In Things Fall Apart we witnessed the destruction of a traditional native culture. More specifically we witnessed the challenge and weakening of Igbo spirituality, as well as the death of the tribe's livelihood. The apparent cause can be found in a seemingly good intended mission acting as a gateway for the intrusion of a foreign government, and its quest to conquer and domesticate a self-sustaining, prosperous culture. Although the Igbo downfall was caused primarily by the invasion of "Christian missionaries," their own religious doctrine and passivity played a significant role in allowing the initial infiltration of an alien religion, and the final dissolution of a once prosperous culture.
It is also critical to consider if this downfall could have been prevented or channeled to produce a positive outcome. History tends to repeat itself within specific cultures, and this is possibly the most valuable tool we can harness to provide us a means of escaping the destruction of the mistakes we have made in the past.
In Things Fall Apart the Igbo village Umuofia fell apart in two distinct fashions. The first aspect of Igbo culture to break down was the village's spirituality, which was led by the arrival of the Christian mission. Second, this mission acted as a channel to allow a new government to infiltrate Umuofia and challenge the laws and customs that held together the former Igbo way of life.
Igbo spirituality weakened in two waves. First Christianity provided answers that the inhabitants of Umuofia and Mbanta were seeking. At the end of Part One Obierika's thoughts are expressed:
Obierika was a man who thought about things. When the will of the goddess h...
... middle of paper ...
...ent the total destruction of Umuofia, it is important to remember that it is impossible for societies to stay static. Our world is growing at an exponential rate and it is inevitable that the boundaries of different cultures will someday overlap; but perhaps it is not really a loss after all. In Chinua Achebe's words:
. . . the world is changing so fast around us, and a lot of it we are not in control of, but what we do control I think we should think about seriously. . . . Where one story stands, bring another one to stand beside it, and if that's a better story, then it should displace the bad one. I think that's the way it should be. If on the other hand, it is necessary to have the two of them side by side, then you don't lose anything. (Interview with Rob Baker and Ellen Draper)
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Oxford: Heinemann, 1986.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Throughout life, people are constantly learning to adapt culturally and politically, to the world around them. Overtime, we find it easier to cope with more changes more often, because we have learned to adapt quickly. We don’t all cope identically, some better than others. By using different strategies to cope, we make a difference in our life and the lives around us. In the three books, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a novel about a child in a small Southern town that is involved in a crisis of conscience.... [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe]
1039 words (3 pages)
- Throughout life, people have constantly been learning to adapt culturally and politically, to the world around them. Overtime, we find it easier to cope with more changes more often, because we have learned to adapt quickly. We don’t all cope identically, some better than others. By using different strategies to cope, we make a difference in the lives around us. In the three books, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a novel about a child in a small Southern town that is involved in a crisis of conscience.... [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe]
1037 words (3 pages)
- Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe like any other novel has its changes and progressions. When the novel first starts out it talks about Unoka. Then it goes to his son Okonokwo who is the main character and who the book is mainly about. It then talks about Nwoye who is the son of Okonokwo. Another is Ikemefuna who has to live in this village because of a crime who his father commits. It shows how much the tribe changes during these years and how it affects the lives of these four men. First it starts out with Unoka.... [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, changes, time, ]
554 words (1.6 pages)
- INTRODUCTION Suri people of south west Ethiopia is a cattle-centered culture where the riches and status of a family is determine by the amount of cattle they have. The cattle are used for milk and blood which is consumed by the people, as a wedding gift and not to be eaten unless there is big ceremony is in place. Suri villages range between 40 until 2500 people. Suri are famous for their stick-fighting skills, a sport, martial arts and highly dangerous activities done by the Suri men. They believe that engaging this activity will let them used to the pain as the Suri are always under threat from neighboring tribes for land.... [tags: The Suri Tribe]
928 words (2.7 pages)
- This paper addresses the results of interviews, observations, and research of life in the Ottawa tribe, how they see themselves and others in society and in the tribe. I mainly focused on The Little River Band of Ottawa Indian tribe. I researched their languages, pecking order, and interviewed to discover the rituals, and traditions that they believe in. In this essay I revealed how they see themselves in society. How they see other people, how they see each other, what their values were, what a typical day was etc.... [tags: Native American Tribe, America]
1218 words (3.5 pages)
- 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]
1172 words (3.3 pages)
- All women desire beauty. As myriads of women seek a perfect body shape and attractiveness, they will have interest in having weight loss treatment. In fact, losing weight has come into a vogue. People, especially female, do not take their weight into serious account but follow the others blindly and participate in weight loss programmes. Patently, the main culprit of this phenomenon is the omnipresent weight loss advertisements. The slimming companies use advertising as a tool to inculcate the concept that being thin is equal to beauty into people’ minds.... [tags: Weight Loss, Advertising, weight, ]
1073 words (3.1 pages)
- (750)The Masai Tribe: An analysis of Non-Kinship Traditions in African Tribes in Age, Skill, and Residence The importance of non-kinship traditions in African tribes is part of the way in which social and political organizations are formed through age, skill sets, and residency. The separation of members of the society can determine the age set of the individual, and the political power that they wield in certain social situations. The Masai tribe is sub-Sahara Africa defines the role of age sets for men, which determine boys, warriors, and elders in the community,.... [tags: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, African people, Tribe]
800 words (2.3 pages)
- Cultural Rape In Things Fall Apart In Things Fall Apart, Achebe shows the ruthlessness of the missionaries in pursuit of new converts. Domestic support for the missions depended in large measure upon the tangible success of their preaching, 'success' being reflected in the numbers of conversions. This relentless focus on "success" caused the "cultural rape" of the people of Umuofia. Achebe even hints at their use of bribery and blackmail in their endeavours. He tells us, 'the white missionary had set up a school to teach young Christians to read and write' (126).... [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]
1370 words (3.9 pages)
- Things Fall Apart That year the harvest was sad, like a funeral, and many farmers wept as they dug up the miserable and rotting yams. One man tied his cloth to a tree branch and hanged himself. Okonkwo remembered that tragic year with a cold shiver throughout the rest of his life. It always surprised him when he thought of it later that he did not sink under the load of despair. He knew that he was a fierce fighter, but that year had been enough to break the heart of a lion. "Since I survived that year," he always said, "I shall survive anything." He put it down to his inflexible will. His father, Unoka, who was then an ailing man, had said to him during that terrible harve... [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]
1503 words (4.3 pages)