The Destruction of Umuofia

Topics: Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Igbo people Pages: 2 (762 words) Published: January 3, 2009
A new religion can change those who don’t know it. It could be for the better depending on the people and the religion. But in the book, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, the arrival of the white man and Christian society they bring, destroyed the way of life for the Ibo tribe of Umuofia. As most know, Christianity is a religion of kindness, but when forced upon those who do not want to recognize it as their religion, it can upset the balance of a once stable community. The missionaries that came to Umuofia planned to better its people at first, but as you’ll soon find, it did just the opposite.

First, Umuofia, a strong and proud tribe, met with white missionaries who they allowed to live there, which was the beginning to their downfall. The Ibo people did this because they liked the strange “chalk” men and were amused by their feeble religion. The white men were not enjoyed by all however, many felt they weren’t to be trusted. So the tribe allowed the missionaries to stay, but they did so, on the terms that they would build they’re buildings and would live in the evil forest. The evil forest was a cursed land that no Ibo person would grow crops or build huts for fear of evil demons. It was believed that the white men would either run away, or be killed. In either case, the Ibo people would be happy. But they soon noticed that even though these men were on cursed ground, nothing bad happened to them. No white man died of a horrible illness or was eaten by animals or demons. Many tribesmen began to doubt that there was anything to fear about the so called, “evil”, forest. This realization made a few question there religion. What if the white men are right about there only being one God and not many who rule the different elements of the earth?

Secondly, the Umuofia people began to convert to the Christian religion. By doing this, the tribesmen sealed their own fate. This is because now that there was tribesmen working with the Christians, they couldn’t...
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