Things Fall Apart Imperialism

1344 Words6 Pages
During the 19th century, European colonization and imperialism swept the face of African societies. The voices of these entrapped societies were highly suppressed throughout the time period resulting in a narrow westernized perspective of the event. However, this changed when Chinua Achebe-- the first African to have a novel published-- created his masterpiece Things Fall Apart. Through this spectacular novel, Achebe depicts the clash of cultures between the British colonists and the Igbo tribe as well as the mixed emotions in regards to western influence among tribal members through the lenses of Okonkwo and his son Nwoye. Through the cultural interactions between the British and the Igbo people, Achebe is able to artfully and elaborately…show more content…
And even in the matter of religion there was a growing feeling that there might be something in it after all, something vaguely akin to method in the overwhelming madness” (Achebe 178). When the British first invaded the Igbo tribe, much of western culture and religion was firmly ignored. However, as the days turned into weeks and weeks into months, the British missionaries were able to convince a small population of the Igbo tribe into converting and having faith in their God. Eventually a fairly large population of Igbo clansmen found sense in the western god and found convenience in adapting to the western culture and religion. This greatly challenged Okonkwo internally as well as his identity. Okonkwo questioned why his fellow clansmen were veering off of their traditional paths towards a western approach to life, he questioned his opinion of the religious teachings of the west and ultimately came to the decision that he despised it. In addition, several events that portray the theme of the conflict between adaptation and identity lie in the cases of the administrator, Mr. Brown, and Reverend James Smith. To begin, Whenever Mr. Brown went to that village he spent long hours with Akinna in his obi talking through an interpreter…show more content…
Through the perspectives of these two characters Achebe is able to create an African perspective of the loss of a distinct African culture as it is replaced by the adaptation to westernized culture and religion. Achebe skillfully establishes a heart wrenching novel that perfectly describes colonization of foreign soils. Achebe's artfully created novel conveys that as a society, we must wisely evaluate our choices to adapt as long as it positively shapes our
Get Access