What are some things that happened in Things Fall Apart that show that the British invasion actually had a good impact?

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Jessica Pope | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Chinua Achebe's post-colonial novel Things Fall Apart depicts the rise of British colonialism as experienced by members of a prominent Igbo family. Okonkwo, the patriarch of this family, is well-respected by relatives and clan members.

British invasion fundamentally changed life and social structure for people living in Okonkowo's village. Sociologically, the impact of these changes was devastating. At the same time, it is also true that some of the changes brought forth by the British invasion had a positive impact on particular villiagers' lives. 

For example, Okonkwo's son Nwoye found meaning in life as a Christian missionary. Nwoye was soft-spoken and gentle-hearted. As a young man, he had trouble finding his place in a world that so revered warrior-like behavior in males. Nwoye was despised by his father and had no true friends. When the British arrived, a group of Christian settlers took him in. They became like a family to him. Nwoye found fulfillment and community in his work as a missionary. 

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