Things Fall Apart Imperialism

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This stanza by W.B. Yeats in his poem, The Second Coming, correlates superbly to the novel, Things Fall Apart, by asserting how the world can turn chaotic. Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, uses this verse to show the disastrous impact British Colonization had on the Igbo culture during their African imperialistic efforts in Nigeria. In this historical novel, Achebe depicts the life of a hard-working warrior and clan leader, named Okonkwo, and the struggles he faces throughout his life. Meanwhile, the arrival of white missionaries is shown in a different perspective than previous imperialist novels by showing how their attempts wreaked havoc on Okonkwo’s village and African culture. In Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, the main character,…show more content…
Ikemefuna, an adopted boy of Okonkwo, was cherished by Okonkwo because he exemplified manly traits that Okonkwo wanted in a weaker Nwoye, his real son. Eventually, Ikemefuna needed to be killed as ordered by the Oracle of the Hills without the assistance of his father, Okonkwo.But as we see on page 61, this did not transpire. “As the man who had cleared his throat drew up and raised his machete, Okonkwo looked away. He heard the blow. The pot fell and broke in the sand. He heard Ikemefuna cry, ‘My father, they have killed me!’ as he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak” (Achebe 61). Achebe has included this quote to show how Okonkwo’s inner fear of femininity results in Okonkwo striking Ikemefuna himself. This sacrifice by Okonkwo shows how he views masculine over feminine values such as being gentle toward his beloved adopted son. Subsequently, his actions praise how loyal Okonkwo was towards the rituals of their culture. “The Earth cannot punish me for obeying her messenger,’ Okonkwo said. ‘A child’s fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam which its mother puts into its palm” (Achebe 67). Achebe uses this quote to explain how Okonkwo’s sacrifice was thought as justified for following the Oracle’s request, making loyalty seem supreme to morality. In the sacrifice of Ikemefuna by Okonkwo, we see that Okonkwo values obeying the laws of his society and acting manly over showing affection to his dear
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