Sundiata/ Things Fall Apart Essay

1236 WordsNov 23, 20145 Pages
Andrea C. Mathis Dr. T. P. Mahadevan Introduction to Humanities I 21 October 2014 Revised: 1 December 2014 Make Believe Creatures Historically Africa has been partly constructed by journals, books, etc. written by white hand. It is believed by many that one cannot truly talk about the land, unless they have lived the land. Two particular novels and oral epics that depict this perspective, the perspective of the colonized, are Things Fall Apart, written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, and Sundiata by author Djibril Tamsir Niane. At the end of Things Fall Apart, the District Commissioner, who was the British colonial administrator put in place to govern the Igbo society, is shown writing a book he plans to call the Pacification of the…show more content…
Not only would the British colonial showcase how the natives were unprivileged, but also how they were savage. In seek of revenge, Ikemefuna had been residing in the Okonkwo’s household and after three years must now be killed. The oldest clan elder of Umuofia seeks Okonkwo and tells him, “that boy calls you father, [so] do not bear a hand in his death”. Okonkwo disobeys the advice from authority and joins the party to kill Ikemefuna in fear of appearing weak. His actions are too close to killing a kinsman; which leads to the importance to Okonkwo how he is perceived to the clan that he will exhaust all levels of savagery even if it means violating tribal laws. Gender roles played a crucial part to the understanding of the people of Umuofia; especially to Okonkwo. But just as in today’s world, one person of a group cannot define the entire group, it was the same back then, which further proves how the District Commissioner’s view of Umuofia would not represent the entire clan, let alone Africa as a whole. Okonkwo’s motivation behind his views of patriarchy stem from his father Unoka; he wanted to be such a great man of the tribe, unlike his “agbala” of a father. Okonkwo’s son “[n]woye knew that it was right to be masculine and to be violent, but somehow he still preferred the stories that his mother used to tell, and which she no doubt still told to her younger children…but he now knew that they were for foolish women

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