Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay

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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. Many people are converted, but the whole clan is in conflict. This novel demonstrates that Christianity destroys but also guides the Ibo culture in Umuofia.
Initially, the Christians help guide the Ibo culture by giving some of the people confidence to be
successful, but, by doing so, break up family units. When Nwoye is first brought into the church, he is confused about the Trinity, as many people in Umuofia are. Nwoye is easily converted due to the relationship with his father. Nwoye surely shows him respect, but is somewhat uneasy around him without Ikemefuna. With Christianity, Nwoye has gained more confidence as well as a better life and education than before. At one point, Okonkwo gets so angry at Nwoye that Okonkwo threatens to kill him. Nwoye shows confidence by walking away. Achebe depicts, “Nwoye turned round to walk into the inner compound when his father, suddenly overcome with fury, sprang to his feet and gripped him by the neck. ‘Where have you been?’ he stammered. Nwoye struggled to free himself from the choking grip. ‘Answer me,’ roared Okonkwo, ‘before I kill you!’ He seized a heavy stick that lay on the dwarf wall and hit him two or three savage blows. ‘Answer me!’ he roared again. Nwoye stood lo...


... middle of paper ...


...contributed to their destruction with ease.
Christianity both brings the people of Umuofia closer together, yet tears them apart as well. The new religion gives confidence, unites the people, and educates, yet it fails to respect the beliefs of the Ibo culture, puts the people down, and destroys many family units, including Okonkwo’s. This story reminds us that when new faiths are brought into and shared with other cultures of the world, they need to be shared respectfully and within the confines of the native culture. Faith should not be shared with other cultures with the intention to change and displace native cultures. If gospels and religions are not shared like this, more groups, cultures or even nations could fall apart like Umuofia.



Works Cited
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. 1st ed. Heinemann Educational Publishers, 1958. 132-155. Print.



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