Cosmopolitanism In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Imagine living in a village where everyone shares the same beliefs and speaks the same language, but suddenly one person arrives, and the world seems to move off balance. This is what happens in Things Fall Apart when Reverend Smith replaces Mr. Brown, a white missionary, in the African village of Umuofia. Soon after Mr. Smith arrives, the village because of the white people seize control of the village, causing the main character, Okonkwo, to commit suicide. When one applies Kwame Anthony Appiah’s ideas of cross cultural communication and diversity within a society in Cosmopolitanism to Reverend James Smith in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, the character would have a change in his attitude towards the African culture in Umuofia.
Even though Reverend Smith entered Umuofia in times of distress, he could have conducted himself in a different way, so that the new diverse society would be able to function peacefully. Unfortunately, when Smith entered Umuofia in place of Mr. Brown, “He condemned openly Mr. Brown’s policy of compromise and accommodation. He saw things as black and white. And black was evil” (Achebe 184). The reverend was unaccepting of the Africans’ beliefs, including those who converted to Christianity. It is not that Smith detested the Africans, he just wanted them to believe his version of Christianity because he was raised to believe that Christianity was the only true religion, and that any other god was false. If Mr. Smith was a cosmopolitan, he

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