What is the impfact of Reverend Smith's personality on the village in Achebe's Things Fall Apart?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Things Fall Apart, the clan had been used to the way Mr. Brown witnessed on behalf of his Christianity. While Mr. Brown was calm, understanding, and caring, Reverend Smith comes in to take his place using force and strict regulations.

Reverend Smith is aggressive and uncompromising in his nature. He is dogmatic. He criticizes the clan's customs and traditions. He does not try and enlighten; he strictly insists that those in his congregation are to abandon former traditional beliefs.

While Mr. Brown befriended the clansmen, Mr. Smith harshly condemns the clansmen. While Mr. Brown used respect to reach the clansmen, Mr. Smith imposes his religion on the clansmen.

Mr. Smith is offensive in his approach. The clansmen reject his religion because he makes it clear that he believes the tribesmen's customs and traditions to be ridiculous. In anger, he leads his flock and is adamant about tearing down tribal traditions, even claiming that the clansmen are filled with the devil's spirit:

Mr. Smith is angry and flamboyant. He denounces the tribe's customs and bans from his church clan members who must be, according to him, filled with the devil's spirit to want to continue tribal tradition.

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Things Fall Apart

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