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Things Fall Apart Essay

1077 words - 5 pages

"Things Fall Apart" is an amazing novel by Chinua Achebe that illustrates the conflict occurring during the period of British colonization of Africa. The novel is told from the perspective of the native people of Ibo. The novel takes place in Umuofia, in Nigeria, in an area where their culture is indigenous to the Ibo people. In "Things Fall Apart" it seems that the African Ibo culture was strong and functional, such as in its religious beliefs and customs, government, economic, and social coherence. The order of Ibo society became interrupted and began to unravel when the white missionaries entered Africa and introduced Christianity. Oknowko, the main character in the novel, is the ...view middle of the document...

Brown. They first attacked the outcasts, or osu, of the Ibo society in order to expand on the ideas of Christianity and how their belief system was not an accurate portrayal. Their main focus was to introduce Christianity, but at the same time they were taking away the value system and belief system that had been in place. An example is when Mr. Kiaga approached two outcasts and told them they must shave their hair in order to let go of their heathen beliefs. Once this was done they could enter the church. The Ibo society believed that once you were an outcast you were not worthy of a razor and if you dare to touch one you will die. In a sense by disavowing their old belief system, the missionaries were creating a new belief system. The missionaries gave examples of how their belief system was not accurate, such as the missionaries taking care of twins, and even in the case of shaving their heads. No one died in either situation. The Christians even lived in the Evil Forest in order to prove that their belief system was not accurate. The traditional belief system had been corrupted by the impact of the missionaries and there was encouragement of disavowing the traditional beliefs of the Ibo society. The Ibo society had no centralized government. The government was basically democratic. The elders were mainly in rule and other groups played their roles in the government process, such as the secret societies that were masked men who sat and listened to judicial issues and made verdicts when necessary. After the entrance of the missionaries, the government basically disintegrated and the white man set up there own government. The arrival of the English laws alters the Ibo's way of life with regard to the adhering to the rules of the society. For example, the white courts had decided how to distribute land that was in dispute. The white courts disregarded the Ibo's customs about land. The white men took cruel measures in imposing their power. An example is when the district commissioner invites the leaders of the clan for a meeting...

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