Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Length: 485 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
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. 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

MLA Citation:
"Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Oct 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=45431>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

- Post colonialism deals with cultural identity in colonized societies and the ways in which writers articulate that identity. Things Fall Apart is a good novel that serves as a reminder of what Nigeria once was. It shows how a society can deal with change, how change affects the individuals of that society, and how delicate a change can be; so much so that the people themselves are surprised at the change. Things Fall Apart is an English novel by the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe which was published in 1957....   [tags: things fall apart, chinua achebe]

Research Papers
3008 words (8.6 pages)

The Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

- Culture and Religion Importance Using Amplification and Irony Throughout the world, writers use literary terms to convey their message in a straightforward and motivating mode. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is one work of literature where the author uses many literary terms to convey the main idea of the story. Achebe uses literary terms such as amplification and irony in his story, Things Fall Apart, to convey his message. Amplification is a literary application wherein the writer writes in details about certain events or things to increase its worth and understandability (Literary Terms)....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Igbo people]

Research Papers
1335 words (3.8 pages)

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

- When fear is in the driver’s seat, many lash out. In Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, the protagonist, Okonkwo is fearful of change and being seen as unmanly. When these things are in question he physically harms his family and emotionally beats himself up. When change comes into his life he just thinks of the old ways. He is unwilling to change because in his mind the newer ways are womanly and cowardice. When his eldest son turns to the European Christians, this is the hardest blow to Okonkwo because this shows the people of the tribe that he cannot control his own family, which puts any of the possible positions into jeopardy....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Okonkwo]

Research Papers
874 words (2.5 pages)

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

- Things Fall Apart Essay The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe displays a strong significance based solely on Nigerian culture and how it slowly evolved due to European immigrants. Both culture and gender play a huge role in the way of life in the Ibo village. As it was a common custom in the past, the male was dominant in the family. Achebe tells of an Igbo tribesman, Okonkwo, and his prosperous life in the village of Umuofia. Being prized of personal achievements such as defeating Amalinze the Cat, Okonkwo is expected to accomplish much more in his lifetime, but will his actions turn out to ruin his reputation and furthermore....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Igbo people]

Research Papers
1540 words (4.4 pages)

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

- Every civilization since the beginning of time has had its own unique culture, language, and religion. In Nigeria, the Igbo tribe follows this trend. The culture of the Igbo’s has evolved to include a social hierarchy, unique customs, and an appreciation for achievement. Their language has developed to include not only words, but concepts as well. The Igbo people developed a unique religion including many gods and methods of worship. Set in the 1890s, the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe clearly proves that before the arrival of the Europeans, the people of Umuofia in Africa had their own language, religion, and culture....   [tags: Igbo people, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe]

Research Papers
1333 words (3.8 pages)

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

- Culture makes us who we are. Each individual has their own culture from their experiences in life and is developed from societal influences. The various cultures around the world influence us in different ways which we experience at least once in our lifetime. There are occasions, especially in history, where cultures clash with one another. For instance, the English colonization in Africa changed their culture. Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart, portrayed this change in the Igbo people’s society, especially through the character Okonkwo in the village of Umuofia; the introduction of Western ideas challenged him....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Igbo people]

Research Papers
960 words (2.7 pages)

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay examples

- The manner in which we speak may vanish tomorrow but our writing may live on for many, many years. Literature is set out to educate many and has become a helpful tool for mankind without it we wouldn’t know most of the worlds history. Chinua Achebe has provided such in a novel called “Things Fall Apart” in which a series of different opinions are presented to a community that is suddenly challenged to give up their tradition. In light of the situations stated in the book, the reader can profoundly understand its true meaning and its historical significance....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Animal Farm]

Research Papers
1190 words (3.4 pages)

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

- In the book by Chinua Achebe called Things Fall Apart (1959) gender roles are clearly defined by the cultural traditions. Religion is also an important aspect in this society where the characters worshiped various gods and goddesses, and this was challenging and a clash of cultures with the arrival of the Christian missionaries. With moments of anger, rage, murder, and domestic violence makes this story one of a character having father psychological and masculinity issues. There are various times when a son has such dislike for his father and believes his father is less than masculine for being labeled as lazy, wasteful and died with great debt was the greatest motivational force for wanting...   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Gender]

Research Papers
1530 words (4.4 pages)

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

- Things Fall Apart Things Fall Apart written by Chinua Achebe takes readers through the lives of how the Igbo civilization grew and developed and then how it fell. Within the book the main focus was on the Igbo’s civilization rituals and traditions that had been changed due to the travel of new foreigners. These foreigners clashed with the Igbo tribes causing many differences within the traditions set by their ancestors, ultimately causing everything to fall apart. A scene in the book shows Okonkwo, one of the main characters within the Igbo tribe, had died....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Igbo people]

Research Papers
943 words (2.7 pages)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
2074 words (5.9 pages)

Related Searches



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.”
Return to 123HelpMe.com