No one likes to be told how to live. In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, missionaries came to Africa to teach the natives a new way of life, Christianity. The natives had lived one way their entire life, and enacted their beliefs whole-heartedly. European missionaries wanted to convert them from these ways. Each group of people had a difficulties communicating with each other; this caused a type of ignorance towards the other. Joseph Conrad did an adequate job portraying the views of Europeans in his novel Heart of Darkness and why they felt they needed to be in Africa. The traditions and beliefs in these two novels caused a major separation between the natives and whites; could this have caused more damage …show more content…
Were they really wild savages? The natives had a completely different way of life than the Europeans did, and with any religion, the followers believed in entirety. In the novel Things Fall Apart, Achebe develops the African’s beliefs fully. Many whites thought of the native Africans as being uncivilized. The natives were just as much civilized as the whites, if not more. They seemed to have supplementary structure and followed their beliefs more so than the whites. It was the ignorance of the white men not to realize how civilized the natives really were. The natives were civilized, just in their own way, but the Europeans still wanted to civilize the natives. ‘Heart of Darkness projects the image of Africa as “the other world,” the antitheses of Europe and therefore of civilization, a place where man’s vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality.’ (pg 3 An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness) Europeans professed to be great, ‘civilized,’ people, but in reality they were just as civilized as the natives were. The European missionaries wanted to come to Africa to share the good news of Christianity to the natives. However, often times the missionaries would get caught up in the valuable resources of Africa and make a turn for the cruel side. The novel Heart of Darkness, shows how corrupt the Europeans
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After Europeans first encountered Native Americans they did not fully understand the religions and culture of the different tribes. The Europeans Viewed the Natives as a lesser people that needed to be forcefully assimilate to European standards.The Native Americans traditional religions were throw aside by the Europeans who valued Christianity. They were also viewed as an easy resource and were enslaved.
Cultural superiority is the basis of Nathaniel’s attempts to set up a mission in Africa, and “Persuaded of Americans’ election as the chosen people, he ignores local Congolese customs, resists help and information from villagers, and strenuously insists throughout on his own exceptional destiny” (Strehle). He also,“In the distorted evolutionary logic of nineteenth-century imperialism, Nathan considers Africa as inadequately evolved, backward, primitive—a childish culture dwarfed by its grown-up Western colonizers—and thus in need of help from the advanced West.” (Strehle). Said beliefs caused Nathaniel’s superiority complex that caused him to attempt crushing African culture opposed to assimilating into it. The result? A grotesque love child of the taboo, an improper reliance on Christianity for those who abandoned their Congolese culture. When explaining to Nathan the trouble that his church is causing, her claims the village chief held the following concerns; “‘His concern is with the important gods and ancestors of this village, who have always been honored in certain sacred ways”’ (Kingsolver 128). The African people lost their ways due to imperialist religion that was forced upon
1. As Marlow travels through Africa, he is literally traveling away from the light into the darker center of Africa while he is also metaphorically traveling into the darkness of savagery and evil. Marlow sees the “edge of a colossal jungle, so dark-green as to be almost black, fringed with white surf” as he journeys through Africa (17). Soon Marlow “penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness” as he travels closer to the center of Africa on his journey to see Kurtz (53). The stereotypical version of Africa is devoid of civility and culture, so the Europeans believe that they can turn the darkness of Africa into the light of civilization.
European Americans held cultural views of land and religion that was entirely separate from the Native people. Europeans came to the Americas for various reasons, wealth, a new life, or missionary. Each of these European-Americans had different views on Natives; some saw them as a slight barrier to great wealth, evil demons out for blood, or “Noble Savages” who needed the guidance of Christ. In each situation the Natives suffered greatly from displacement to death.
Throughout the course of history there are have been many stereotypes regarding Indigenous peoples. One of the most significant stereotypes regarding Native Americans is that they are “uncivilized” humans, or to some even, subhuman. To the European explorers and settlers Civilization was classified as being Christian and following the Christian way of life. Anything else that was worshiped besides God was deemed demonic and evil. Another crucial point of being civilized, was following the European social structure, which means a patriarchal society, as well as farming and setting up towns instead of living off of the land and being nomadic. Both were deemed as uncivilized.
There are millions of varying perspectives in the world on many different topics. Sometimes two different mindsets clash and disagree with one another. This is apparent in the work of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Achebe gives a personal account of African life, culture, and customs in his book. He grew up in Nigeria, solidifying the reality that his take on their culture is the most natural, the one that will hit home. Also, since Achebe grew up surrounded by the culture so it is something intimately familiar to him. On the other hand, Joseph Conrad’s book Heart of Darkness makes Africa into a wild and savage place that needs to be ‘tamed’ by the white men and their ways.
European prejudice against Africans is clearly present in Heart of Darkness. In traveling through Africa, the protagonist, Marlow, describes all the natives he encounters as savages, comparing them to animals or the wilderness of the jungle itself. In one instance, Marlow discovers a death pit�literally an open grove where natives go to die. He describes the men there saying,
Throughout history, cultures from different regions of the world have collided, impacting the lives of many who encountered them. When these collisions are seen for the better, they can cause advancements in technology, medicines, religion, government, and more. However, cultural collisions can be negative, causing dismemberment, chaos, revolts, and deaths. In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the son of the main character, named Nwoye, has seen the positive side of a cultural clash when Christian missionaries come to their homelands.
The presence of Europe in Africa in the late nineteenth century was one of extreme power. The countries of France, Britain, and Germany had especially large claims to the African continent during this time. The motives of imperialism for these countries greatly define Europe at this time. Insatiable desires for economic markets, power and political struggles, the motivating belief in Social Darwinism, and the European idea of superiority were the driving forces at the European home front in the late nineteenth century. Many of the causes for imperialism in Africa were evident in Joseph Conrad’s turn of the century novel, Heart of Darkness.
From 1884 to 1885, Europe scrambled to conquer land in Africa. The Europeans began to colonize parts of Africa and it would soon be called: The Civilizing Mission. The Civilizing Mission was meant to make the Europeans look good to others, bring the Africans up to their standards, and it was an act of profound generosity to the Africans. Or so they thought. As Europeans from different countries explored the harsh environments of Africa, they soon came across vines which would turn into rubber later on. This was progress for the Europeans but was it progress for Africa? In reality, the colonized Europeans who moved down to Africa were not very nice to the Africans and they became slave; especially when the railroad was being built in Africa. When Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness, he wanted to show Europeans what was actually going on down in Africa. The Civilizing Mission was not helping Africa or the Africans at all. Three of these contradictions from the book include:
In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe discusses two different religions and how both of them affect African tribes. The two religions differ immensely, as one is the native religion Ibo and the other, a new religion brought to Africa, Christianity. While the novel’s main theme of religion prepares the reader to think that Achebe will be suggesting that the Christians are extremely dangerous, later details in the text suggest that Achebe considers the reluctance of the tribe to accept Christianity to be an even more destructive issue.
The idea of religion is a controversial topic in a diverse group of people. In Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, religion brought conflict and confusion to the Igbo people. When looking at the differences in Christianity and the Igbo beliefs throughout the course of the story, one can see that these differences in religion lead to the destruction of a society The incoming white missionaries have the intention to convert the Igbo to Christianity. These missionaries are devoted to one true God.
Their laws were harsher, and focused on individuals rather than community. Murder warranted execution, as did many other crimes against established and strict rules. On top of this, the white men believed in One God, but this one God was also three gods, and had a son without having a wife. Not only was this “Christianity” rather odd and confusing, but they were also pressuring others to believe in it. The white men demonised all that the clans had ever known to be true, and it was not entirely out of malice. Rather, the white men saw the African natives as primitive men, in need of the aid of the “advanced” white men. As with countless people before them, the colonial men of the story had bought into the idea of non-white cultures being in desperate need of white saviours, a sentiment still rampant in society and fiction even today. In fact, the main flaw on the part of the white men and missionaries of Things Fall Apart was neither their Christianity nor their whiteness, but rather that they refused to learn in full the customs of those they were evangelizing, because they saw native culture as something wild and entirely uncultured, rather than for what it was--another
Have you even wondered what it was like in Africa after all of the slave trades, wars, and mass colonization were gone? Did Europe finally leave them alone or just dig themselves deeper into a hole? The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is an emotional tale of a man named Okonkwo who lives in the Ibo village in Nigeria. Okonkwo is a very powerful man in his tribe, after working his way up from the nothing that his father was. He eventually gets ban from the village because of a mistake that he made and returns to white, European, Christians who have taken over in hopes of spreading Christianity. Consequently, all of the events that happen because of them, lead Okonkwo to hang himself. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the white
The European’s took the natives land away from them by force, by burning their towns, stole property and enslaving them. By raping their women and killing the men, the Europeans managed to break the natives down enough to exploit their skills and resources to create an ivory trading market. This technique passed down from generation to generation was used before by the Europeans during the slavery era and later by the Nazis in Europe. Just like the factions expressed above the Europeans home saw the collection of ivory as respectable English business. Conrad made it so that Marlow was oblivious but, the reader would see right into the corruption of the ivory trade. In the story one could tell that the Europeans had evil intentions before they got to the Congo, as Marlow reached the first station he saw tools that are used to help the land and cultivate laying waste on the ground outside. Conrad made a journal of his trip to the Belgian Congo. In that journal he writes of how there were Christian missions set up throughout, yet he states that since the natives had no free will it did not matter whether or not it was in the book.