Imperialism: Things Fall Apart Compared to Primary Sources

Imperialism: Things Fall Apart Compared to Primary Sources

Length: 1256 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Imperialism: "Things Fall Apart" Compared to Primary Sources

Imperialism is the act of a larger more powerful country taking over a smaller weaker country. Imperialism was very evident in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Africa, an up and coming country was a gargantuan country and just waiting to be taken over. At one point in time the entire continent was taken over by imperialist nations. The novel "Things Fall Apart" written by Chinua Achebe tells about the trials and tribulations of African people and their country during imperialist times. There are a number of primary sources that I have read that talk about imperialism throughout Africa. This essay will be a comparison between the primary sources I have read and the novel by Achebe.

"Records of the Maji Maji Uprising" is the first primary source dealing with imperialism. It happened in 1905 in Tanganyika, Africa. This was one of the first battle with early colonial reign in Africa. The Africans were told if they applied Maji (holy water) that they would be invincible to bullets (1).
1. G.C.K. Gwassa, John Iffle, Records of the Maji Maji Uprising, Sources of Twentieth-century Global History (Copyright 2002 by Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved) Pg. 14-17

This made Africans upset because of the fact that they would have to pay

taxes to the country that was imperializing them. Germany was the

country that took them over, and now they were placing taxes on the

country that was not even theirs. This relates to "Things Fall Apart"

because all the different villages had their own set of traditions and values

and as the villages all became imperialized by Great Britain everything was

new, and they had to adjust their normal lifestyles to fit that of Great

Britain. In result of imperialism, many villages and tribes fell apart,

including families started to break away as well. Imperialism as a whole

brought down Africa, and as a result was extremely detrimental to the way

of life in Africa.

Much like the United States in the 1950's and 60's, Africa had its fair

share of discrimination. An example from "Things Fall Apart" would be

when the white man was spotted riding a "iron horse". Later we find out

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Imperialism: Things Fall Apart Compared to Primary Sources." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Oct 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=157079>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Damage Caused by Western Imperialism Essay

- In asserting themselves through trade and through imperialism, Western cultures have damaged the world, devastating scores of cultures by imposing their own identity on them. Although colonizers have forms of assistance to offer, such as advanced technology, modern medicine, and education, colonialism has effectively subjugated and obliterated scores of people as evidenced by this list of sources and histor-ical events. Effectively, the lengthy history of European imperialism dates back to the twelfth and thir-teenth centuries, in which the Christian Western Europe embarked on a series of religiously sanctioned military Holy Crusades to restore control of the Holy Land....   [tags: Western Imperialism Essays]

Research Papers
1219 words (3.5 pages)

The Collapse Of European Imperialism Essay

- Social Studies are my intended content I plan to teach upon graduation. Over the years I have grew a love for US History but Global History is far more captivating especially because I am learning about countries other than the one I live in. After carefully reading the New York State Content Social Studies Framework I have decided to span on a unit focused on the 20th century since 1945 on a global perspective. There are many themes to this topic but I will focus on the Collapse of European imperialism....   [tags: Colonialism, Africa, 20th century, Nelson Mandela]

Research Papers
818 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Colonization Explored in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

- Written by Chinua Achebe, “Things Fall Apart” describes European imperialism through the eyes of the Nigerian tribesmen as they interact with European colonists. What makes this piece of literature valuable is not the fact that it criticizes imperialism; it is the way in which it criticizes imperialism. Achebe portrays the African tribes as having very rich civilized and social cultures, not as being animalistic savages, which other literatures would lead one to believe. Because of this, the reader is able to connect with the mindset of an African native....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1431 words (4.1 pages)

Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essays

- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a book depicting the life of a man named Okonkwo who had lost everything through a series of misfortunate events. The book begins by explaining Okonkwo’s Father and his beliefs. Okonkwo’s Father was a man who was always indebted to another and always sought the happiness of this world even if it cost him more than he could afford. His Father, Unoka, was not a respected official of the African tribe they were apart of and was looked upon as a fool who was weak for giving in to temptation of this world....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Writing, Okonkwo]

Research Papers
786 words (2.2 pages)

Religion in Things Fall Apart Essay

- For many people, religion is a very touchy subject. For most, it is a personal decision; people choose a faith that aligns with their beliefs, ideas, and faiths. Although people would like to think that religion is a personal decision, and they can adapt it to how they feel and what they believe, in practice, that is not the case. Religion represents a commitment to a set of principles that are not moldable, adaptable, or flexible. Religion, although it may be a personal belief, it is extremely defined, with little to no room for flexibility....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1078 words (3.1 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)

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

- More than those of any other African writer, Chinua Achebe’s writings have helped to develop what is known as African literature today. And the single book which has helped him to launch his "revolution" is the classic, Things Fall Apart.  The focus of this essay includes: 1) Achebe's portraiture of women in his fictional universe, the existing sociocultural situation of the period he is depicting, and the factors in it that condition male attitudes towards women; 2) the consequences of the absence of a moderating female principle in his fictions; 3) Achebe's progressively changing attitude towards women s roles; and 4) feminist prospects for African women....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]

Research Papers
3611 words (10.3 pages)

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay examples

- Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart The last chapter of Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" concludes with the sentence: "He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger." This refers to the District Commissioner's chosen title for a book he has written that would have the African people, the Igbo tribe specifically, as the main subject. From the title itself, one can say that the writer has an unfavorable bias against his subject....   [tags: Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart]

Research Papers
1060 words (3 pages)

Gender in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay

- This paper will look at the contradictions in the work of Chinua Achebe in relation to his placement of woman and femininity. Kristen Holst Petersen states that ‘the African discussion is between feminist emancipation versus the fight against neo-colonialism, particularly in its cultural aspect...which comes first, the fight for female equality or the fight against Western cultural imperialism’. This paper will attempt to highlight these contradictions in relation to Achebe’s Things Fall Apart....   [tags: Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart Essays]

Research Papers
1875 words (5.4 pages)

Theme Elements in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essays

- Theme Elements in Things Fall Apart Achbe, in the novel Things Fall Apart, conveys a flavor of traditional African culture in the 1800`s. But despite this, it seems the tragedy of okonkwo that embodies the theme of the novel. Many of Achebe`s themes are not limited to the events in his novel, but relate to SITUATIONS, in which traditional values are questioned and people from different cultures meet, the most profound impact being related to the themes of religion and justice.              Like any good religion, the Igbo religion comes with many superstitions....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]

Free Essays
1354 words (3.9 pages)


that the horse was only a bicycle. This man was extremely threatening

towards the African people. They feared that one when one white man

comes through, there would be many more to follow. The villagers soon

track down this white man and they murder him. The Africans were correct

in assuming that there would be more white men to come. The other white

men found out what happened to their friend and became irate. They

destroyed the village, leaving absolutely nothing. This compares to one of

the primary sources I read by Martin Luther King Jr. "Letter From

Birmingham Jail" was the title. He wrote the essay as he sat in his jail cell

for leading a civil rights demonstration. He stated that he wanted racial

justice for everyone living in the United States (2). Still to this day racism

is still in effect, just not to the extreme that it was in the past.

Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem, "The White Man's Burden". This

poem is about Kipling's idea that imperialism should be used more

throughout the world. He wrote the poem after the United States took over

in the Philippines soon after the Spanish-American war. He says that he

does not agree on taking over the entire country, but to at least imperialize

the land. He feels that the white man is superior and should to some

extent control all (3). In "Things Fall Apart" Achebe feels that non whites

should be seen as equals.. They should be able to control their own

country and not have to be bothered by imperialist nations.

In the source "Lord Lugard Justifies Imperialism and Indirect Rule in

Africa" stated by Lord Lugard, the Nigerian governor feels the same way

as Kipling feels. He was very much for colonial expansion (4). Kipling and

2. Dr Martin Luther King, Letter From Birmingham Jail, Sources of Twentieth Century Global History.( Copyright 2002 by Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved) Pg. 293-296

3. Rudyard Kipling, The White Man's Burden, Traditions and Encounters, (Copyright
2006,2003,2000.All Rights Reserved) Pg.914

4. Frederick D. Lugard. Lord Lugard Justifies Imperialism and Indirect Rule in Africa, Traditions and Encounters, (Copyright 2006,2003,2000. All Rights Reserved) Pg. 924

Lugard are both on the same wave length with imperialism but Achebe

however is completely against it.

African American movements have gotten much better from years

past. However, because of years past their will always be a stereotype

when it comes to comparing Africans to Caucasians. The African race will

always be second. During the 1900's there were many attempts to have

equality and some have worked. However, all of the civil rights

movements happened in the United States and the United States alone.

What about the rest of the world? Even society today realizes that this is

the white man's world. It is sad but true.

Woman and their families were greatly effected by imperialistic

countries as well. In "Social Conditions Among Bantu Women and Girls"

primary source by Charlotte Maxeke explains how women were in charge

of planting, yard work, food preparation, and child care. When imperialism

hit cash-cropping agriculture came into effect (5). Because of this life for

women and children became worse. This lead to as I stated before the

breaking of families. Women were being worked hard and so were the

men, they seemed to never be around each other anymore. "Things Fall

Apart" has many similarities too. Becoming imperialized became very

5. Charlotte Maxebe, Social Conditions Among Bantu Women and Girls, Sources of Twentieth Century Global History. (Copyright 2002 by Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved) Pg. 181-184

hectic and frustrating for Okonkwo and his fellow tribe members. Okonkwo

was considered a leader in his tribe, he was a feared man as well.

Everyone came to him for help. Okonkwo was not perfect though. He

made a terrible mistake one day and accidentally shot a Klansman. In

result of the shooting Okonkwo and his family were put into exile, and the

villagers completely destroyed everything in his possession. This included

his house, animals, and various buildings that he owned. In result of

loosing all his possessions it tore apart his very large family that included

many sons, all ranging from three different wives.

In conclusion, this paper I have talked about what imperialism is

and how it effected Africa and the rest of the world as well. Through

reading various primary sources related to imperialism and also reading

the novel "Things Fall Apart", it is evident that there are many similarities

between the two. Imperialism in result changed the world, and on top of

that changed many people's lives for better and for most the worse.
Return to 123HelpMe.com