Cultural Memory In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1661 Words 7 Pages
It is very difficult for the colonists to find harmony with the natives existing in the country they have decided to make their own because the natives want to keep their old traditions. This often leads to the idea that one idea must become superior and stand above the other belief system, which often leads to complete destruction of a clan. Although, if they are willing to change their ways, this can lead to an easier resolution between the two groups, which does not divide them. In the article, “The Crisis of Cultural Memory in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart” Abiola Irele depicts the importance a the tribe being willing to change, or it will fall apart because they are not in agreement with each other. Also, she provides insight to the …show more content…
Achebe uses conflict as a way to bring the two opposing groups together and create a resolve between their differences.
Okonkwo suddenly killing Ikemefuna, a boy he viewed as a son, instantly creates a separation between him and his son, Nwoye, which will forever changes his son’s morals. Ikemefuna brought the duo closer than ever before, but this relationship changes when the tribe decides to kill him because he is not one of their own. Okonkwo is forced to murder him because he is one of the leaders of the clan. Achebe depicts the destruction of the father and son relationship, when he writes, “Then something had given away inside him. It descended on him again, this feeling, when his father walked in, that night after killing Ikemefuna” (Achebe 62). Nwoye starts to question the beliefs of the tribe because he finds the killing of Ikemefuna as immoral and unnecessary because he posed no threat to the clan. Achebe making the boy’s feelings unidentifiable portrays that this feeling is new to him and beyond the clans morals. This questioning causes his to becomes separated from the clan
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Okonkwo killing the messenger in efforts to start a riot among the natives completely fails when the tribe starts to question why he murder the man for no reason. Achebe depicts this when he writes, “He discerned fright in that tumult. He heard voices asking: “Why did he do it?” He wiped his machete on the sand and went away” (Achebe 205). Okonkwo’s final action to keep the tribe together is unsuccessful because the clan starts to questions his choice and becomes unsure if their religion is ideal. They start to realize that they must be more accepting towards change and new ideas because it will make their life more tribe more successful. Also, by being open to change they will not fall apart and become resistant to change to the point they have to fight murder others to keep it the same. This desire to preserve the old traditions causes people to fall apart and forced to fight a one person battle because everyone else will eventually change and they are left to themselves. This problem in the culture is depicted when Irele writes, “What this allegory signifies, in the particular historical and cultural context of Achebe's novel, is the state of internal crisis into which this society is plunged, a crisis that we have come to appreciate as intrinsic to

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