Colonialism in "Things Fall Apart"
In Things fall Apart, Chinua Achebe tackles the subject of colonialism fairly and firmly. From the novel, it is visibly clear how colonialism affected people and how it succeeded in pulling the people in different directions. Colonialism succeeded in destroying family relationships, friendships and also made tribes fight against themselves. Even though the novel is a fictional book, there is the clear truth on how colonialism has affected people to the level where the life of the affected becomes destroyed and results into his own death.
The novel can be seen as a one way narrative on the life and events of a single member of a tribe in Africa, but on a wider view, it represents the collective life of the African people at a time when outsiders are trying to change the traditional practices carried out by the people. Okonkwo is the main character and we are shown the different struggles in regard to his tribe and also the changing times. Oknokwo is known as a talented farm from Umuofia clan, and also recognized for having good and appreciated traits.
Nevertheless, he has a difficult time as he tries to stop himself from becoming like his father, while at the same time trying to keep up with the culture and traditions practiced by his people. Okonkwo, in the end, realizes that he cannot keep up with the new developments that the English colonizers are trying to instill in his people. The developments include a new religion, and other modern practices. He takes his own life while his people embrace the new developments brought about by the white man.
Though colonialism can be viewed as a bad thing that has completely destroyed the traditions and culture of community, it can also be seen as having good effects since it helped remove the cultural violence that was practiced. This included acts like punishment for crimes, and ritual sacrifices that were viewed normal by the communities but were seen as inhumane by the missionaries.
In conclusion, there are different sides of how colonialism can affect people as seen from the novel. Economically and socially, colonialism brought with it increased opportunities given to the people. This made them more prosperous and opened avenues for people to make more profits. In terms of religion, culture and traditional practices, colonialism completely changed the people’s practices, which in turn led to other people rebelling. It is, nevertheless, important not to lose one’s sense of identity in the process of change and still maintain the culture and traditions while embracing modernity.
Essay about Colonialism
670 Words3 Pages
European overseas expansion evolved from sixteenth-century colonialism driven by mercantilism to nineteenth-century nationalistic imperialism. Both had different forces compelling them; thus different countries—although most the same—participated in each phenomenon with unique, but largely similar goals. These two forces that overtook the world are comparable as they both have the same objectives; however, mercantilism compelled colonialism while nationalism drove imperialism.
Beginning in the sixteenth century and lasting until the early seventeenth century, several European countries colonialized by formally exerting the control of their political entity over another political entity in a different geographical location.…show more content…
God, or religion, played a role in colonialism; sometimes with Roman Catholic colonialists eager to spread their beliefs to the non-Christian native peoples, or sometimes with colonialists eager to leave it all behind and start anew without the pressures of religious intolerance. Glory, or colonial supremacy, also played a big role in colonialism. A race to be number one in trade, in goods, and in colonies was always a sprint to the finish. However, the biggest motivation in colonialism was the mercantilistic doctrine that
dominated the mindset of the European colonial powers in the sixteenth century.
Mercantilism held that a nation’s wealth consisted of the amount of precious metals, especially gold, it possessed. It assumed that the volume of world wealth and trade was relatively static; so one country's gain required another's loss. Thus, each individual country protected their domains and enterprises against European rivals, preventing their trading allies and their subject people overseas from trading with their rivals if at all possible. In addition, a colonial possession—whether it was a factory, settlement colony, or plantation—should provide wealth to the country that controlled it and was only an appendage of the mother country. In other words, colonies theoretically existed only for the economic benefit of the colonialist’s country.
The European countries that involved themselves in colonialism mostly