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Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe

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What were the changes the igbo endured under british imperialism?

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The majority of the visible changes that British imperialists bring to the Igbo people are witnessed in the second half of Things Fall Apart. After Okonkwo and his family return from their seven year exile (punishment for Okonkwo's murder of the white government's messenger).

It is primarily through the actions and behaviors of Rev. James Smith that we see the British imperialism at work. Unlike his predecessor, Mr. Brown, who attempts to respectfully appeal to the Igbo's values, Rev. Smith is uncompromising and shows no respect for Igbo customs and culture. Smith demands that the Igbo people reject their identity and culture. Although the British build a school and hospital and modernize the village in many ways, they are also directly responsible for the destruction of the Igbo way of life, hence the title of the novel.

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