil...   [tags: igbo lifestyles, umuofia village]

Research Papers
1830 words (5.2 pages)

Universal Symbolism in Things Fall Apart Essay

- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a novel written to highlight the intriguing lives and misconceptions that are often identified with African culture. Achebe writes Things Fall Apart from the African view, a foreign perspective that sees westerners as the outsiders and Africans as the insiders. Focusing on a clan in lower Nigeria, Achebe profiles the clash of cultures that erupts when white Christians colonize and spread their religious ideals. Achebe is able to make his book so popular to the entire world because of his expert use of symbols like drums, locusts, and fire....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1172 words (3.3 pages)

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

- “Tragedy arouses not only pity but also fear…” Things Fall Apart doesn’t tell you what “has” happened it shows you what is going to happen. In Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe is dramatizing what may happen and what was happening. The District commissioner suggested a book title at the end of the book. I think the book title’s main purpose was to suggest what may happen.”…The Pacification of the Lower Niger Tribes.” A tragedy has a protagonist, the protagonist is someone who is renowned or prosperous, and has a change of fortune from good to bad or vice versa....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about An Analysis of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

- Chinua Achebe is well known as the father of African literature. His first novel, “Things Fall Apart” is an interesting story full of tragedy, which takes place in Umuofia, Nigeria in the 19th century. Achebe sought to correct European writers who were misrepresenting Africans and life in Nigeria. According to Nnoromele (2000), the Igbo clan is a self-sufficient, complex, and vigorous group of African people. Achebe wrote “Things Fall Apart” to accurately represent the conflict between Nigeria’s white colonial government and the culture of the native Igbo people....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1637 words (4.7 pages)

Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Essay

- During the mid 1800s and 1900s, the continent of Africa was being invaded by European superpower nations such as Great Britain, France, and others. The proper act was named as Colonialism which according to my lecture notes means: “a racially based system of political, economical, and cultural domination forced on an indigenous majority by a technological superior foreign minority” (Zeitler). For instance, many European nations enforced imperialism on the continent of Africa because of its recently discovered natural resources which would be beneficial for their countries, and Europeans used western education and religion as a moral “cover” for their easy access to the native African’s land...   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1595 words (4.6 pages)

Related Searches


Okonkwo's son, Nwoye, definitely did not have the same work ethic and was not working to prove his manhood to the rest of the village. So, for Okonkwo to expect hard work ethics from his son by nature was not realistic, because Okonkwo's work ethic was without doubt not one of an inherited result either. It certainly does not help when Ikemefuna moves in with them because Okonkwo sees quite a bit of himself in him, which makes Nwoye seem even less of a hard worker. This work ethic however, is an essential value in the community and when younger members of the generation do not feel that they are responsible for the tribe's lasting existence; they may not feel that taking part in the village life is needed. Then again, Okonkwo's work ethic is much stronger than the normal that is necessary for the tribe to continue to do well. As a result, leads to Okonkwo beating Nwoye for only giving the minimum amount of work expected of him. Perhaps Nwoye turns to Christianity because he feels that, in his tribe, he is looked at as a failure. Maybe he feels that he would not be an adequate member and would not be able to meet the standards necessary for the tribe to succeed, therefore turning to the missionaries who were accepting of everyone, even those who had been officially exiled from the village.
Okonkwo's father was always optimistic and even though he had been lazy; he assured his son that he would succeed in life. "Do not despair. I know you will not despair. You have a manly and a proud heart. A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone (24-25). However it is easy to see that in washing his hands entirely of his father's ways, Okonkwo also washed away the values of compassion, supporting the ones near to him and the love to take time out and relax.
In the book we saw that there are times when Nwoye would like to hear stories. He likes stories about life and the moral lessons they can offer him to keep himself from making the same types of mistakes. Okonkwo likes him to listen to stories of war and of fear, "[m]asculine stories of violence and bloodshed" (53), the blood of his past and of his ancestors. "Nwoye knew that it was right to be masculine and to be violent, but somehow he still preferred the stories that his mother used to tell, and which she no doubt still told to her younger children" (53). This type of violence had not occurred during the children's time in the village. Fighting for their lives and village was a thing of the past, extreme measures that were taken by their ancestors to hold on to and cherish. It was something that the children could not relate to and were unable to find interest in. It is more likely that like Nwoye, many children preferred the stories told by their mothers. These stories based on events in real life were something that every child could relate to within his or her life. They were able to find reason and meaning and link the moral lessons to the events they would take in their own lives as they grew up.
Jesus often taught his disciples through parables in Christianity. They were stories that were simple to follow because they were based on everyday events in peoples' lives. They were not necessarily factual stories and were never about war or violence to convey the message of courage. These are probably the stories that Nwoye and other children seemed to relate to more closely and is most likely one of the many aspects of Christianity that the people, including Nwoye, would come to love and believe in strengthening their faith in the Christian God.
There is also the idea that the younger generation, having never met their belligerent ancestors, and experiencing only passive lives in harmony with nature would automatically look to Christianity for the loving support it provides. Okonkwo and those of his time worked to please their gods in order to survive. For instance, there is an annual feast of offering to Ani, the goddess of the earth. The eldest, a man of course, would break kola nuts in order to give thanks to his ancestors before they would enjoy in their own meal. In giving thanks to their ancestors the people would also pray and ask the gods to fulfill their prayers. Uhendu, Okonkwo's uncle, does this before the final feast in leaving his motherland to return to his own society in Umuofia after seven years of exile.
"The oldest member of his extensive family was Okwonko's uncle, Uchendu. The kola nut was given to him to break, and he prayed to the ancestors. He asked them for health and children... He then broke the kola nut and threw one of the lobes on the ground for the ancestors" (165). It was necessary to offer a man's best to the gods. In Christianity, this same belief occurs as the priest sacrifices his offering of bread and wine to God in remembrance that there is a supreme ruler. Also in Christianity, followers are expected to support and honor their church, and ultimately their God.
However, Christianity's God is not a mystifying, untouchable being like the gods in Umuofia. The Christian God is a father who rules totally, but with a loving touch over his people. He listens to their needs and answers their prayers. He accepts all people unlike the villagers of Umuofia who were told that it was the gods' will to exile people for their mistakes. Therefore, many of the younger villagers in search of love and safety, and those who returned from exile, were much in favor of this new religion and so they followed the white missionaries. These missionaries were solely intending on converting the villagers so that they could organize them into a government and conquer the people quietly in the name of the Queen.
Thus, it was the white missionaries who caused the fall of Umuofia and not religion. Religion was just a tool they used to shake those who had already lost faith in their clan and their own personal worth within the clan. As a result, when the missionaries took the faith that tied them to their clan, the faith in their gods, the villagers quickly gave up their possessions to follow this loving, accepting way of life that the clan had denied them.
Return to 123HelpMe.com