When Two Cultures Collide

Essay by poolaiCollege, UndergraduateB-, October 2014

download word file, 6 pages 0.0

When Two Cultures Collide

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and The Tempest by William Shakespeare tell two similar stories about the events that occur when two completely different cultures clash. During times of European colonization, Achebe and Shakespeare offer their take on the interaction between the European invader and the natives of the lands. Although these two works of literature were written in different time periods, they both tell similar stories and display similar themes. Achebe and Shakespeare shine a light upon how European colonists used differences between the two cultures, such as religion, appearance, and language, to initially immerse themselves into the native culture and eventually take over the natives.

Achebe's Things Fall Apart unveils how two completely different religions react with each other when they clash. When the white man first came to the village, he was asked about his god's status, whether it was a "goddess of the earth", "god of the sky", and so on.

He immediately replied with "all the gods [they had] named [were] not gods at all… and all of us" (Achebe 146). This demonstrates the belief he has in his god, the belief that there is only one and that He has power over everything. This unwavering faith that the European possessed in his own god may not have initially convinced the villagers, but "Nwoye's callow mind was greatly puzzled" (Achebe 147). This reflects how even though most societies are run through people who are mature, the youth are those that have the power to gradually change the way things are run in their society.

When the missionaries were given a plot of land, the evil forest, "the inhabitants of Mbanta expected them all to be dead within four days" (Achebe 149). This displays how even though a culture's religion may...