Preview
Preview

Cultural Change Explored in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1874 words (5.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Aqua      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

William James, a famous American philosopher, once stated, “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives”. This quotation effectively illustrates how change in one’s attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs can alter the environment in which one lives. This concept is clearly demonstrated throughout the novel Things Fall Apart, authored by Chinua Achebe, by establishing a connection through the development of its characters and the change in traditional African tribal villages seen in the Nineteenth Century. It will be established how various characters demonstrated by the author throughout the novel exemplify how change in one’s attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs can alter the environment in which one lives addressed by William James’s quote above. First, by analyzing Achebe’s development of Okonkwo’s character through his initial character description and the emergence of outsiders, it is evident that he is portrayed as an old fashioned character that is less responsive to change. Secondly, through examining Nwoye’s character, Okonkwo’s son, it becomes apparent that the youth in the novel are more open-minded, easily persuadable and more adaptive to societal changes. Lastly, uncovering the meaning behind the arrival of European missionaries, it becomes apparent that Achebe defines this group as being a “disease”, poisoning the society in which Okonkwo lives. The author look’s at individuals as being critical and influential figures in shaping the environment to which they belong, beginning with Okonkwo.
Okonkwo, the main character in Achebe’s novel, begins as an individual who holds great power in the Umuofi...


... middle of paper ...


...adaptive to change. Lastly, by observing the invasion of European Missionaries, it becomes clear that these people are a ‘disease’ poisoning the society of African tribes according to Okonkwo and many others. Change can be truly classified as a positive or negative aspect in the lives of countless African men, women and children, but is the change in African tribes for the better or for worse?





Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann New Windmills, 1958. Print

Kortenaar, Neil Ten. “Becoming African and the Death of Ikemefuna.” Web. EBSCOhost.
EBSCO industries: 21 Mar. 2005. Retrieved 15 Feb. 2010.
Opata, Damian U. “Eternal Sacred Order versus Conventional Wisdom: A Consideration of Moral Culpability in the Killing of Ikemefuna in Things Fall Apart.” Web. EBSCOhost. EBSCO industries. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2010.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
A Critical Essay on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) - The twenty first century author Alexandra Iftodi Zamfir (1986- ) argues that ‘architecture and settings are more important in Gothic fiction than in any other type of literature.’ (Zamfir. 2011: 15). The execution and the nature of architectural space performs a significant role within the narrative structure of Gothic fiction as it creates and builds layers of imagery that signify the horrific and gloomy. This is illustrative of a building construction, one in which creates an atmosphere of suspense, a prominent aspect to the Gothic fiction genre....   [tags: Literary Analysis]
:: 25 Works Cited
2185 words
(6.2 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay about Recognizing the Need for Cultural Change - Recognizing the Need for Cultural Change Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Cultural awareness 3. Cultural sensitivity 4. Cultural competence 5. Cultural humility 6. Conclusion 7. References Introduction United States of America demographics profiles illustrates a nation rich in culture and culture diversity....   [tags: Cultural Awareness, Cultural Sensitivity]
:: 5 Works Cited
1145 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Cultural Adherence in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay - To truly understand a culture and any person within it, one must first understand the family dynamics present. This understanding becomes exceedingly important when one is trying to understand a culture that is starkly different from his own. However, because of human nature, there are relationships that are common to all cultures, though the dynamics of these relationships may be different. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s extreme cultural adherence creates very distinct family dynamics as evidenced by the father-son and husband-wife relationships in the novel....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays] 770 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Cultural Collisions in Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart - Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart both take place in the imperialist era. Authors Joseph Conrad and Chinua Achebe, respectively, created main characters that came from different continents, but experienced similar cultural clashes. Although Marlow and Okonkwo have different lifestyles, they are both led to question their identities and make life-defining decisions. The most prominent difference between Marlow and Okonkwo is their cultural backgrounds. Marlow has no family, only his shipmates to accompany him....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Things Fall Apart]
:: 2 Works Cited
906 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Colonization Explored in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe - Written by Chinua Achebe, “Things Fall Apart” describes European imperialism through the eyes of the Nigerian tribesmen as they interact with European colonists. What makes this piece of literature valuable is not the fact that it criticizes imperialism; it is the way in which it criticizes imperialism. Achebe portrays the African tribes as having very rich civilized and social cultures, not as being animalistic savages, which other literatures would lead one to believe. Because of this, the reader is able to connect with the mindset of an African native....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1431 words
(4.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Cultural Rape in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay - Cultural Rape In Things Fall Apart In Things Fall Apart, Achebe shows the ruthlessness of the missionaries in pursuit of new converts. Domestic support for the missions depended in large measure upon the tangible success of their preaching, 'success' being reflected in the numbers of conversions. This relentless focus on "success" caused the "cultural rape" of the people of Umuofia.             Achebe even hints at their use of bribery and blackmail in their endeavours. He tells us, 'the white missionary had set up a school to teach young Christians to read and write' (126)....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1370 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Resistance to Change in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay example -   Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart chronicles the life of an individual whose carefully constructed world crumbles as his culture is assimilated into a colonizing society. This character, Okonkwo, is prestigious within his community, and in most respects views himself and is viewed by his neighbors as an honorable man. Yet for all his seeming honor, Okonwko self-destructs when his world begins to change. Although the value system held by Okonkwo's village may differ somewhat from that held by other cultures, his particular experience during colonization is universal....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
1983 words
(5.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Okonkwo’s Resistance to Change in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay - The character of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart was driven by fear, a fear of change and losing his self-worth. He needed the village of Umuofia, his home, to remain untouched by time and progress because its system and structure were the measures by which he assigned worth and meaning in his own life. Okonkwo required this external order because of his childhood and a strained relationship with his father, which was also the root of his fears and subsequent drive for success. When the structure of Umuofia changed, as happens in society, Okonkwo was unable to adapt his methods of self-evaluation and ways of functioning in the world; the life he was determined to live could not...   [tags: Things Fall Apart 2014]
:: 1 Works Cited
1470 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay - Throughout History there has been a desire for main stream white culture to explore and expand to new areas with many different objetives in mind. Many were looking for new lands that had untold riches while others were spreading cultural or religious beliefs in an attemped to gain support for their beliefs. Some times this was a welcomed addiction to foreign societies bring them new technologies and ideas to improve there life. But it was just as likely that these new additions to their culture and society would have a negative effect causing many peoples lives to be changed for ever....   [tags: Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart] 1373 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Cultural Relativism - If we look at the world today, there are millions of cultures centered everywhere. With this much cultures in the world, everyone is bound to believe that they’re all different. Even though they are different in some aspects, all of them are similar to each other in some way. So if this is the case, do we as human beings have the right to judge these cultures as ethically wrong or just a cultural difference. Cultural Relativism is the belief that we cannot judge the cultural practices of other societies and that we should let them do as they please....   [tags: Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart] 1527 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]