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The Destruction of the Igbo Indigenous Culture in Things Fall Apart Essay

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In Things fall apart, Chinua Achebe showed us the richness of the Igbo traditional culture as well as the destruction of it through the activities of British missionaries. The appearance of Christianity on the Nigerian tribal land led to the disintegration of belief in the Igbo society, and made way for British colonization. Were the British the only cause of the destruction of the Igbo culture? The appearance of a new religion was not the sole reason for the loss of a tradition. The Igbo people also lost their culture because of many unreasonable conceptions in their spirituality.

To colonize the land of Nigerian tribal people or any other lands in the world, the British wisely used religion as a tool of invasion. Though the process of spreading Christianity took longer time than war and killing, the attack on belief and spirituality made the native people completely submit to the new government which generated and supported the religion that those people followed. In fact, the British missionaries succeeded in convincing the Igbo people of the new religion despite the Igbo’s conservativeness and extreme superstition.

When the missionaries arrived in Mbanta, the mother land of Okonkwo, they did not achieve their goal of convincing people at the first time. They talked about the new and only God and tried to persuade the Igbo that they had been worshipping the false Gods of wood and stone (145), but the Igbo only thought that they were mad, some even went away while the missionaries were speaking. However, the strangeness of those missionaries and the new religion somehow attracted the Igbo:
Then the missionaries burst into song. It was one of those gay and rollicking tunes of evangelism which had the ...


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...tion that had existed in the Igbo society and caused things to fall apart.

The novel Things fall apart depicts the cultural battle between the Igbo and the British: one was trying to keep its tradition, and one wanted to change those traditions by replacing them with a new religion. Finally, the British won because of they could figure out the falsehood in the indigenous people’s degenerate customs and attack it. Nothing in this world is perfect, and it is hard for a culture to be perfect. However, if a culture wants to develop and thrive, it should respect the value of its entire people. That was the reason why the Igbo culture was destroyed, because of its conservativeness, gender differentiation and superstitiously killing of the innocent.


Work Cited

Chinua Achebe - Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart: A Novel - New York - Broadway Books - 1994


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