Essay on Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Decent Essays

Umuofia is a village in Africa, and the inhabitants there are usually united. However, when the Christians arrive and permeate the village, the clan changes but also falls apart. The novel in which this story takes place is called Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The story is about a well-respected man named Okonkwo who has three wives and many children, the oldest being Nwoye. Okonkwo is banished for seven years from Umuofia, and during those seven years, Umuofia is changed fundamentally by the Christian faith. Many people are converted, but the whole clan is in conflict. This novel demonstrates that Christianity destroys but also guides the Ibo culture in Umuofia. Initially, the Christians help guide the Ibo culture by giving some …show more content…

It was Okonkwo’s uncle, Uchendu. ‘Are you mad?’ Okonkwo did not answer. But he left hold of Nwoye, who walked away and never returned”(132). The scene ironically shows both guidance and destroying. Nwoye demonstrates confidence in his new Christian faith by not yelling back to his father and simply walking away to what he believes. Okonkwo, however, is driven insane by Christianity. Since Okonkwo does not believe the Christian faith, he does not want anyone else to join. When Nwoye does join, Okonkwo takes his anger out on him. Christianity both gives confidence to people and tears apart family units. Secondly, the Christians unite the converts, but this unity does not prevent the new converts from demeaning others because of their religion or beliefs. When Mr. Kiaga, the missionaries’ interpreter, persuades the converts to accept the osu, or those who are cast out of the clan, Achebe writes, “‘Before God,’ he [Mr. Kiaga] said, ‘there is no slave or free. We are all children of God and we must receive these our brothers’”(136). The people are guided by Mr. Kiaga’s words as he teaches that they are all children of God and are, therefore, equal. One might think that converts would subsequently show the other religion in Umuofia an equal amount of respect as before, but they do not. While the church is still new to the village and does not perish in Evil Forest, Achebe says, “Three converts had gone into the village and

Get Access