Igbo Culture In Things Fall Apart

1511 Words7 Pages
“A sign of a culture that has lost it’s faith- Moral collapse follows upon spiritual collapse ”(C.S. Lewis). This quote from C.S Lewis describes the Ibo culture from its highest point to when it is lost. Chinua Achebe describes the Ibo culture as the backbone of Umuofia. But when things start to fall apart, the people if the Ibo culture start to lose faith. Chinua Achebe uses a three part organization to chronicle and simulate the collapse of the culture and how fast it happens in Things Fall Apart. Chinua Achebe starts out his book by showing the thriving Ibo culture in all aspects in Umuofia. To begin, Achebe describes what the culture is mostly about he does this by following the life of Okonkwo who lives by the Ibo culture. This is…show more content…
However compared to the first part of Things Fall Apart, part two takes a turn for the worst when the Ibo culture starts to deteriorate. This starts in part two when Okonkwo finds out that the missionaries are building in Umuofia and they are trying to convert people to their religion. Okonkwo finds this out when his friend Obierika comes for a visit and tells him “They had built their church there, won a handful of converts and were already sending evangelists to the surrounding towns and villages”(pg.143). This shows that the missionaries were trying to spread their religion and this is the start of the fall of the Ibo culture. This first encounter also strikes close to home with Okonkwo when he finds out his son Nwoye is leaving the culture to go join the missionaries. Even at one point Okonkwo friend asks Nwoye how his father is and Nwoye responded “ I don 't know. He is not my father”(pg.144) By Nwoye saying this it captures how the division between the two cultures is tearing families apart. The division between the two cultures gets worse when supposedly Okoli killed the sacred python of the Ibo culture. The Ibo people decided to ban them from the quarry, streams and markets, which made a tremendous amount of the missionary followers believe they were trying to ruin them just like one of them say “ They want to ruin us. They will not allow us into the markets”(pg.160). Even though the division between the cultures is already deep it doesn 't stop there. The…show more content…
As part three started Achebe makes it clear that Okonkwo still has hope, which is key to survival of a culture, that the Ibo culture can survive and that they will push the missionaries out. This happens when Okonkwo is talking to his friend Obierika as he is getting ready to return to his homeland Umuofia. Okonkwo tells Obierika “We must fight these men and drive them from the land”(pg.167). Okonkwo still believes that they are stronger than the missionaries and can prevail in taking back their land. Though his hope kind of diminishes when Obierika tells him “It is too late, our own men and our sons have joined the ranks of the stranger.....they would go to Umuru and bring the soldiers, and we would end up like Abame”(pg.167). This takes a little of Okonkwo 's hope away but he still had some fight in him to take back Umuofia. He returned to Umuofia and the leaders of Umuofia got together including Okonkwo, they were discussing what their course of action was going to be against the missionaries. Okonkwo insisted that they should kill them but they eventually they decided to burn down their church. Once they did that Okonkwo felt happy again which he hasn 't felt in a long time. Though it didn’t last for long when the six leaders of Umuofia were invited to Umuru including Okonkwo to talk about what they did. But it ended up as a trap they were captured their heads shaved and made a fool by the white men. The white men then proceeded to tell a lie to Umuofia “Your
Open Document