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Zealous Faith Essay

1331 words - 6 pages

The novel Things Fall Apart written by Chinua Achebe highlights the many important historical events that happened during the period of colonialism, spread of religious fervor to Africa from Europe, and the importance of the native religion among African societies. Achebe shows that religion holds a major influence in many African societies and influences the daily life of the natives. Furthermore, the novel introduces a major event that happen during pre-colonial Africa, the spread of the Christian faith, which forever changed and affected the natives in Africa, more specifically the Igbo society located in Nigeria. Things Fall Apart vividly describes and explains how the Christian faith ...view middle of the document...

This is important because the native religion that Nwoye previously believed in could not provide him with a satisfying answer to why these events occurred. This inevitably leads him to wonder toward Christianity and finds that this religion fits his point of view and answers his questions.
In Things Fall Apart, there are people who are called osu, the outcasts of the Igbo society. They live in near the edge of the evil forest and could not cut their hair. In addition, the osu cannot hold any titles and cannot enter a marriage. However, with the arrival of Christianity many join the Christian faith as stated on page 138, “The two outcasts shaved off their hair, and soon they were the strongest adherents of the new faith.” The osu views the Christian faith as a haven for them and as a place of acceptance where they are accepted with open arms by the church members. This quote shows that Christianity guides the Igbo society by providing a clear difference between the Igbo society and that of the Christian church members from Europe. To add on, there are many people that see that the clear difference and decide that the church provides them with a better life than the Igbo. Furthermore, the quote even shows the flaw in Igbo society where men and women do not have equal rights, whereas the Christians view all their church members as equal, not discriminating against a person based on their gender.
Along bring the Christian faith into Africa; the missionaries also bring with them their education system that acts as guidance for the native people by educating them. Stated on page 156, “More people came to learn in his school, and he encouraged them with gifts of singlets and towels. From this quote it is easily noticeable that the church guided the natives toward a brighter future by educating the children and adults in Umoufia. By educating the natives, the church sets the Igbo society into the right direction by teaching them practical skills, such as medicine, and giving them a chance to earn a job in the white government. Thus, allowing the natives of Africa to have a chance to be part of the modern world.
Christianity not only acts as guidance for the Igbo society but also acts as a tool that ultimately leads to the inevitable destruction of the Igbo society. The earliest event in the novel that begins to show the destruction of the Igbo society is when the missionaries begin to disprove the native religion that people in Umuofia. Shown on page 131, “But they were still alive, building a new red-earth and thatch house for their teacher, Mr. Kiaga.” This quote shows the earliest event in which the native religion was disproved. The clansmen expected the missionaries to perish but they did not. As a result, the event mystified the people in Umuofia and leads some to say that the foreign religion is more powerful than the...

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