Anti-Colonialism In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is about the unfortunate downfall of the protagonist, Okonkwo, and the Igbo culture. Okonkwo is an honored and effective leader within the Igbo community of Umuofia in eastern Nigeria. Things Fall Apart set about instituting the legitimacy of life in tribal Nigeria in the late 19th century, before the arrival of the "civilising" colonialism of Christian missionaries. There are many themes in Things Fall Apart but one theme that is very prominent is anti-colonialism and the clashing of cultures. Things Fall Apart is fairly intriguing on a lot of levels due to the historical context of the story. While it is a historical novel about the colonization of Africa in the late 19th century, it was also written in the late 1950’s, just as European colonial powers were giving up their colonies. And like the novel, Chinua Achebe lived between these two worlds so in other words he spent most of his life “the crossroads of culture” as he once put it. Achebe shows us a operative society with institutions like the tribal council that settles quarrels and bring order to Igboland. These institutions may not be recognizable to the westerners who showed up for the palm oil, but they …show more content…
But both sides were affected equally by this cultural misinterpretation. Just as the ruthless Reverend Smith considers Africans as "heathens," the Igbo originally condemn the Christians and the missionaries as "foolish." Achebe believes that the Africans' misinterpretations of themselves and of Europeans need readjustment as much as do the misinterpretations of Africans by the West. Since Achebe is writing from experience as he too was as an African who had been "Europeanized," he wrote Things Fall Apart as an act of making amends with his past. Achebe promotes and urges other Africans, especially ones with Western educations, to realize that they may not understand their native

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