Things Fall Apart (Coming of White Men)

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Thing Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe

Discuss how the coming of the White men makes Umuofia “fall apart”. Make reference to the religious, economic, political and social impact of the British culture on the traditions of the clan.

As the novel opens, we get to know Umuofia, one of Igbo’s nine villages, as an organized but somehow different civilization. Chinua Achebe portrays life in this village as rough and harsh, conveying to the readers that only brave men would succeed in it. As said before, even though these civilizations are stereotyped and seen as primitive, we can clearly see that their lives are completely balanced between faith and order. It is actually astonishing to see how such a different way of life, to what we think and see as the normal life, may be as much or even more organized than ours. Even though both civilization are completely organized and function perfectly well, they could never live together in harmony. One would end up consuming the other as they were not meant to coexist. We may think we are educating and helping “uncivilized men”, but we are actually disintegrating their beliefs, their organization, their politics and their language. We are not aiding them, but destroying their religion and their society. We are, in other words, banishing their culture. A culture that will be lost forever. Hence, we may say, that in many ways the coming of White men made Umuofia “fall apart”. To begin with, the coming of the white men made Umuofia fell apart as their religion was greatly affected. The village of Umuofia was sustained by their beliefs and their gods, who criticized and punished the lazy men and those who were not worthy of worshipping them. Therefore the coming of a new monotheist and more peaceful religion brought huge changes in some of Umuofia’s most important traditions. These white men questioned most of Umuofia’s beliefs such as the dangers that inhabited the evil forest by setting their livings there. This first action...
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