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Colonialism in Things Fall Apart

Chinua AchebeÆs Things Fall Apart chronicles the impact of British colonialism on Africans, particularly Nigeria and Igbo society. The era the novel illustrates extends from the late 1800s and the initial days of contact to wholesale British rule of the state. AchebeÆs work details how an alien and foreign culture will rip apart and destroy the values and customs of a conquered people. In this specific case, it will demonstrate how the Christian values of the British will destroy the rooted and traditional values of the Ibo people. The novel expresses how often an Imperial power will impose its values and norms on an oppressed people, positing the conquered as the evil or savage ôotherö whose traditional values and norms must be destroyed. We might say that such a justification or viewpoint is being illustrated by the Bush AdministrationÆs belief that the traditional values and norms of Arab cultures in the Middle East must be abolished in favor of superior Western values and norms. However, Achebe does not paint either the British all black or the Ibo all white. Instead, he attempts to show that the values, customs and norms destroyed by the British were not some ôsavageö or ôevilö practices, but valuable and valid parts of the Ibo making sense of their world before things would fall apart.

Things Fall Apart depicts the falling apart of the stateless society of the Igbo people. This society has developed over many years and mirrors the environment in which it lives. The story is filled with the rituals and customs of these people who have no king and a justice system that includes nine masked mortals who determine the outcome of disputes. These mortals are feared and respected and mirror a modern day jury. The Igbo society depicted by Achebe is one of an advanced culture that will fall apart because the Christian zealots who wish to colonize the society will causes clashes in ethics and values. These will disru...

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Colonialism in Things Fall Apart. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:52, November 29, 2021, from