Essay PreviewMore ↓
"The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart."
As the British colonized the areas of Nigeria inhabited by the Ibo, they brought with them their new religion of Christianity, which sought to overrun the traditional animist way of life that had endured in the area for centuries. The new religion was treated with skepticism early on, but the lure of the wealth that British traders brought into the city, along with the support of the British government and judicial system eventually displaced Ibo society completely. Although many historians make the assertion that the tribes’ conversion to Christianity by English missionaries was responsible, even noble, the truth is that the fragmentation of Ibo culture was not for the love of God, but for the love of money and power.
For the colonialists, Christianity was used as an effective wedge between the Ibo and their land. They knew that without infiltration from the inside, the people of Umofia and surrounding villages would continue to rebel against British authority in the area. By introducing Christianity into the villages, and creating conflict amongst the natives, they were able to gain a foothold into the psyches of the tribespeople. Converted Christians, having been ostracized by the rest of their communities, were forced to rely on the British for support. The presence of natives loyal to the Queen gave the British blanket jurisdiction over the entire village, and the Royal administrative and judicial system could now enforce British law over the Ibo.
Although the argument can me made that these effects were merely byproducts of a noble effort on the part of the Europeans to bring the Christian faith to Africa, more evidence suggests that the real motivation was money, not religion. The colonists had much to gain from a colonized Africa, including abundant natural resources and workers to tend farms and chop trees for the Queen. As the proverb goes, “Before the White Man came, we had the land and they had the Bible. Now we have the Bible and they have the land.
How to Cite this Page
"Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Oct 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In this book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the weather plays a very important role in the lives of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. The rain and or lack of rain demonstrate how much this tribe depends on the weather for their survival. It also affects them in several different ways such as their emotions, physical world, and the spiritual or religious world. The weather in this novel controls their crops and the river flow; which controls their food and water supply. They depend on adequate rainfall to help their crops to grow and for the river to be full.... [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, symbolism, weath]
498 words (1.4 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)
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a story about personal beliefs and customs, and also a story about conflict. There is struggle between family, culture, and the religion of the Ibo, which is all brought on by a difference in personal beliefs and customs of the Igbo and the British. There are also strong opinions of the main character, Okonkwo. We are then introduced to the views of his village, Umuofia. We see how things fall apart when these beliefs and customs are confronted by those of the white missionaries.... [tags: Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe Essays]
2074 words (5.9 pages)
- Throughout History there has been a desire for main stream white culture to explore and expand to new areas with many different objetives in mind. Many were looking for new lands that had untold riches while others were spreading cultural or religious beliefs in an attemped to gain support for their beliefs. Some times this was a welcomed addiction to foreign societies bring them new technologies and ideas to improve there life. But it was just as likely that these new additions to their culture and society would have a negative effect causing many peoples lives to be changed for ever.... [tags: Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart]
1373 words (3.9 pages)
- People Fall Apart in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Karl Marx believed that all of history could be reduced to two tiny words: class struggle. In any period of time a dominant class exploits a weaker class. Marx defines a dominant class as one who owns or controls the means of production. The weaker class consists of those who don't. In Marx's day, the age of Almighty Industry, the means of production were factories. But as a literary theory Marxism needs no factories to act as means of production.... [tags: Things Fall Apart essays Chinua Achebe Essays]
1669 words (4.8 pages)
- 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]
1060 words (3 pages)
- Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart "The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart." As the British colonized the areas of Nigeria inhabited by the Ibo, they brought with them their new religion of Christianity, which sought to overrun the traditional animist way of life that had endured in the area for centuries.... [tags: Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart]
485 words (1.4 pages)
- Missionaries Are to Blame in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart The burden and calling to reach out and help others, enfold many people in society throughout the world. Rich or poor, young or old, black, red or white, the motive is helping those with a need. As Chinua Achebe points out in his book, Things Fall Apart, though there is the aspiration to lend a hand, it can sometimes become deadly, and even fatal to the lives of people. Although the missionaries try help convert the Ibo village of Umuofia to Christianity, their presence in Africa is harmful to the lives and culture of the Ibo.... [tags: Things Fall Apart essays Chinua Achebe Papers]
829 words (2.4 pages)
- Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Okonkwo, as presented by Chinua Achebe in the novel Things Fall Apart, wished to be revered by all as a man of great wealth, power and control--the antithesis of his father. Okonkwo was driven by the need to exhibit utmost control over himself and others; he was an obsessive and insecure man. Okonkwo's father, Unoka, was "a failure," "a loafer," and "People laughed at him" (1426). This would bring great shame to any man as it did for Okonkwo. In Umuofia "a man is judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father" (1427).... [tags: Things Fall Apart essays Chinua Achebe Papers]
962 words (2.7 pages)
- The Power Struggle in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is a powerful novel about the social changes that occurred when the white man first arrived on the African continent. The novel is based on a conception of humans as self-reflexive beings and a definition of culture as a set of control mechanisms. Things Fall Apart is the story of Okonkwo, an elder, in the Igbo tribe. He is a fairly successful man who earned the respect of the tribal elders. The story of Okonkwo’s fall from a respected member of the tribe to an outcast who dies in disgrace graphically dramatizes the struggle between the altruistic values of Christianity and the lust for power that mot... [tags: Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe]
1198 words (3.4 pages)
The fact is, although some missionaries may have had an honest intention to bring “salvation” to the Ibo, British policy in colonizing Africa tends to suggest that the real reason for introducing Christianity was to make the natives easier to subvert, all the while giving the operation an air of legitimacy. A very telling detail could be that the District Commissioner, when deciding a title for his memoir, did not decide to use the word “salvation” or even “conversion”, rather he chose to title it the “Pacification of the Tribes of the Lower Niger.”