Colonialism in Things Fall Apart

Topics: Things Fall Apart, Igbo people, Chinua Achebe Pages: 2 (697 words) Published: April 7, 2002
This essay is about the effect of Colonialism seen in the book Things Fall Apart. Through out the whole book you can see different impressions on the tribe, many other people, and the relationships between the white man and the black man. "Does the white man understand our custom about land?" "How can he when he does not even speak our tongue? But he says that our customs are bad; and our own brothers who have taken up his religion also say that our customs are bad. How do you think we can fight when our own brothers have turned against us? The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart." (Achebe, 176)This discussion of the white man not understanding the customs and traditions, comes ever since the arrival of the colonialists, Obierika seems to voice Achebe's own thoughts on colonialism. Upset by the fact that the white men have come and completely disregarded the Igbo sense of justice, Obierika points out the impossibility of the colonialists understanding anything about the Umuofians without speaking their language. Then he points out the foolishness of belittling unfamiliar customs. Obierika does not lay the whole blame on the white man's side. He feels also that the Umuofians who have converted to Christianity have wrongly turned their backs on their own "brothers." This belief complicates our understanding of the novel, as Achebe prevents us from seeing matters in clear-cut terms of good (black) versus bad (white). Religion and tradition are the things that hold the clan together, and if they are cutting these kind of things out, then the tribe or clan will or have fallen apart. Certainly, Achebe does not blame the villagers. While this quotation shows his criticism of the colonialists for their...
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