How does Chinua Achebe feel about people who colonize other countries in the novel Things Fall Apart?

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the novel 'Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe the author sees colonial invading powers as trying to 'divide and rule' and largely succeeding in a lot of cases. He sees the arrival of the white man as splitting and thereby weakening the tribe, causing divisions between clans,families,villages husbands and wives as people take sides. The strongest side will win, and in the past that has often been the white man who with power,money,goods and gunpowder has been able to buy support to swell his ranks from within the ranks of the native peoples themselves. Never was the white man so good at pitting friend against friend. A very good contast read would be 'Heart of Darkness ' the novel by Joseph Conrad which Achebe himself read as a child.

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kimfuji | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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In short, Achebe has a total disdain for the mindset of the people of the  colonialising countries because they entirely disregarded the culture they were entering.

Things Fall Apart(1958) was seen as the best Nigerian novel at the end of the  the nineteenth century.  It shows pre-colonial Nigeria and the changes made after the British came. It could also be the same story of so many other indigenous cultures that were radically altered after the invaders took over--India, for example, and Australia.

Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930 in the village of Ogidi. He was raised using Igbo but used English at school, so it can be said that he straddled two cultures. Achebe wrote an autobiographical essay, and says that his childhood was situated "at the crossroads of cultures."

In this book there are two parts:

The first part focuses on people who obey the customs of their Igbo culture without questioning it. It shows them enjoying all the varied aspects of their culture--music, dance and family relations but also the negative side of suicide and the taboo against twins. The culture is presented fully, depicting the negative aspects along with the positive.

In the second part he highlights when the British came. He shows how disrespectful they were of the Nigerian ways and people. They kill the main character and don't even leave any comment about his existence. This is a huge statement abut how Achbe felt about the colonialisation by the British, it totally destroyed the culture of Nigeria.

It was as if they never even existed. He is talking about their way of life and history, their culture.

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