Achebe and Fanon on Colonization and Decolonization

1400 Words May 15th, 2014 6 Pages
Living in the same region for an extended period of time will endow the human inhabitant with a sense of pride in their homeland. When this idea is extended to a certain group of people living in the same area, pride turns into nationalism. The residents not only feel like they geographically own the land, but their history of culture in that given area lends them an emotional connection as well. When people of elsewhere come to take the land from the native inhabitants, many changes occur. In his book The Wretched of the Earth, Franz Fanon gives his insight into how the process of colonization and decolonization happens, and the resulting physical and mental effects on both groups of people. Telling this from a strictly historical and …show more content…
As Fanon states, "But the thing he [the settler] does not see, precisely because he is permeated by colonialism and all its ways of thinking, is that the settler, from the moment that the colonial context disappears, has no longer any interest in remaining or in co-existing" (Fanon). While the tribe viewed the settlers as nothing more than an unwanted pest and let their guard down, the settlers established a more developed culture right next door and proceeded to take them over right in front of their eyes. As explained by Fanon, there comes a point where the natives either attempt the process of decolonization or give up, and in the case of the Umofia, because their physical leader Okonkwo was absent during the time to revolt, by the time he returned it was too late and the tribe had given in to the white man.

Though the full process is not completed in Achebe 's book, colonization happens, which, as stated by Fanon, is part of decolonization. Fanon makes the point that decolonization is the process of total upheaval, and more often than not it boils down to violence. He states, "That affirmed intention of placing the last at the head of things, and to climb at a pace (too quickly, some say) the well-known steps which characterize an organized society, can only triumph if we use all means to turn the scale, including, of course, that of violence." (Fanon). In Things Fall Apart, though the violence
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