Colonialism And Colonialism In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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When a country is suddenly under foreign rule, adapting is often very difficult. Throughout history, nations have been fighting for power. Many times, those countries are pulled in many different directions, with their traditional beliefs trying to be changed. Colonialism affects people in which their lives are radically changed, for better or for worse. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the reader is given insight on the Ibo struggle with colonialism, following the story of an Umuofian man named Okonkwo as he struggles with adapting to the changing times. The invasion of white men in Ibo society results in the loss of unity, broken family bonds, and the desolation of traditional African society.
The unity within Umuofia is lost, and
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Okonkwo has been absent from society for seven years, and does not understand the new changes and customs. While talking to Okonkwo, Obierika explains that the white men have disrupted society. “Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on things that held us together and we have fallen apart” (Achebe 176). The author specifically uses the words “won our brothers” because Achebe is trying to show the white Christian have successfully converted, or “won,” some of the Ibo people. The tribes “brothers,” or the other Ibo, have turned their back on traditional Ibo society, and have abandoned the Ibo people for the white man. When the author writes the words “put a knife,” he illustrates that the “knife” has cut the things that held the clan together. The knife represents the Christian religion brought by the white men, as it is a dangerous weapon that poses a threat to society. The new religion has sliced Umuofia into pieces, the converts and the traditionalists, dividing Umuofia so there is conflict between the groups. The “knife” has wounded the clan, causing it to shatter from within, …show more content…
Nwoye’s fellowship with new colonial religion and his leaving slowly pulls apart the family. Okonkwo addresses his family, saying, “You have all seen the great abomination of your brother… if anyone of you prefers to be a woman, let him follow Nwoye now while I am alive so that I may curse him” (Achebe 172). The word “abomination” has a negative connotation, relating to the topic of disgrace as Okonkwo is calling Nwoye a monstrosity and is revolted by him. Nwoye is no longer considered a part of his family, and is an outcast for leaving the Ibo and joining the white men. Achebe specifically uses the words “prefer to be a woman” because Nwoye has lost his masculinity by reverting to his former sensitive and quiet nature, and if his other children become like Nwoye, they become feminine. Okonkwo wants his children to be the stereotypical male, strong and the epitome of success. If one becomes ‘feminine,’ he will be disowned. He rejects Nwoye for what he perceives as a wrongdoing, and will do the same if his other sons follow Nwoye’s example. When the author writes the words “curse him,” Achebe illustrates that Okonkwo believes Nwoye has committed an extreme crime, and that he should be ‘cursed’ for being different. Okonkwo is unable to adapt to the new society, and seems to be unfit to have relationships with people that are unlike him. Okonkwo curses Nwoye and anyone who

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