Things Fall Apart
!.?. !? Title: The Dangers of Colonialism; Insight into the Everyday Life of the Ibo people and the Effect of the Europeans. Written By: A. R. W. G. “Things Fall Apart”, composed by the late Nigerian Author, Chinua Achebe, is a book written in the view of an African local that sheds light to the impacts of colonialism and the common mistaken beliefs of the colonized due to a lack of cultural gratitude. Achebe positions the reader in the shoes of the lead character, Okonkwo, to guide them through the everyday life of Ibo society.
Although on a much higher perspective, Achebe guides the reader through the everyday life of the Ibo people and their cumulative situation, while depicting the appeal and faults of Ibo culture at a time when things rapidly begin to fall apart due to the existential effect of European colonialism. Chinua Achebe composed “Things Fall Apart” under the impact of “Discourse on Manifest Destiny” (Aime Cesaire, 1950) and “Black Skin, White Masks” (Frantz Fanon, 1952).
In his book, he dared to challenge the principle of racist composing towards the impacts of manifest destiny illustrated by the ‘West’ by being open with his criticisms of literary ‘blindness’ to racist writing. Achebe does not present the reader to manifest destiny up until the near end. It is not till the reader has a possibility to value the information of the Ibo culture and put themselves in Okonkwo’s shoes that Achebe “permits” the reader’s mind to marinade the significance and impact of manifest destiny and the wear and tear of the Ibo culture.
By doing this, the reader could feel as though they became part of the Ibo individuals prior to the momentum of the story is altered. Only in part two the reader undergoes the societal modifications that the dispute between the people of Umofia (Okonkwo’s town) and the Christian missionaries present. It is when the Christian Missionaries arrive in Africa, that the Ibo’s traditions, gods, and lifestyle are challenged by the modern world. Rather of providing themselves as a danger to the Ibo people, they live in harmony beside the people with a good deal of respect for the Ibo culture.
Achebe depicts the complex, advanced social institutions and artistic customs of the Igbo individuals prior to their contact with Europeans. The book explains the customs and society of the Igbo and the influence of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on the Igbo community during the late 19th century. When the missionaries prosper in taking over Umuofia, Okonkwo is so distraught with the Christian improvement that he devotes suicide.
The rationale of Things Break down is to explore the imperfections of the Ibo culture and its strengths therefore, the fall of the Ibo culture and subsequently, the fall of Okonkwo can not only be attributed to their strong belief system and rooted cultural heritage but the impact of the missionaries had in converting lots of people on Umuofia. During a discussion in between Obierika, Okonkwo’s good friend, and Okonkwo, Obierika basically sums up the occasions because the white male has arrived on their land: “Does the white male comprehend our custom about land? “How can he when he does not even speak our tongue? However he states that our customs are bad; and our own bros who have taken up his religion also state that our custom-mades are bad. How do you believe we can battle when our own bros have turned against us? The white man is really clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his faith. We were entertained at his foolishness and enabled him to remain. Now he has actually won our brothers, and our clan can no longer imitate one. He has actually put a knife on the important things that held us together and we have actually fallen apart. (Achebe, 176) In an area that the people considered the “Evil Forrest”, Achebe states, “The white guy had certainly brought a faith, but he had actually also constructed a trading shop and for the first time palm-oil and kernel ended up being things of fantastic rate, and much cash streamed into Umuofia” (Achebe, 178). The implication of manifest destiny and the outright depiction of the beginning of a capitalist structure is plainly evaluated in this passage and the reader can see the terrific modifications that have taken place because the arrival of the Europeans.
Through narrating the life of Okonkwo’s household, Achebe provides insight into how the procedure of colonization takes place and the resulting physical and mental impacts on both groups of people. Achebe finishes a portrayal of how the procedure of colonization takes place and brings itself out on all of the celebrations involved with quite a similarity to Fanon. In “The Sorrowful of the Earth”, Franz Fanon gives an accurate representation of the procedure of colonization and decolonization and its effects from primarily a historic and platonic perspective. Brilliantly, Achebe informs the story in uch a mentally descriptive way that the reader ends up being emotionally involved and the moment the reader understands that colonization is happening, the tragedy is much more genuine unlike Fanon’s description of the process. Both Achebe and Fanon discuss the function of violence in colonization. While Fanon uses a non-emotional and somewhat external viewpoint about the historical procedure of decolonization as an element of modernization, Achebe fills the psychological void by focusing the majority of the book on Ibo life, its charm and originality, from peace to colonization.
He permits the reader to put themselves in the situation and let their heart, soul, and natural impulses take control of their mind while all at once backing Fanon’s idea of the process as motion of mankind towards development. In”Discourse on Manifest destiny”, Aime Cesaire insists that the colonial conquest that shows how Europe’s barbarism led them “to kill in Indochina, abuse in Madagascar, send to prison in Black Africa, break down in the West Indies,” (Cesaire, 1) based upon discrimination and hatred of the colonizer towards the native is damaging.
It dehumanizes both the colonizer and the colonized which he refers to the “boomerang result of colonization” (Cesaire, 13). It is really comparable to the events in “Things Break Down” when the Westerners collapsed the pillars of Ibo society. Both pieces mention the resemblances between British colonial practices in Nigeria, and those Cesaire came across in his native Martinique, a French colony. While both readings condemn the brutality and twisted “concept” of manifest destiny, Achebe and Cesaire find out different lessons from this human “disaster” and seem to have differing visions for moving forward.
Cesaire and Achebe share crucial concepts for the future of Africa and post-colonial societies via the study of the human disaster suffered throughout colonization. Cesaire discusses how the West exploited the natural deposits of other societies through colonization under the guise of spreading religious beliefs or “civilizing” the “savage”. Achebe would agree with Cesaire that Europe only sought to benefit itself.
They share the notion that the “Third” world need to develop a future where they accept the charm of their previous however likewise handle qualities of “contemporary society” that can lead newfound peace and success. Although both authors eventually agree with the course that post-colonial societies need to take, they vary in their core views of human nature. In “Things Fall Apart”, Achebe holds the notion that the faults of both the invading Westerners and the native Ibo show that all societies share the exact same capacity for “barbarism” and injustice.
He made it very clear that Ibo culture was not perfect which it delighted in “barbaric” practices such as eliminating twins and the ghastly treatment of females while explaining the unforgiving massacre of whole villages by European soldiers. On the other hand, Cesaire recommends that locations such as Africa were “democratic societies, always”, (Cesaire, 7) and they might progress, producing a new path since they are” a society rich with all the productive power of modern times, warm with all of the fraternity of olden days”. Cesaire, 11) In Conclusion, the post-colonial literature by Chinua Achebe, Franz Fanon and Aime Cesaire, use a defense to “Western” misstatements of their humanity and the real approach on the impacts that colonization had actually on the colonized. By portraying the complex, advanced social institutions and artistic lifestyle of their particular cultures, the authors successfully challenge the self-centered and close minded literature of European authors and use a selfless view of the fantastic features of their culture in addition to their faults prior to their contact with the Europeans.
In that regard, Achebe’s book is a fine example of post-colonial writing. BIBLIOGRAPHY Achebe, Chinua, Things Break Down (New York City: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1994) Cesaire, Aime. Discourse on Colonialsm (New York: Month-to-month Evaluation Press, 2000 , 29-78 Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Mask and/or The Sorrowful of the Earth, 35-106