When Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Decent Essays
When Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart was a fictional story that documented the tragic death of the successful and highly respected Okonkwo, a leader in the Umuofian tribe; and upon further analysis, his death serves as a symbol of a much greater tragedy: the white man’s destruction of an entire culture through a forced societal transformation and conversion into Christianity. However, it is in my opinion that the conversion was a combination of the white man’s imperialistic actions, meshed with the Igbo people’s own transgressions, that led to the death of Igbo culture.
As Achebe describes so vividly, the Igbo culture prior to European expansion was much different than where it ended up. He emphasized the strength of the social framework of the Umuofia people, prior to the Christian conversion. He described their high level of social mobility and beliefs that regarded justice as a pivotal aspect of society. This was an autonomous group of people, and they were very structured with high regards towards tradition and culture. Their society and customs were not the barbaric practices of tribal people, but instead a system filled with peace and harmony. All of this led to an incredibly dissimilar view of war than that of the Europeans. In their society, war was a means of gaining honor, not material possessions. I believe all of these things helped contribute to their downfall.
The obvious group to blame for the Igbo social disintegration is the “white man,” which was the
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