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POST COLONIALISM IN THINGS FALL APART BY CHINUA ACHEBE

Things Fall Apart, a well-known book written by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe and part of the African Trilogy, was first published in 1957. The culture, superstitious beliefs, customs, and ceremonial practises of Igbo society are all explored in this book. Things break down examines the impact of Western Colonialism on Igbo society from an African perspective. This essay aims to shed light on the effects of post-colonialism on Igbo society. Missionaries in Africa were removed by Europeans, yet it has been demonstrated that the interactions the Igbo people and the whites had both adverse and favourable effects. Here is mostly on the effects of colonialism, which are crucial to the progress of knowing the history of Africa.


The full name of Chinua Achebe is Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, and he was born in British Nigeria on November 16, 1930. He was the child of Janet Ileogbunam and Isaiah Okafor Achebe. He was one of six children, the sixth son. Although his family belonged to the Igbo tribe, they were compelled to convert to Christianity. Despite being raised as a Christian, Achebe was nonetheless interested in the more conservative Nigerian religions. He had four children with Christiana Chinwe Okoli, his wife.He has held positions at Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation as an editor, producer, author, poet, and professor of literature in both the United States and Nigeria. He published more than twenty volumes, including novels, short tales, essays, and poetry collections. His "African Trilogy" consisted of the novels Things Fall Apart (1958), No Longer at Ease (1960), and Arrow of God (1964). More than 10 million copies of Things Fall Apart have been sold globally, and it has been translated into more than fifty languages. His honours include the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (1999), the St. Louis Literary Award (1979), and the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award (1979). (2010). The writings of Chinua Achebe shed light on questions pertaining to cultural practises, the repercussions of colonisation, and internal conflicts that exist among modern Africans. He wrote primarily about his Igbo Society so that his audience could clearly understand the subject matter.

The book Things Fall Apart is regarded as an African modern novel. The poem "The Second Coming" by W.B. Yeats served as the inspiration for the title. This book depicts the conflict between the indigenous Igbo people's traditional culture and the white colonial administration of Nigeria. The novelist depicts Igbo society before it came into touch with Europeans, including its sophisticated, complex social systems and artistic traditions. He presents various images of the Whiteman. The colonial rule and invasion of white missionaries is blamed by Chinua in this book for the repressed post-colonial Igbo culture, which may be understood in terms of the oppressed social coherence between the individual and their society. In addition, Chinua gives readers a thorough introduction to the myths and sayings of Igbo society.

Chinua described the Igbo culture and practises that set them apart from Western cultures in his book Things Fall Apart. For example, their devotion to the might of ancestral gods, the murder of twins, the sacrifice of young boys, and the tyranny of women, to name a few. The reader is also made aware of the presence of white missionaries in Umuofia and the Igbo people's responses to their arrival in the book. Nevertheless, the entrance of the missionaries brought certain advantages to the Igbo.

Three plots make up the Things Fall Apart novel's overall plot structure. Thirteen chapters make up the novel's first plot. This section provides background information on the main character Okonkwo and the Umuofia society he lived in, including its social structure, governmental system, and religious beliefs. The novelist recounts their feast and festivities, their court system, and their customs and traditions while telling the life of Okonkwo and that of his community.

This section depicts Okonkwo's personality, including his ambition, temperament, and hasty actions. The murder of the underprivileged kid Ikemefuna, Okonkwo's unintentional killing of his son Ezeudu, and Okonkwo's exile from Umuofia to his mother's town Mbanta are all described in this section. The longest section of the book is this one.

The chapters from fourteen to nineteen make up the book's second section. It chronicles the catastrophe in both Okonkwo's and the clan's lives. The Igbo of Umuofia were where the White missionary's system began to grow. Along with creating their own government, the Whites also found their own church, school, and court. When Okonkwo's son Nwoye converted to Christianity after being admired by the new religion, Okonkwo was devastated.

He is saddened to learn from his friend Obierika that things have started to go wrong in Umuofia. Christians continue to welcome societal outcasts like the clan's osu and twin mothers seeking safety in the new religion. The indigenous clan open the door for the Whiteman to impose his own culture and religion on Umuofia society.

The final six chapters of the book make up the third section. They demonstrate how Western ideologies obliterate indigenous cultures and uproot the foundations of Igbo civilization. According to Chinua, the decline of a once-proud native culture is due to both European colonists and the people themselves. The missionary was unable to appreciate the importance of native traditions. The Whiteman's kotmas have the people in fear. People like Okonkwo devise their own methods of retaliation because they are hesitant to cooperate with the new White rule.
Fighting the Whites causes some deaths. And other people, like Okonkwo, kill themselves to avoid a worse fate than death.

Postcolonial literature includes Things Fall Apart. This book is postcolonial in that it makes a distinction between the coloniser and the colonised very evident. The painful effects of western capitalist colonialism on the traditional beliefs and religious institutions of the African people are chronicled in this novel. The fundamental theme of the book is the breakdown of Igbo society. One of the main themes of the book is the idea of collapse, both on a personal and societal level.

When the Christians show there, the Igbo become divided. The family of Okonkwo is one of their victims.

Father and son are separated by the new faith. As the Igbo tribe's religious beliefs are inseparably linked to all other facets of life, the Christians attempted to undermine the very foundation of Igbo religion and the essence of Igbo cultures. The initial converts attempted to capitalise on the shift in the social order.

The central theme of this book is the traditional Igbo culture's demise, disintegration, turmoil, and uncertainty as a result of the introduction of the white man and his religion in Umuofia. The white men's perspectives on life are completely different from those of the black men.

the Igbo possess. For instance, it is necessary for men to have multiple wives in traditional Igbo society. The clan's ladies are aware of this and have consented to this practise; occasionally, the first wife even advise her husband to seek for a younger spouse. Additionally, younger wives are anticipated to esteem the first spouse.

These women coexist peacefully with their husbands, helping one another with household duties such as child care. The white missionaries are opposed to this, though, citing New Testament passages that prevent Christians from engaging in such behaviour.

Another illustration is the fact that killing children or other people is common in Igbo culture, provided the killing is done for religious reasons. For instance, twins can be killed according to Igbo religion because they are a manifestation of evil, and young boys can be sacrificed to the gods as a form of peace sacrifice. The European missionaries, however, dispelled this Igbo societal idea by instilling in them the importance of the fifth commandment, which states that only God has the ability and authority to determine when a man's life should end and no one else.

Another issue that the book deals with is justice. Justice and fairness are significant issues for the Igbo. Their sophisticated social structures provide fair and logical justice administration. However, the missionary brought it down by upsetting the balance. The British were criticised for imposing harsh and barbaric laws on the locals. Okonkwo dies as a result of a miscarriage of justice committed by the British District Commission.

The Igbo were seen by the European missionaries as primitive people in need of assistance. Even if the missionaries' goal in entering Umuofia was to reign over the locals, they ought to have considered it as an opportunity for cultural exchange.

Since neither the Igbo nor the missionaries were familiar with the other's culture until now. The white men considered the Igbo to be a burden that they had to bear by enlightening and educating them about topics they were ignorant of. The rivalry between the two cultures was caused by white men who thought their culture was morally superior to that of the Igbo.

Last but not least, it's critical to comprehend both the advantages and the difficulties that European colonialism had on Igbo society.


By-
Sriparna Mukherjee
Amity University, Kolkata


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