Compare and Contrast Essay: Things Fall Apart and Joys of Motherhood

Essay by Dusk2k2High School, 10th grade April 2004

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In both Things Fall Apart and The Joys of Motherhood, it is illustrated that the "modernization" that the British brought to Nigeria was not progress. Modernization is not something that can just be imposed and occur overnight; it must run its own course. The British tried to impress their customs onto Nigeria and considered it modernization. When Great Britain finally did pull out of Nigeria, they left it in much worse condition then when they entered it.

In both Things Fall Apart and The Joys of Motherhood, the culture of the Ibo people is extremely lively and complex before the British enter Nigeria. There is an intricate social structure that gives every single person a specific role and duty. There is a rigid, unwritten code of conduct for every single aspect of life in Ibuza and Umofia. The British viewed these rural Nigerian tribes as primitive uneducated savages.

The foreign occupiers felt that their customs and inventions were superior to those of their Nigerian counterparts, so they considered changes that they imposed as modernization.

Both Chinua Achebe and Buchi Emecheta show that modernization cannot be forced onto a group of people; it should be a natural process. The Ibos are a people that have great pride and have a complicated society. At the beginning of both novels, the authors portray many of the intricacies of the Ibo culture and how they were a successful people with rich customs. The British came to Nigeria and were able to force their ways of life onto the many peoples of the country because of their superior weaponry. The colonialists established their justice system in Nigeria and held the Natives accountable to their laws: "'We have a court of law where we judge cases and administer justice as it is done in...