Post-Colonial View on Things Break Down
A Post-colonial Analysis of an Altering Society in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958) The desire to conquer land that was previously untouched has existed throughout history. This desire forced lots of native societies, who were generally controlled technically, to adjust to the teachings and overall system of the ‘remarkable’ conqueror country with damage as the only option. This triggers a significant influence on how a particular society functions, even after looking for independence from the immigrants. The rise and fall of native societies can be evaluated through various media.
Chinua Achebe is an author specializing in African literature, and this essay deals with the themes concerning colonialism in among his many books. In specific, the Igbo people in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart have their beliefs undermined by the British. As such, their suitables are deemed savage and uncivilized, which caused a divide amongst the Igbo people. A beneficial theory to examine the theme of a changing society is the post-colonial theory, which deals with the irregular alterations that a society experiences since of an outside source, also called a ‘colonial power’.
Post-colonial literary criticism is a beneficial theoretical tool to analyze the fall of native society as depicted in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. In specific, the theoretical ideas of the process of colonization from the viewpoint of the colonized, the psychological impact colonization has on the Igbo people, and the Native resistance to colonization are relevant to the analysis of the fall of indigenous society in Achebe’s seminal novel. To begin, colonization describes the act of developing colonies.
This is generally done to expand the territory of a specific country, increase their own resource supply, and discover brand-new resources in the land being conquered. Colonization might have a favorable effect on the colonizer, but the procedure of colonization generally affects the indigenous population negatively. Colonization triggers change, which usually takes the kind of whatever the colonizer believes to be correct without considering the ideas of the native people who are in some cases treated like animals.
The greater the difference between the colonizer and the colonized, the greater the modification that takes place from the point of view of the colonized. When a society has actually been entirely altered, the indigenous people not just start to experience modifications to their way of life, however also a change in the method they see the world. The novel Things Break down describes the Igbo society before and after the British shows up. The very first part of the unique deals with the tribal way of life of the Igbo individuals, which is the author’s way of showing the culture of the Igbo individuals from their own perspective.
The Igbo individuals have been long time professionals of their faith, with the next generation following the footsteps of their predecessors. Their culture and view of the world stays unchanged until the British show up. Throughout Okonkwo’s 7 year exile from Umuofia, not only does his own town begin to alter, but the surrounding towns appear to be altering too. Due to the technological advancements occurring in Europe, the Igbo individuals are helpless against the British missionaries who get here, as explained by the quote, “Have you heard, asked Obierika, ‘that Abame is no more? … ‘Abame has actually been eliminated,’ stated Obierika (119 ). “
The quote reveals that the Igbo individuals are beginning to recognize that they need to either adjust and accept the immigrants or run the risk of becoming totally wiped out similar to their fellow tribesmen from the village of Abame. It is evident that the objective of the colonizer is to bring modification to the country being inhabited, but these changes typically bring turmoil to the native individuals’s way of living, which in turn can modify the way their society functions.
Second of all, the mindset of the colonizer and the colonized vary substantially. While the colonizer thinks that he is bringing civilization to a society in which he deems “barbaric”, the indigenous individuals see the colonizers as a hazard to their way of life and, as such, frequently look down on the beliefs of the immigrant. After living a particular lifestyle for a prolonged period of time, an unexpected change in lifestyle abnormally covers not only a society as a whole, but the individuals who live in that society.
The mental state of the indigenous individuals worsens due to the required ideas of the colonizers blending with their own, which can trigger a rift in their thinking. A decision needs to be made ultimately; however, the colonizer normally tries his hardest to avoid them from making what he thinks is the “incorrect” decision. Although the colonizer seems assisting the native people, his real objectives are all however innocent. Due to their technological disadvantages, the colonizers have an advantage over the indigenous individuals, causing the previous existing individuals to feel weakened.
Even after the colonizers eave, the colonized people continue to bear the scars left by the colonizers, as specified by Hayes who argues that, “Post Colonial Theory acknowledges the injury resulting from the alienation of native people from their own land, even after achieving independence” (Hayes). Colonization leaves behind irreversible mental damage, even long after self-reliance has been acquired. Furthermore, the mental impact is also portrayed crazes Break down. When the missionaries from Britain get here in Nigeria, the Igbo individuals are amused in the beginning when they first hand witness a “white guy”.
However, the one of the spiritual leaders in the Igbo clan who is known as the Oracle warns the people that “The odd male would break their clan and spread damage amongst them (120 ).” This warning foreshadows the occasions that follow, and the Igbo people start to feel inferior to the British colonizers after ending up being conscious of their destructive abilities which were mainly due to their technological improvements. The missionaries who show up likewise spread out Christianity to the people. Those with power in Igbo society are not connected with any of the early converts.
However, the “osu” or castaways quickly sign up with the brand-new religion due to the fact that the culture practiced by the Igbo do not accept them, and they are therefore easily swayed by the words of the immigrants. Although Okonkwo is a guy of power in Igbo society, his son Nwoye is amazed by the preaching of the missionaries. Ultimately, Nwoye chooses to cut his ties with his father as evident in the following exchange, “How is your daddy? Obierika asked, not understanding what else to state. I don’t know. He is not my father, stated Nwoye unhappily (124 ).
Colonization has impacted the Igbo individuals adversely and their initial society has actually started to reduce, starting in the second part of the novel Things Break down. Lastly, although colonization may have emotionally destabilized the native point of view, there is frequently a handful of individuals who firmly hold onto their beliefs no matter the circumstance. It is those individuals who usually wish to restore their nation to the state that it was prior to being colonized. Due to their enthusiastic desire to bring their nation back to its previous magnificence, resistance against the oppressors is their method to reveal their devotion.
Regrettably, many types of resistance normally stop working due to different reasons, with some being more avoidable than others. One such factor could be that violence plays a large function in battling versus oppressors, which ultimately causes either success to the native people need to they be successful, or harsh penalty if they stop working. The risk factor involved in this is one that should not be viewed at lightly and therefore the majority of the colonized individuals do not actively engage in resistance. As an outcome, resistance does not take place as typically as it is prepared due to the risk involved.
Moreover, the indigenous people in Things Fall Apart attempt to resist the British both prior to and after they make their colonial presence in Nigeria. Prior to the arrival of the British missionaries, a lone guy riding what the Igbo people called an “iron horse” appears. Due to his unusual look, individuals in the clan decide to kill the guy, “… and they killed the white male and connected his iron horse to their spiritual tree since it appeared it would run away to call to man’s good friends” (120 ). Not long after, more British people begin to settle in Nigeria and preach their religious beliefs to the Igbo people.
This event causes the British to develop a colonial presence in Nigeria. At the end of the novel, Okonkwo’s rage gives him a reward to begin a revolution by calling his individuals to the market location. Okonkwo’s objective is to encourage his individuals to start a war versus the British, strongly thinking that his individuals will follow him to combat the oppressors. After a messenger gets here, Okonkwo chooses to start the battle, and successfully draws “very first blood”. As Achebe writes, “That male was one of the greatest men in Umuofia. You drove him to eliminate himself; and now he will be buried like a pet dog” (178-179).
This quote describes Okonkwo’s frustration after recognizing that his fellow clansmen have actually changed, losing their sense of patriotism along the method. In conclusion, the points above show the fall of indigenous society in Chinua Achebe’s Things Break down using post-colonial literary criticism. Manifest destiny is normally deemed an occasion of the past. However, although indications of manifest destiny are not as apparent in the contemporary world, the after impacts of a previously colonized country continue to exist. For instance, the Tutsi and Hutu tribes from Rwanda were brought better together due to the fact that of the European colonizers.
Prior to their arrival, the 2 people could be considered 2 various, rival countries with a different set of guidelines and culture. The political destruction caused by the Europeans due to their colonial existence in Africa, “also involved ethnic tension and violence due to manifest destiny exists since of badly drawn international boundaries” (“Results of European Manifest Destiny in Africa”). Nevertheless, the Europeans had little issue for the competition in between the two people and so Rwanda was founded. Unfortunately, this caused a huge genocide in 1994, which eliminated roughly one million people.
Thus, the act of colonialism has constantly benefitted the colonizer, and the native people are entrusted the choice to either adapt or risk removal, which appears even after self-reliance has been accomplished as shown utilizing Chinua Achebe’s Things Break down as an example.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Break Down. 1958.
Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. Print.
“Impacts of European Colonialism in Africa. ” Yahoo! Contributor Network. N. p., n. d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.
Hayes, David. Class Lecture. Post Colonial Literary Theory. Westview Centennial Secondary School, Toronto, ON. 14 Feb 2013.