Analysis of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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ANDRADE, Maria Ana Ruth D.L.
M.A. Ed. Literature

Things Fall Apart
By Chinua Achebe

“I fear for you young people because you do not understand how strong is the bond of kinship. You do not know what it is to speak with one voice. And what is the result? An abominable religion has settled among you. A man can now leave his father and his brothers. He can curse the gods of his fathers and his ancestors, like a hunter’s dog that suddenly goes mad and turns on his ancestors, like a hunter’s dog that suddenly goes mad and turns on his master. I fear for you; I fear for the clan.”

Things Fall Apart is an African novel written in 1958. The text above was expressed by an old native of Mbanta, the motherland of Okonkwo.

When Okonkwo was exiled for seven years from Umuofia due to a “female” crime, his homeland was greatly influenced by the newcomers, the Whites. These Westerners introduced Christianity and a new type of government to the Africans. However, this Western culture caused chaos to the villagers of Umuofia. Some of them accepted the new culture and some were against it. So the text above was saying that the youth had changed and became easily influenced by new attractive things like Christianity and the White’s government laws. The speaker believed that this was one factor why “things” fell apart in Umuofia.

The novel Things Fall Apart is a postcolonial text. Aside from being written after Africa achieved its independence from the Whites, the text addresses the matters of postcolonial identity which involves the exploitation of the Africans by the Whites using religion and new laws (Fischer-Tiné, 2010). The Whites had a very wise tactic of sending missionaries first to introduce Christianity instead of using violence that leads to forced capturing of the land. They convinced people to believe their faith so that when they establish laws, the Africans would respond according to the faith instructed on them which taught the value of obedience and...
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