Racism In Things Fall Apart And Flannery O Connor's Short Stories

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Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart and Flannery O’Connor’s short stories may seem to be worlds apart, but they were written in the same era and they both portray racism through the characters that are unwilling to change their ways. Each book is set in a different culture; Achebe’s is set in Nigeria in 1890’s and O’Connor’s stories are placed in the South during the 1950’s. Each culture has very different aspects, but when religion or Christianity was mixed into the culture they have similar reactions. Racism presents itself as a major cultural issue in both writers’ works. Both authors allow for true Christianity to change people’s racist ways to some degree, but overall “religion” only exacerbates the divisions among the characters in …show more content…
In this story the grandma is seen as the racist character. While driving past a young black kid, she demonstrates her racism by saying inexcusable rude things. O’Connor uses the grandma to show how older people are stuck in their ways and unwilling to change. As mentioned previously, this period was a time of the revolutionary Civil Rights Movement. The grandma is not willing to recognize the change in her culture and thus verbally abuses Negros in front of her grandchildren (O’Connor 1-23). Not only is the grandma showing racism, but she is teaching the young children a false identity of humanity. Every other aspect of the grandma seems good and the reader can tell the children look up to her. Thus, the children are learning harmful views of racism. This is an example of why racism has been an issue in the South for so long. Many grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles teach young children who look up to them racist views on humanity. O’Connor addresses the issues by having the family tragically die from the fugitive in the end, as if it is some kind of justice on behalf of the Negro …show more content…
Achebe’s main literary work is Things Fall Apart, this book is about the colonization of Nigeria how the English Colony and how the English missionaries modernized Nigeria. Many Africans took advantage of the modernization and some rejected it. The Africans used the missionaries to learn reading, literacy, technical skills; D.D. Hurlbut describes this as commercialized Christianity. The new Christians often used what they learned in their professional life making them somewhere between native and colonial government (Hurlbut). While Things Fall Apart is fictional, Achebe uses the characters to correctly portray the different reactions to the colonization that Hurlbut discusses. Achebe uses Okonkwo and Nwoye and two contrasting missionaries to show the two main reactions to

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