Influence of Western Society in Thing Fall Apart by Achebe

657 WordsFeb 24, 20183 Pages
When a foreign imperial force lays claim to a new colony, social displacement ensues. As the natives are forced to adapt to the colonizer’s more civilized lifestyle, the rich and cohesive indigenous community becomes increasingly fragmented and irrelevant in the emerging state. Consequences include the abandonment of diverse religious practices as well as the loss of native languages. In the novel Thing Fall Apart, Achebe draws his readers into the Igbo's way of life, making the readers feel more connected as if they are members of the tribe, only to sharpen the pain that the readers must feel as they witness as the tribe’s erosion under the influence of the white missionaries who are introduced in the second half of the novel. Through his narrative, Achebe explores how conversion to westernized Christianity is actually the adoption of British mercantilism which subsumes and consumes the rich and comprehensive Igbo society, forcing the tribe to accept new teachings about their lives, religion, society, and most importantly, their place in the British Empire. In the first part of the novel, the readers are immersed in the Igbo society, learning about its way of life through the novel's central character, Okonkwo. Often throughout the novel, the tribal members profess their dedication to their traditions and beliefs. "The feast of the New Yam was held every year before the harvest began, to honor the earth goddess and the ancestral spirits of
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