As such, their ideals are viewed as savage and uncivilized, which caused a divide among the Igbo people. To begin, colonization refers to the act of establishing colonies. This is mainly done to expand the territory of a certain nation, increase their own resource supply, and find new resources in the land being conquered. Colonization may have a positive effect on the colonizer, but the process of colonization typically affects the indigenous population negatively.
Even if the author doesn't consciously identify an intended theme, the creative process is directed by at least one controlling idea — a concept or principle or belief or purpose significant to the author.
The theme — often several themes — guides the author by controlling where the story goes, what the characters do, what mood is portrayed, what style evolves, and what emotional effects the story will create in the reader.
Igbo Society Complexity From Achebe's own statements, we know that one of his themes is the complexity of Igbo society before the arrival of the Europeans. To support this theme, he includes detailed descriptions of the justice codes and the trial process, the social and family rituals, the marriage customs, food production and preparation processes, the process of shared leadership for the community, religious beliefs and practices, and the opportunities for virtually every man to climb the clan's ladder of success through his own efforts.
The book may have been written more simply as a study of Okonkwo's deterioration in character in an increasingly unsympathetic and incompatible environment, but consider what would have been lost had Achebe not emphasized the theme of the complex and dynamic qualities of the Igbo in Umuofia.
Clash of Cultures Against Achebe's theme of Igbo cultural complexity is his theme of the clash of cultures. This collision of cultures occurs at the individual and societal levels, and the cultural misunderstanding cuts both ways: Just as the uncompromising Reverend Smith views Africans as "heathens," the Igbo initially criticize the Christians and the missionaries as "foolish.
Writing as an African who had been "Europeanized," Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart as "an act of atonement with [his] past, the ritual return and homage of a prodigal son. Destiny Related to the theme of cultural clash is the issue of how much the flexibility or the rigidity of the characters and by implication, of the British and Igbo contribute to their destiny.
Because of Okonkwo's inflexible nature, he seems destined for self-destruction, even before the arrival of the European colonizers. The arrival of a new culture only hastens Okonkwo's tragic fate. Two other characters contrast with Okonkwo in this regard: Brown, the first missionary, and Obierika, Okonkwo's good friend.
Whereas Okonkwo is an unyielding man of action, the other two are more open and adaptable men of thought. Brown wins converts by first respecting the traditions and beliefs of the Igbo and subsequently allowing some accommodation in the conversion process.
Like Brown, Obierika is also a reasonable and thinking person. He does not advocate the use of force to counter the colonizers and the opposition. Rather, he has an open mind about changing values and foreign culture: Obierika's receptive and adaptable nature may be more representative of the spirit of Umuofia than Okonkwo's unquestioning rigidity.
For example, consider Umuofia's initial lack of resistance to the establishment of a new religion in its midst. With all its deep roots in tribal heritage, the community hardly takes a stand against the intruders — against new laws as well as new religion.
What accounts for this lack of community opposition? Was Igbo society more receptive and adaptable than it appeared to be? The lack of strong initial resistance may also come from the fact that the Igbo society does not foster strong central leadership.
This quality encourages individual initiative toward recognition and achievement but also limits timely decision-making and the authority-backed actions needed on short notice to maintain its integrity and welfare. Whatever the reason — perhaps a combination of these reasons — the British culture and its code of behavior, ambitious for its goals of native "enlightenment" as well as of British self-enrichment, begin to encroach upon the existing Igbo culture and its corresponding code of behavior.
A factor that hastens the decline of the traditional Igbo society is their custom of marginalizing some of their people — allowing the existence of an outcast group and keeping women subservient in their household and community involvement, treating them as property, and accepting physical abuse of them somewhat lightly.
When representatives of a foreign culture beginning with Christian missionaries enter Igbo territory and accept these marginalized people — including the twins — at their full human value, the Igbo's traditional shared leadership finds itself unable to control its whole population.
The lack of a clear, sustaining center of authority in Igbo society may be the quality that decided Achebe to draw his title from the Yeats poem, "The Second Coming.In their respective works Things Fall Apart and The Joys of Motherhood, both Chinua Achebe and Buchi Emecheta depict the effects of colonialism on Igbo society.
While Achebe demonstrates the gradual process of colonial imposition, Buchi Emecheta. A summary of Themes in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Things Fall Apart and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”: Teaching Through the Novel the borders of West Africa set in place under colonialism are often contrary to the area's cultural and political reality have students analyze the way Achebe represents women in Igbo society within Things Fall Apart.
Things Fall Apart is a novel written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Published in , its story chronicles pre-colonial life in the south-eastern part of Nigeria and the arrival of the Europeans during the late nineteenth century.
Chinua Achebe’s widely acclaimed novel, Things Fall Apart, takes a post colonial look at the social and cultural consequences of arriving European missionaries to Africa and specifically Nigeria in the novel.
“Things Fall Apart” tells the story of Okonkwo, a leader in an Igbo village in Nigeria in the s, as he deals with his own personal struggles as well as the impact of British colonialism. The book describes the rich culture and complexities of Igbo society, articulating an insider’s sense of the African experience.