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Things Fall Apart - Essay Example

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It was highly affected by European imperialism in a negative way. When the British intruded the village, they introduced their Western Culture and religion to the community. Everything took a drastic change to the society’s tradition…
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Things Fall Apart
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Things fall apart Okonkwo’s village was called Lbo. It was highly affected by European imperialism in a negative way. When the British intruded the village, they introduced their Western Culture and religion to the community. Everything took a drastic change to the society’s tradition practices and culture. Before the coming of the British, Ibo villagers valued their traditions, beliefs, cultural practices, and lifestyle. The colonialists tried as much as possible to ignore natives’ way of life and introduced their way of living indirectly by introducing schools, religion, hospitals and lifestyle. They knew that they would capture the natives in their trap which was in form of assistance (Okpewho 32). With respect to the coming of the white man in the village, the white religion started. The villagers thought that it was good to adapt, follow it and this caused them to continue changing with time. Could not withstand the forces of the changing people who could not stick to their traditional way of living
Okonkwo followed the community’s traditions strictly all the times. For example, he beat his wife Ojiugo who failed to do her duty of preparing a meal for her husband and the entire family because she came late after plaiting her hair. The wife adapted the British lifestyle whereby women had the rights to do what they wished because they had power while the African culture, the role of a woman in the society was to make sure that she handled all the responsibilities assigned to her with great commitment. For example, according to the religion, during the peace week, no one was right to beat anyone. Okonkwo did it because according to his culture it was right to beat a woman any time when she wronged. Probably, he forgot that it was against the practices of the African culture to do it during the peace week. According to the beliefs, he committed an offence unacceptable to the gods. (33).The introduction of the white’s religion caused so many changes to the natives of the Lbo society for it prevented them practice their culture and beliefs.
In addition, the coming of the white man in the society caused confusion to Okonkwo’s traditions and ended committing suicide. This was an abomination in the African culture and beliefs. Ibo villagers’ way of living continued to show great diversity as by 1900’s because of the British who wanted their culture to dominate in the area and the villagers started absorbing it. Native values of the community went on diminishing. Okonkwo’s son, ‘Nwoye’ was always calm, cool, gentle, forgiving and kind. His father regarded him as a weak quality: he had qualities of a woman and in the traditions; women were valued as a weak gender .Okonkwo expected his son to be brave and at the end of it all become a powerful man in the clan. As a way of pleasing his dad, he found himself in a situation that he could not gat a woman for himself when he became a grown up man (34). When the British introduced schools in Umuofia, the Lbo villagers attended the schools and were taught how to write and speak English. This led the villagers adapt English as an alternative language and they ended up forgetting their language.
Finally, Achebe called his book ‘Things Fall Apart’ for it was due to the coming of the British Imperialism that the Lbo villagers ended up adapting the European culture and lifestyle which included, formal education, medical use in the hospitals, new lifestyle and the white man’s religion. Eventually they abandoned their traditions, culture, traditional practices, lifestyle and beliefs. All that led to everything changing from how it was before the coming of the white missionaries and colonialist whose aim was to conquer everyone in the society by making them act as whites. Therefore, the title ‘Things Fall Apart’ explains about the sudden change that was intrigued to Lbo villagers traditional way of life due to the British imperialism (41).
Works Cited
Okpewho Isidore. Chinua Achebes Things Fall Apart: A Casebook: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2003. Print. Read More
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