Things Fall Apart Futility

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Things Fall Apart: The Futility of Man
During the 20th century rush of imperialistic colonialism of Africa, millions of native Africans experienced the intolerance and persistence of the white man. The most powerful of the European influences was the Christian church: now the largest religion in the world. Natives were told to toss away their beliefs in the gods of their ancestors and the traditions of their people by the powerful few that came to conquer from Europe. Things Fall Apart showed the willing transition of a village from a place of native culture to one of adopted “enlightenment”. Okonkwo’s adamant attitude towards tradition in his village ultimately led to his downfall in the wake of the white intruders, and his stubbornness to
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However, the white Europeans “only see the world in black and white, and [their] actions reflect his unwavering belief in the ways of [their] own culture and religion” (Cobb). Okonkwo’s intolerance for the Christians leads to heated violence, and eventually “an offense against the earth” in his suicide (Achebe 207). Ultimately, Okonkwo redacts all of his beliefs in committing suicide, and succumbs to the power of the intruders and their religion. The influence that Christianity had on his village drove him away from his roots, his beliefs, and his own religion despite his rejection of any new beliefs held by clan members. Upon his return, Okonkwo has plans to return to his high standing in the clan society, but Obierika’s news of unfamiliar white men and their powerful religion, he fears for the culture of his clan. During the transitional period from his motherland to Umuofia, the strength that he relied on to become one of the most widely respected men in his homeland dwindles inside him. The ultimate decision to commit suicide signifies the success of the church in Umuofia and the downfall of the clan: The power of the Christian church overcomes the nation, its villages, and the most esteemed and powerful men that it

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