The Negative Effects Of Colonialism In Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Colonialism is an important topic in the novel, Things Fall Apart that causes societies to flourish, but it also causes societies to fall. Ibo society is a society that functions best by itself with no competition from other societies. Ibo society is unstable as even small-scale colonialism can cause Ibo society to fail. However, the true reason for the failure of Ibo society is colonialism. Achebe portrays the use of colonialism as having harmful effects on Ibo culture and community. Achebe illustrates that colonialism has a negative effect on Ibo culture by dividing Ibo people, which results in the downfall of Ibo civilization. Before white men arrive to Ibo society, there is no sense of colonialism. In this atmosphere, the Ibo society functions…show more content…
One action that shows a negative effect is when Okonkwo kills himself as it states, “Then they came to the tree from which Okonkwo’s body was dangling, and they stopped dead” (207). The reason his death shows us one of the many negative impacts is because if the white man had never arrived, then Okonkwo would still be alive. Also, we can infer that if Okonkwo is having suicidal thoughts, then other Ibo people must be too. If these suicidal thoughts come to reality it is a terrible thing because it is against Ibo belief for one to commit suicide as it says, “It is against our custom… His body is evil, and only strangers may touch it” (207). Although some people may argue that colonialism positively affects Ibo society as the white men allow Ibo people to unite against one cause, as in the text it says, “We must root out this evil. And if our brothers take the side of evil we must root them out too. And we must do it now. We must bale this water now that it is only ankle-deep” (204). Although this claim may be true in some respects it is not entirely true as Ibo people seem to unite against one cause, but they do not actually take action. For example, after Okonkwo kills a messenger it states, “Okonkwo stood looking at the dead man. He knew that Umuofia would not go to war. He knew because they had let the other messengers escape” (205). These actions show us that the Ibo people are all talk and no bite, meaning their words do not describe their actions. Overall the process of colonialism, in which the white people attempt to take over Ibo society, leads to the end of Ibo
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