"Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe proving that the European views of the Ibo culture were superfical and misconstruded.

Essay by LuppeyHigh School, 10th gradeA-, March 2003

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Downloaded 61 times

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, is a story of a Nigerian Ibo tribe forced to endure the ignorance of European Christians that have colonized in Africa with the intentions of setting up missionaries. While their intentions were genuine, their presence was devastating to the Ibo culture. Although the Europeans and Ibo people were forced to interact with each other, their opinions were entirely superficial due to the fact that there was never an effort made to understand the Ibo people.

"The story of this man who killed a messenger and hanged himself would make interesting reading. One could almost write a whole chapter on him. Perhaps not a whole chapter but a reasonable paragraph, at any rate."(pg. 209) Achebe succeeded in writing an entire novel based on the powerful and complex Okonkwo, but the District Commissioner was only able to write a paragraph. This is symbolic of the Europeans view of the Ibo people.

They were ignorant of the Ibo culture, and they never made an effort to learn about it. If the Europeans would have learned about the Ibo people, they may have understood that everything that was done was for the well- being of the tribe.

For example, when the Ibo tribe threw away twins and mutilated baby bodies, it was for religious purposes. The Europeans took this as being brutal and savage instead of what it really was. An attempt to rid the tribe of anything that could possible harm them in the future. "We cannot leave the matter in his hands because he does not understand our customs, just as we do not understand his. We say he is foolish because he does not know our ways, and perhaps he says we are foolish because we do not know his." (pg. 191)

The Europeans...