Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

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'"But the times have changed, and we [the clan] must be fully prepared." ' (Achebe 259). The novel takes place in a civilized, African community known as Umuofia, a village in South Africa. It emphasizes the conflict between the village people and the arrival of the missionaries. Before they arrive, the culture of Umuofia is based on the strength and power of the title-holding clansmen, such as the main character Okonkwo. When the missionaries arrive, the values of Umuofia are changed and power is stripped from the elders of the clan and obtained by the Christians. In Chinua Achebe 's novel Things Fall Apart, the author discusses the arrival of the missionaries ultimately producing a negative effect on the villagers, in order to teach the reader that a great and immediate change can cause chaos to society, destroy traditions, and put strain on relationships, ultimately resulting in failure.
The first change in society occurred when Obierika foreshadows the changes in the thoughts of the villagers with the influence of the missionaries by rethinking the rules and norms of society given by the gods, before the arrival of the missionaries. In Umuofia, twins were believed to be evil, therefore, they were thrown away into the Evil Forest at their birth. “He remembered his wife’s twin children, whom he had thrown away. What crime had they committed?” (Achebe 174). He rethinks these norms and realizes that they are not ethical. He believes that the twins did nothing wrong, so they should not be punished and thrown away to suffer just because the gods say so. He is the first respectable and powerful man to rethink and feel opposed to the rules of society as well as the gods who ordered the rules. These thoughts foreshadow the arriva...


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...ms, and the same government. But, upon the arrival of the missionaries, people converted to a new religion, had different norms and morals, and had assisted the missionaries in creating a new government which lead to inevitable failure.
In the novel, Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe, missionaries arrive in the small African village of Umuofia and ultimately produce a negative effect by causing chaos within the society, placing a strain on relationships, and destroying the traditions and norms. The village once emphasized strength, had a unified religion, a unified set of traditions and norms, and followed the same government system. When the missionaries arrived, the tables turned and everything changed. The white men may have provided Unuofia with some positive aspects, but overall, the society has changed in a negative way, and will never be the same.

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