Analyse Achebe's point of view on Europeans and their influence on African civilization.

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the Europeans arrive they begin to change the Igbo's religious, political and social structure. The missionaries who arrive first offer acceptance to some of the lowest members of Igbo society but they also condemn polygamy and other traditions tribe. The influence of the Europeans is seen on a personal level by Okonkwo. His oldest son Nwoye becomes interested in the Christian faith. This is a very personal threat to Okonkwo because in order to rise to the highest level of Igbo society, he needs his sons to worship and sacrifice to him after he is dead. If all of Okonkwo's sons begin following the new faith, it will destroy Okonkwo's descendants. The Europeans also bring their white government. The District Commissioner begins to judge cases without any knowledge of Igbo law. The court messengers, or kotma, are considered arrogant bullies. They beat prisoners who are in jail for following traditional Igbo customs and they force prisoners to clear land for more government buildings. The Europeans are thought to be very clever. They came quietly with their religion and then began to take over all the institutions of government and society.

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Things Fall Apart

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