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Things Fall Apart Essay

1748 words - 7 pages

Throughout my African history class, I have learned and seen how various African countries have been colonized by various European countries. Sometimes, these acts have been beneficial for the Africans because the Europeans are able to bring their positive influences to the African villages. Such influences may include technological innovation whereby the Africans are able to live a better lifestyle or another positive influence could be demonstrating ways that promote civilized living among the Africans. However, when the Europeans entered into Africa during the late 1800s and slavery had become non-profitable for them, their intention was not to help these African villages and people, but to take over the villages, and start ruling. They would start their own life there, and they would preach their beliefs and rituals by setting up colonies in African villages. After reading Achebe's Things Fall Apart, I have to completely agree with your analysis of the novel and how you said "things totally fell apart"¦how Africans were destroyed socially, culturally and politically by the power of the colonial state and the 'civilizing mission' of Christian missionaries". I don't think you could have given a one-sentence summary better than that. From the beginning of the novel, we get a descriptive view of the way the people in the village are living, both socially and culturally. The novel is basically based around the character, Okonkwo who is known as one of the most powerful men throughout the nine villages. As Okonkwo was growing up, he knew that he wanted to be different than his father, Unoka. His father was lazy, and spent money on worthless goods, hence it resulted in him in debt. Okonkwo had a goal to be completely opposite of his father. He worked very hard through his childhood and adulthood. He wanted to prove to everyone who judged him to be like his father, that he was nothing like his father. Okonkwo started his successes by borrowing yam seeds from wealthy man, whom he promised to payback. He made sure that he took great care of these seeds, in effort so they would grow into masses. He was a great farmer and he expanded his yam production into two full barns. He was well respected, as he was also physically strong. Okonkwo was to be known as the greatest wrestler of all the nine villages. With these qualities, he had the power of having three wives, who took care of him well. Okonkwo was portrayed as the leader of the Umuofia village. Although Okonkwo had many of the characteristics of a great leader, he did have his flaws. He would always want everything done his way, even if he knew his viewpoint was wrong. If people would go against his will, he would tend to lose his temper quickly and he would become violent. When he found out that the banana tree was killed, Okonkwo lost his temper. He took a gun and pointed it at one of his wives, in the intent of killing her. The climax of the novel, whereby 'Things Fall Apart'...

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