This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Collision Of Beliefs In Things Fall Apart

1265 words - 5 pages

No one likes to be told how to live. In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, missionaries came to Africa to teach the natives a new way of life, Christianity. The natives had lived one way their entire life, and enacted their beliefs whole-heartedly. European missionaries wanted to convert them from these ways. Each group of people had a difficulties communicating with each other; this caused a type of ignorance towards the other. Joseph Conrad did an adequate job portraying the views of Europeans in his novel Heart of Darkness and why they felt they needed to be in Africa. The traditions and beliefs in these two novels caused a major separation between the natives and whites; could this have caused more damage than good?
What does it mean to be uncivilized? Uncivilized means:
–verb (used with object), -lized, -liz•ing. to bring out of a savage, uneducated, or rude state; make civil; elevate in social and private life; enlighten; refine: Rome civilized the barbarians. (Dictionary.com)
The Europeans had this common belief that Africa needed to be civilized. As I read through these books I felt that the Europeans thought they were helping the Africans become civilized through Christianity. Ones definition of civilization depends on their point of view. Joseph Conrad shows how the white man viewed the natives in his word choice, he states in his book;
‘Instantly, in the emptiness of the landscape, a cry arose whose shrillness pierced the still air like a sharp arrow flying strait to the very heart of the land; and, as if by enchantment, streams of human beings-of naked human beings – with spears in their hands, with bows, with shields, with wild glances and savage movements, were poured into the clearing by the dark – faced and pensive forest. (pg134 Conrad)
When Conrad calls the native Africans words such as wild and savage, he is expressing what the Europeans would’ve thought at that time. Were they really wild savages?
The natives had a completely different way of life than the Europeans did, and with any religion, the followers believed in entirety. In the novel Things Fall Apart, Achebe develops the African’s beliefs fully. Many whites thought of the native Africans as being uncivilized. The natives were just as much civilized as the whites, if not more. They seemed to have supplementary structure and followed their beliefs more so than the whites. It was the ignorance of the white men not to realize how civilized the natives really were. The natives were civilized, just in their own way, but the Europeans still wanted to civilize the natives. ‘Heart of Darkness projects the image of Africa as “the other world,” the antitheses of Europe and therefore of civilization, a place where man’s vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality.’ (pg 3 An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness) Europeans professed to be great, ‘civilized,’ people, but in...

Find Another Essay On The Collision of Beliefs in Things Fall Apart

The Role of Women in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

3673 words - 15 pages More than those of any other African writer, Chinua Achebe’s writings have helped to develop what is known as African literature today. And the single book which has helped him to launch his "revolution" is the classic, Things Fall Apart.  The focus of this essay includes: 1) Achebe's portraiture of women in his fictional universe, the existing sociocultural situation of the period he is depicting, and the factors in it that condition male

The Development of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart

729 words - 3 pages warrior. He was well known and respected by neighboring villages. This man, Okonkwo, worked hard at his goal, and he achieved it. Okonkwo, a man with great strength and personality, had achieved his goal to become rich and famous, a privilege that was unseen before in his family. Although Okonkwo reached his goal at an early age, his life began to fall apart when tragic episodes took place. Okonkwo was a tragic hero in the sense he was blamed or

Themes in Things Fall Apart

648 words - 3 pages Jordan Scott 3A10/29/14Cultural Conflict: Argumentative AnalysisIn the novel, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, the author creates a theme of masculinity. Because power is associated with masculinity, Achebe makes the male protagonist, Okonkwo, one of the most powerful and feared leaders in the clan. Men are often viewed as being more powerful than women, which makes power a masculine trait.Masculinity is demonstrated in the following quote

Analysis of Things Fall Apart

869 words - 3 pages Different countries have people that hold many different views and beliefs. In Nigeria the Igbo area is located in the southern area of the country. And within this area is Umuofia, which is where the Ogidi tribe lives. These people have beliefs that rest strongly on religion and faith in god. "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe takes a look at the life of an African tribe that has been isolated from the outer more technologically advanced

Unique Cultures in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

1995 words - 8 pages Unique Cultures in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart     There are a variety of cultures in this world and each culture is unique. Usually when one was born and raised in a certain culture, that person may adapt to that culture for a period of time. It is sometimes difficult to look into someone else’s culture, and understand their culture. Sometimes one must keep an open mind, study the culture

Analysis of Achebe's Impartiality in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1116 words - 4 pages Achebe's Impartiality In Things Fall Apart      Knowledge of Africa and the inhabitants of the massive continent were often portrayed as barbaric beasts by the first missionaries to enter the land.  Because of skewed writings by European missionary workers, a picture was painted for their readership of a savage Africa saved only by the benevolent, civilized western influence.  Achebe successfully attempts to redirect this attitude. Achebe

Use of Three Literary Techniques in Things Fall Apart

599 words - 2 pages In his work Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe tells a story describing the decay and destruction of ancient African tradition caused by the invasion of white culture. His tone in the book seems to side and sympathize with the Africans and their religion. Interestingly enough, though, he uses biblical allusion, as well as onomatopoeia and symbolism to bring the book to life and captivate the reader. The following will describe how he uses these

Forms of colonialism in Achebe's Things Fall Apart

727 words - 3 pages missionaries in the form of direct colonization of Nigeria. Things Fall Apart focuses on the transition when it is being deep-rooted, for instance traditional values are put in conflict with a strange but powerful culture that will split them apart because of the arrival of the missionaries and their determination to idealize another culture. The villagers, in general , are disconcerted between resistance and acceptance of change, in addition, they

Author Bias in Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness

1215 words - 5 pages Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart. Both authors, whether intentionally or not, show their opinions on the relations between Native Africans and European colonists in the Victorian era, and the races themselves. Conrad’s main character Marlow is the narrator for most of the story in Heart of Darkness. He is presented as a well-intentioned person, and along his travels he is shocked by the cruelties that he sees inflicted on the native people. Though

Power of Women in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

980 words - 4 pages Power of Women in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart     The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a commanding account about the rise and fall of an African tribe. The powerful narrative depicts the life and customs of the people and how they change through the years. Theere are many different ideas and characters that are preseneted throughout the novel. The depiction of women is one aspect that is of extreme relevance. It can be shown

An Exploration of Proverbs in Things Fall Apart by Achebe

987 words - 4 pages Proverbs A proverb is "a brief, memorable saying that expresses a truth or belief" (Proverb). “Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten" (Achebe 7), and they enhance the meaning of all the conversations. “A proverb is [basically] a short sentence based on long experience” (. In Things Fall Apart, proverbs are mainly used in the development of the important characters. Through proverbs used in character development, Achebe shows

Similar Essays

The Values And Beliefs Of Okonkwo In Things Fall Apart

1024 words - 4 pages The Values and Beliefs of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart Things Fall Apart is a novel, which is directly focused on the tribes and the local life of the native people. The protagonist in this novel is a proud strict and tough man with the name of Okonkwo. Okonkwo was born in the mid-nineteenth century, in the Igbo village of Umuofia, (which we now know as southeastern Nigeria). Okonkwo's life was "dominated by fear, the

The Power Of Fear In Things Fall Apart

1339 words - 6 pages The Power of Fear in Things Fall Apart In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the theme of the power of fear is presented throughout the whole book and is mainly expressed in the main character, Okonkwo. Okonkwo strives all of his life to become a stronger, more powerful, and a successful individual. He wants to do this because his father was a slack and lazy person who lived most of his life in debt and had no titles to his name

The Role Of Women In Things Fall Apart

721 words - 3 pages The Role of Women in Things Fall Apart In society, both males and females take distinct roles. It is those roles that keep "life" functioning; but which role is more important? Often times, women are degraded and forced into the roles viewed "unnecessary". This is what happened in the Ibo society during Chinua Achebe's book, Things Fall Apart. The presence of women was never really acknowledged, however, it was a backbone of

The Character Of Okonkwo In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1942 words - 8 pages The Character of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart What makes a successful man? This, in itself, is a culture bound question because it can vary from culture to culture. However, in the perception of Okonkwo, the main character in Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, the measure of a man's success is based on two elements, material acquisition and growth, and physical prowess. This is ironic for Okonkwo since