A Society with Soul
“As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit.” This quote by Seneca, a Roman philosopher, says that nothing good can ever come out of the absence of culture. Throughout history, many have argued that a society stripped of its culture is a society stripped of its soul. In the novel Things Fall Apart, the Ibo people are completely taken of their culture by the white colonialists. Despite a growing pattern of submission to new culture within the tribe, the people never truly lost their soul. The Ibo tribe was invaded by outsiders, their culture threatened with accusations on their way of life, worship, and customs, practically being forced into submission. The Ibo people may have been entirely stripped of their culture, but definitely not of their soul. Due to the colonialists attempting to assimilate the Ibo people, the tribe lost their culture but not the essence of who they are, allowing them to triumph against all odds.
The white people pushed to assimilate the Africans, especially in their religion, ultimately tearing families apart and disconnecting the tribe. Obierika even says, “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 things that held us together and we have fallen apart,” (Achebe 152). As the British colonized the Ibo tribes in Africa, they brought with them their new religion of Christianity. At first these new beliefs were not accepted by the Ibo people, but quickly became a major threat to their old way of life. The appeal of wealth and the flow of money into their village from British traders, in combination with support for the colonialists’ new government and judicial system, eventually attracted many Ibos to convert to Christianity. Ibo society was...
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