Theme Of Cultural Collision In Things Fall Apart

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Cultural collisions between different groups of people that are forced to live together are bound to happen, especially if those two groups have completely different ways of life. Chinua Achebe depicts what cultural collision can do to two different groups of people in his novel Things Fall Apart between the main character Okonkwo and the colonizers that come to his village, Umuofia. Okonkwo, an aggressively over-masculine, hot-tempered, traditional man, comes to face his old traditions and ways of life crumbling and falling apart before his very eyes, as colonizers plague Umuofia with their religious beliefs and customs.
Cultural traditions are deeply rooted in old cultures but when something or someone interferes with these traditions it
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During the arrival of the colonizers in Mbanta, a village close to his, Okonkwo is found to be in exile for a crime he committed but still knows of their arrival explaining during an assembly of important men that, “...until the abominable gang was chased out of the village with whips there would be no peace”(158). Okonkwo clearly was unhappy of the change that was ensuing and his immediate reaction to the colonizers was to simply chase them away violently. Okonkwo’s reaction was one that the reader could expect after being able to see how his character is based around violence and this idea of hyper masculinity. Okonkwo goes on to exclaim that, “ [The colonizers] are daily pouring filth over us, and Okeke says we should pretend not to see”(159), further elaborating on just how he sees the colonizers as alien beings that are forsaking their culture. Okonkwo sees the way the colonizers are living in their land as a direct insult to himself and his culture which causes tension between the two groups. Okonkwo is not in the slightest pleased by western ideas or their ways of life which makes him lash out because of his background as a war hero and village leader. All of Okonkwo’s actions that he takes are violent which only highlights the idea that cultural collision happens between two groups of completely different people and the reason why …show more content…
As Okonkwo had returned to Umuofia, the colonizers had infested his village leaving Okonkwo, “...deeply grieved,” leading him to, “...[mourn] for [his] clan, which he saw breaking up and falling apart....for the warlike men of Umuofia, who had so unaccountably become soft like women” (183). Obviously, Okonkwo was greatly depressed at the loss of his clan because their old traditions were slowly coming to an end with the arrival of the colonizers with their new religion and missionaries trying to convert people. He was deeply concerned with his village and traditions so to see it all crumble and fall away to nothing lead him to resent the colonizers because it was their fault for mingling with the members in Umuofia to convert them. Okonkwo’s resentment led him to kill a messenger that was a colonizer but when Umuofia was thrown into a panic and not immediately planning for war, Okonkwo saw the path his village had gone down and he decided to end his own life. Shortly after the death of the messenger the district commissioner arrived at Okonkwo’s house demanding to see him so the people gathered together to mourn him in his obi led him, “....to the tree from which Okonkwo’s body was dangling…”(207). Okonkwo became so discouraged from fighting and the way Umuofia was falling apart, because of the colonizers, that he had commit suicide which was seen as

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