Things Fall Apart


        Things Fall Apart, by Chiuna Achebe, is a novel that delves into ancient African culture, and the customs and religious beliefs of the African people. The story, which takes place in the Nigerian village of Umoufia, is a place full of deep rooted religious and superstitious belief.

        Conflict very quickly arises amongst the people of Umoufia, as their deep rooted religious and superstitious beliefs are ravaged and deeply questioned by the coming of the “White Men,” who have brought with them their own religion, the religion of the west, “Christianity.” Neither the White men, nor their religion was warmly welcomed by the people of the various villages, of which are represented by the councilmen of Umoufia. In one particular segment towards the end of the novel, the “White Men” are referred to as “locusts,” which have come to poison the minds of the villagers (98). In Achebe’s depiction of life in Nigeria, as compared to Europe, he appears to criticize both the Christians, and the customs and traditions of the Nigerian people. In this, Achebe questions the very means by which a culture can maintain its validity, through a clear and imminent contrast between the ways of life of the western people, and the peoples of Africa.

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        It is not the mere coming of the “white men” that so deeply uproots and distorts the views, ancient ideologies, and beliefs of the Nigerian people; however, it is in the persuasion of these white men in the very faith of which they bring with them.  The true and utter power of this foreign religion is felt strongly by Okonkwo’s first son, Nwoye, who had felt that the words that “spewed from the mouths of the missionaries was something felt in the marrow” (104). Through this depiction, the narrator attempts to further his expression in regards to the impact that ...

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