Violent Syncretism In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the often violent syncretism of the European superpowers invading African causes many hardships and different responses to the people living there. The book follows the life of Okonkwo though the first wave of the European invasion and how he reacts to their arrival. Okonkwo’s first response is shock at the lack of respect, followed by rage when he feels abandoned by his clan, and finally he is swallowed by self pity after seeing his world fall apart. When the Whites first arrived they have a condescending attitude toward the Ibo people and their beliefs which infuriates Okonkwo. The first time okonkwo meets the missionaries they tell them ¨They (Ibo Gods) are gods of deceit who tell you to kill your fellows and destroy innocent children” (Achebe 146). This is an important encounter because it is the beginning of many cultural shocks that Okonkwo and the rest of the Natives will face. Additionally it specifically challenges Okonkwo since it was his gods who told him to kill Ikemefuna which has been a source of guilt for him. Another example of the European lack of respect is after Okonkwo returns to his village from being in exile, Okonkwo finds that the Europeans have installed a courthouse which …show more content…
Okonkwo hates the new missionaries and religion that is forced onto his clan since it gives more power the weak and gives him less credibility a man of title of the clan. He also feels disappointed in his clan since they appear to be doing nothing to stop the whites influence from growing. This lack of action ultimately makes Okonkwo realize that there isn’t any way he can stay in the clan, so he takes his revenge and then ends his own life. Okonkwo’s shock, anger and self pity help shape the novel as a whole, because it shows how when the Europeans arrived they shake up the natural order of things and make the Ibo’s world fall

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