Describe two changes that occur in Things Fall Apart as a result of the arrival of Europeans.

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dashing-danny-dillinger eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, the two major changes to Umuofia brought about by Western influence include the introduction of Christianity and white settlers bringing Eurocentric models of government. These two changes forever alter the region.

When Christianity first enters the regions, the men of Umuofia disregard its potential influence:

"The missionaries had come to Umuofia. They had built their church there, won a handful of converts and were already sending evangelists to the surrounding towns and villages. That was a source of great sorrow to the leaders of the clan; but many of them believed that the strange faith and the white man's god would not last" (143).

However, the Western religion slowly but surely gains traction and begins to influence the region. Moreover, the Christian faith served as an entry point for Western settlers, who soon change the way that debates in the region are settled by introducing European court systems. They change the judiciary system of the region by incorporating European models and disregarding the customs of the area. Additionally, the District Commissioner becomes an influential force, supplanting the elders of Umuofia. Achebe portrays the court as a patronizing institution, an institution that treats the natives as children, or else sub-human. The District Commissioner contends:

"We have brought a peaceful administration to you and your people so that you may be happy. If any man ill-treats you we shall come to your rescue. But we will not allow you to ill-treat others....That must not happen in the dominion of our queen, the most powerful ruler in the world" (194).

For me, European religion and government are the two major changes that are brought over by Western settlers. 

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Things Fall Apart

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