Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essay

1465 Words Mar 28th, 2016 6 Pages
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Christianity began to infiltrate Africa turning their religious world upside down. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe portrays the tragic transition from traditional Igbo beliefs to the start of Christianity in the village of Umuofia and how old culture cannot survive while new culture emerges. The clash of values is brought to life through Okonkwo who has primarily traditional roots. He cannot understand how his people can convert to Christianity and stray from the core beliefs that had been so deeply instilled in their tribe. Chinua Achebe’s own religious background influenced him to write such a spiritually invested novel. The contrast of Igbo spirituality and Christian religion is so important to the book that it affects the climax and the unfortunate demise of Okonkwo. Chinua Achebe was born in 1930 to a Christian family. His father was a catechist and both of his parents traveled Eastern Nigeria as evangelists. However, many of his other relatives remained followers of the traditional Igbo religion which left Achebe intrigued to learn more about his roots (Yigit). At the time he was growing up, African Christians “tended to look down on” the people who remained invested in the Igbo culture. They even called the non-Christians “the people of nothing” which made them feel like they were less than human (Yigit, 136). As he grew up, he became interested in the culture of the traditional tribe members and why the Christians felt so…

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