Things Fall Apart by Chinau Achebe Essay

Things Fall Apart by Chinau Achebe Essay

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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.
Without the patronage of some converts the Christian church would not have lasted, or had an impact in Umuofia. Achebe describes the situation of the missionaries gaining their first converts when writing, “None of his converts was a man whose word was heeded in the assembly of the people. None of them was a man of title. They were mostly the kind of people that were called efulelfu, worthless, empty men” (143). The town did not mind losing the outcasts to the new religion; they were not wanted in the society anyways. While the Christian church gained support in Umuofia through the outcast class. The people that the clan did not care about leaving converted to Christianity; allowing the church to have members. The more people the church gained the more power it held.
By relating to and teaching the outcasts the ways of Christianity the colonists were able to convince more people (not just outcasts) that Christianity held power. Through his narrator Achebe insists that, ‘The church has come and led many astray. Not only the low-born and the outcast but sometimes a worthy man had joined it” (174). Therefore, they gained more converts, including ones...


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...d the colonization of Umuofia as an example of what happened to the rest of Africa’s clans. First, colonization took hold due to the early converts made up of outcasts. Secondly, colonization was able to survive through the setup of a government. This government would be able to control the people of Umuofia; they would start to follow the customs and morals of Christianity and Europeans. Lastly, colonization brought forth economic prosperity for the people in Umuofia. They were now able to trade and make a great profit for themselves whether they were Christians or not. These three points of strategy allowed the Europeans to come into Umuofia and colonize the area; without one of the three strategies it is unknown if the Europeans would have been able to colonize Africa.



Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor Books, 1959. Print.

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