The Portrayal of Nigerian Lifestyle in 19th-Century in Things Fall Apart

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe portrays the lifestyle in Nigeria during the late 19th century. This novel plays a significant role throughout the “falling apart” of indingeous cultures from South America, New Zealand, and other countries. Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria and was involved in the Igbo Tribe. This tribe is a polythestic tribe that believes more than one God. On the other hand, Christianity believes in the holy trinity and God-monothestic. The tribes are starting to be converted into other religions. Okonkwo is seen as someone who is in power, wealthy, and respected because of his attitude towards society. He is seen as macho during this period. Okonkwo dislikes the “white guys” are entering the town and wanting to convert religious into another religion. This is compared to history when Europeans were forcing Indians to convert into christianity in a brutal way, it reflects the backgrounds of different people who were forced to change their culture, and enter a whole different new world- that they had to adapt to.

During the “Scramble for Africa” in the late 1800’s Europeans such as Spaniards used religion to manipulate indegenous colonies and colonize them. The hunger towards power was extreme, Europeans wanted to show the world they were dominant and felt inferior of anyone. Between 1881 and 1914 the Scramble for Africa occurred during the New Imperialism. Chen states how people during his time, they would not let next door neighbors get into their village or feel inferior to them. In the 14th century the Spanish thought the Aztec’s were far away from them, but in reality they were behind. The spanish like Hernan Cortes was able to conquer the Atec Empire.

Obey Rica was against white men, foreigners appear in the village. In his case, a white man appeared in a nearby village. The oracle was consulted and believed the white men who were going to enter after the first one would destroy the village and decided to kill him. “Never kill a man who says nothing.” The white individual actually stated some words before dying but Abame people did not understand his language.Those men who followed were called “locusts”. Many people were killed by the white men in the market because they were taking revenge on their mate who got stabbed by the villagers. Foreigners began to take villagers as slaves and own them as their property. “I am greatly afraid. We have heard stories about white men who made the powerful guns and the strong drinks and took slaves across the seas, but no one thought the stories were true.”

Two years later, Obi Rika returns to Bonta and reports that missionaries have built a church in new Mafia. This idea converted villagers to christianity and they were persuaded because of the methods the missionaries would use. Obey Rika learns from Conroy and she was intrigued by the missionaries. A white man and six converts went to Bonta to talk about the “holy trinity and how there is only one true God to turn against their wicked ways and convert”. Moyet turns against his father, Okonkwo because of these ideas of the way he sees his “new religion”. He expresses about it, in a pure way and feeling clean.


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