Western Imperialism Influence on African Culture

Decent Essays
Alex Benson
Dr. Yixin Chen
HST 104-001
5 February 2013
Impact of Western Imperialism on the African Community Western imperialism, though it has its good qualities, essentially led to the breakdown and ending of the African community. Their religion, new language, and political knowledge and power make it impossible for both communities to exist together. The most apparent form of cultural imperialism from the West in Things Fall Apart are the differences in the law making systems of the village and the western missionaries. In chapter four, Okonkwo beats his wife during the week of peace for leaving the hut to get her hair braided without cooking dinner first. The priest of the clan commands him to bring a she-goat, a hen, a
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The last result of Western imperialism on Africa is the more widespread presence of violence. The Christians caused a great deal of unrest by coming to the area and trying to influence the Umuofians into believing in their god. People were hung for standing against the government, the church was burned to the ground, Okonkwo killing the messenger, and not to mention himself in the end. Before the Christians came the only violence was typically a husband beating either his wife or Children, or an occasional war between villages. With the arrival of the missionaries there is a great deal more of fighting, bloodshed, and disagreement. In conclusion, although imperialism could bring good things to different areas of the world, it is apparent in Things Fall Apart that there is most definitely a darker, uglier side of western influence on traditional cultural societies. The presence of new medicines and schools can greatly advance a society, but in the case of Umuofia, the bad definitely outweighs the good. Many people are killed, a once happy village no longer gets along, and ultimately our protagonist loses his life due to the effects of imperialism. Although it has happened all over the world already, the rapid shift of long time traditional societies to westernized societies is unhealthy. When thinking about the idea of Social Darwinism and applying it to this story, it all makes sense though. The white man had
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