About Westernization in “Things Fall Apart”

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Category:Chinua Achebe
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Things Fall Apart”Things Fall Apart” a book written by Chinua Achebe is set in Nigeria in the 1890’s and portrays the clash between Nigeria’s white colonial government and the traditional culture of the native Igbo people. Many of the characters in this book clearly conveyed the effects of westernization at this time. In “Things Fall Apart” Nwoye, Okonkwo’s son, was positively impacted by the western culture collision by breaking away from his father and his culture to pursue his dreams.

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The story that tells a tale of one man and his family striving through hardships in the life given to them. Though facing a new kind of man they still retain their family nature. Even if the white men come to their lands and attempt change. This “tribe” is bent on the ideas of cultural strength. Sticking with there mighty clan name and its ideals doesn’t end well. When the new man arrived the attention of abolishing a culture in order to assimilate the ideals of one culture to another is messy as it is. The unfastidious ways of the tribes men, trying to become a new society is a way of a forceful claimment of territory and more people. The protagonist himself is even against some of these ideals but has to work with em. Even he’s a hard working man Okonkwo faced many issues. Masculinity and a name he made for himself bare’s the heaviness of his past. His father’s name tainted with blood of a weak man who never truly made mistakes and led a path of destruction of himself. He still despises his father’s past and his father. He’s concerned about his own masculinity, he beats his wife and inflicts brutal rule over the one’s he love. Generating fear and hatred amongst the ones who love him. Like his father did. Living in the shadow of his father, Okonkwo could no longer take it and is forced by his self moral to change his ways but is faced with the spirit that embodies him now. His father. Throughout his life, Okonkwo has earned himself many riches through his career of wrestling Okonkwo earned a name for himself for being a champion wrestler. Defeating ” The Cat” Okonkwo has been given the title of champion. The Cat being the great wrestler who was undefeated for quite some time. Soon is beaten and the title of Champion is given to the winner. There are some benefits that come with this whole champion winnings, the honor and respect from fellow clan members and well other.. things.

Although he was given that title, when the new people arrived and began the colonies everything was altered. Their ideas of religion and ways of life were nothing to the colonists. The major conflict being the traditional society of Umuofia and the new customs brought by the whites, which are in turn adopted by many of the villagers. Okonkwo also struggles to be as different from his deceased father as possible. He believes his father to have been weak, effeminate, lazy, ignominious, and poor. Consequently, Okonkwo strives to be strong, masculine, industrious, respected, and wealthy. Okonkwo is a man of honor and hatred of his past. The idea of different cultures makes a good clash between what’s new and what’s old. New religions and new ways of learning.

The Igbo people were self sufficient civilization that didn’t need a foreign government. (Pathos) ” Okonkwo did not answer. But he left hold of Nwoye who walked away and never returned. He went back to the church and told Mr.Kiaga that he had decided to go to Umuofia where the white missionary had set up a school to teach young Christians to read and write.” (Page 152)(1). ” That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia. You drove him to kill himself; and now he will be buried like a dog.” (page 208)(1) . (Logos) ” The titled men and elders sat on their stools waiting for the trials to begin. In front of them was a row of stools on which nobody sat. There were nine of them.” (Page 87)(1). “The elders, or ndichie, met to hear a report of Okonkwo’s mission. At the end they decided, as everybody knew they would, that the girl should go to Ogbuefi Udo to replace his murdered wife. As for the boy, he belonged to the clan as a whole, and there was no hurry to decide his fate.” (Page 12)(1). (Ethos) One of them was that District Commissioner must never attend to such undignified details as cutting a hanged man from the tree… In the book which he planned to write he would stress that point… He already chosen the title of the book after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.” (Pages 208-209)(1). ” How an he when he doesn’t even speak our tongue? ut he says that our customs are bad; and our own brothers who have taken up his religion also say that our customs are bad.” (Page 176)(1). The real world connection with this is, it’s the most accurate and similar real world connection would be when the British came into North American and implemented their government. The natives had no say in whether they wanted the foreign rule, the British either set it up or kicked the natives out of their own land. Both Situations involve a European super power coming into a secluded area that is functioning soundly, and setting up their own government because they believe they’re superior. Another example would be when the US went to war against Vietnam trying to rid Vietnam of communism and set up a democracy. This is similar to the Europeans in Things Fall Apart who felt their government was the only right government and everyone else had a useless government. The world in which this book creates applies its teachings and meanings to real time events and so speaks of such meaning threw written images and character experiences.

Ezinma was the only child of Okonkwo’s that he admired. He cared for her a great amount more than his other children and wished she was a male constantly because she displayed strength, knowledge, and didn’t question what Okonkwo told her. Ikemefuna’s death made Okonkwo feel sadness and vulnerability for one of the first times in his life and this showed a lot about how much Okonkwo admired him. Nwoye was the kid of Okonkwo’s that he despised because he reminded him of his father who was lazy and careless. Nwoye adds a lot of stress to Okonkwo’s life when he joins the Christian community. Each of these kids showed hidden parts of Okonkwo and that’s why their existence in the novel is so important.

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About Westernization In "Things Fall Apart". (2019, Mar 26). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/about-westernization-in-things-fall-apart/