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Searching For Acceptance Essay

760 words - 4 pages

When two societies clash, the effects are diverse and unpredictable. This is the case when missionaries arrive in Africa and interact with the Ibo people. Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, uses his novel to explore the cultural collision between the Ibo people and the white missionaries, by delving into the intricacy of the Ibos’ reactions through the eyes of the vulnerable and impressionable character Nwoye, additionally illuminating the cultural expansion and destruction that the book is centered around.
The story focuses mainly on Okonkwo, a respected and hardworking member of the Ibo tribe. Nwoye, Okonkwo’s oldest son, struggles in the shadow of his powerful, successful, ...view middle of the document...

From here, we can see that the social structure in the tribe slowly breaking down, with many of its people gone. Although the conversion of people to Christianity seems to have a positive impact on the individual, particularly in Nwoye’s case, it is one division of many that starts tearing at the seams of their community as “Now he has won our brothers, and our clan no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.” (chapter 20). This quote blatantly expresses the pain some of the Ibo tribe is feeling and that they blame it on the missionaries that have moved through their land, taking their people, leaving behind a broken and forgotten culture.
More than any other character, Nwoye embodies an innocent child who is very sensitive to his surroundings and is baffled by the seemingly unnecessary cruelties being committed around him. His dominant characteristic is his incredible ability to feel and sympathize, making him a perfect character to look through the eyes of and see the situation, however, the arrival of the missionaries and the loss of his father forces Nwoye to change. In order to blatantly go against what he know his father would disown him...

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