The Importance Of Exile In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

1057 Words 5 Pages
Imagine getting exiled from your homeland for several years, just to return to it being invaded by a new group of people trying to change your way of life, established many years ago. This is how Okonkwo felt in the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. In the book, the protagonist Okonkwo, lives in Umuofia, with the Ibo people. He is not a very good person however. He beats his wives and only cares about his yams, which symbolize wealth. He then get exiled for killing a person, and must go to his motherland for seven years. Over the course of the seven years of exile, he becomes a better husband and father, caring for both his wives and his daughter Ezinma. However, Okonkwo returns to Umoufia to see that the Catholics trying to …show more content…
This was shown through the work of missionary Mr. Brown. “Whenever Mr. Brown went to that village he spent long hours with Akunna in his obi talking through an interpreter about religion. Neither of them succeeded in converting the other but they learned more about their different beliefs” (Achebe 221). Unlike the other missionaries, Mr. Brown was not only trying to teach the villagers to Christianity, but also learn more about the religion that they practice. This showed them being more open minded to each others religion, and how they were able to live in peace with one another. However, Mr. Brown died, bringing in his successor Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith, did not try to learn about the villagers, and therefore broke the trust that Mr. Brown had made. Mr. Brown 's ways of teaching the villagers about the religion, and also being open minded, and trying to learn about their religion, shows how if the missionaries and villagers were more open minded of each others religion, the two groups would have been able to live together in …show more content…
This could have allowed the Ibo people and the Christian missionaries to live together in peace. When the first "white men" arrived in their village, they were instantly surprised. They did not know who they were, or what they came for. Instead of trying to figure out, they just killed him. “ 'They were locusts, it said, and that first man was their harbinger sent to explore the terrain. And so they killed him. ' 'What did the white man say before they killed him? ' asked Uchendu. 'He said nothing, ' answered one of Obierika’s companions” (Achebe 174). The Christian missionaries, when arriving to the village, did not want to cause harm, or destroy their civilization. They were just trying to convert people to their faith. The Ibo people, jumped to the assumption that they were there to kill them on their "iron horses", or bicycles. They killed them, which angered the Christians. They sent more people, and because the Ibo people were harming them, they had to try to fight back. They were more advanced, and were easily able to conquer Umuofia. The prejudice shown by the Ibo people, caused the downfall of their civilization. If prevented, the Christians and villagers could have been able to coexist

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