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Chinua Achebes Novel Things Fall Apart Theology Religion Essay

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Okonkwo response to the collision of culture by resisting it. He continuously tries to fight the changes happening within the Ibo society. He disagree with the West ideas and believe the Ibo people should join together to forcefully remove the Western people. Okonkwos identity is challenged by the cultural collision because before the Western people came in he is the ‘top man’ of the Ibo people, he is respected and feared and greatly honored for his fighting skills. However now that the Western people are in-charge he losses all that because the Western people take away the fighting games they(the Ibo people) had. Also the other Ibo people will not assist him in his mission to get rid of the Western influence and through that Okonkwo is shown to loss the respect he once had over everyone.

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In life, people often follow the rules and traditions of their community because it is all they have ever known. Most people do not want to break tradition because they do not want to run the risk of creating a state of disorder in their community, also MANY feel that by breaking the status quo they will become social outcasts. Through this unconditional faith that most people have in the traditions of their community, people turn a blind eye to some of the immoral practices that are followed. Despite the majority of people that will continue to follow these practices, a small amount of others will question their morality, causing others to feel threatened by their “backward” stance on community values.

The reason a person decides to turn against the traditions they once believed in can result from many different things in their life. When a person of a community decides to change the way they behave and to stop following the practices of their community, other people, in turn, are often affected by this decision. The effect that a person’s decision has on other people holds the ability to cause a revolutionary change in the community. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Nwoye turns towards the Christian faith as a refuge from the questionable practices of his Ibo village, in turn, spreading anger and confusion amongst the people of the community.

Nwoye’s decision to turn away from the practices of the Ibo village results from a combination of several sources. When the Christian missionaries came to preach about their religion for the first time the author describes Nwoye’s reaction by saying, “The hymn about brothers who sat in darkness and in fear seemed to answer a vague and persistent question that haunted his young soul-the question of the twins crying in the bush and the question of Ikemefuna who was killed. He felt a relief from within as the hymn poured into his parched soul.” Nwoye feels that the Christian religion answers his doubts about the cultural practices of the Ibo, such as the abandonment of twins and the killing of his friend Ikemefuna. HOWEVER, because Nwoye now has the opportunity to immerse himself in a religion In which the beliefs allow him to turn away from immoral practices of the Ibo culture, he is able to release his bitter feelings. When the author describes the way in which Okonkwo reacts to Nwoye’s interest in the Christian faith he says,”Nwoye turned round to walk into the inner compound when his father, suddenly overcome with fury, sprang to his feet and gripped him by the neck… He seized a heavy stick that lay on the dwarf wall and hit him two or three savage blows.” The way in which Okonkwo reacts to his son’s interest in the Christian faith allows Nwoye to believe that he is an outcast within a family and a community that believes disobedience towards the Ibo faith is NOT MASCULINE. Because Oknonkwo makes Nwoye feel as if he is an outsider, Nwoye turns towards the Christian faith, where everyone, including social outcasts, is seen as equals. Therefore, Nwoye’s decision to become a part of the Christian faith, results from his unwillingness to continue agreeing with the practices of the Ibo culture.

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Nwoye’s rebellion against his father and the society he embodied is seen as a peaceful retaliation with an undertone of vengeance. When the author speaks about Nwoye’s curiosity in the Christian faith he says, “Although Nwoye had been attracted to the new faith from the very first day, he kept it a secret. He dared not go too near the missionaries for fear of his father. But whenever they came to preach in the open marketplace on the village playground, Nwoye was there(pg 149).” Although Nwoye is infatuated with this new faith and believes it to be more sensible than the Ibo faith, he feels that it is best to stay only a mere observer in order to avoid unnecessary chaos. Through Nwoye’s placid behavior, he passively opposes his father’s violent reaction towards everything in his life. Nwoye’s vengeful behavior towards his father is shown when the author says, “He went back to the church and told Mr.Kiaga that he had decided to go to Umuofia where the white missionary had set up a school to teach young Christians to read and to write…Nwoye did not fully understand. But he was happy to leave his father. He would return later to his mother and his brothers and sisters and convert them to the new faith.” Nwoye wants to get back at his father for always making him feel inferior, but because he is not a violent person, Nwoye does so in a quiet manner. Nwoye’s actions allow the reader to see that his rebellion stems from a strong desire to gain vengeance over his father. Therefore, although Nwoye’s actions are NONVIOLENT they still inflict hurt upon the people who are a part of his life. Nwoye’s decision to revolt against his FAITH



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