Essay on Things Fall Apart: Overtaken by Religion

Submitted By ElizabethB46
Words: 1012
Pages: 5

Overtaken Over By Religion In the poetry, “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats, the speaker foreshadows a tragic event using negative dictions. In the chaos, the speaker describes that the “blood-dimmed tide is [loose], and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is [drown].” He emphasizes the darkness war causes each time it occurs; moreover, revealing the hardship the people would face during the crisis. The phrases, “ceremony of innocence” refers to the naïve people and “blood-dimmed tide” indicates the deaths because of war. In the book, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Achebe conveys the struggle between the Ibo people and the missionaries. In the beginning, the Ibo did not worry about many troubles, until the missionaries enter the picture. This causes many changes within the tribe. However, despite the external factors of the white missionaries, the absence of the greatest warrior led the Ibo tribe to irrational thinking and actions ultimately bring them to their downfall. As the Ibo people begin to disintegrate, the white missionaries play a few roles in their destruction. One example, demonstrates by Nneka, a woman who gives birth only to twins, must immediately throw them away. Soon she becomes “highly critical” by her husband and his family, so she “[flees] to join the Christians” (151). Not capable of reaching their husband and his family expectations, many women turn to Christianity, where they feel that the church welcomes them open-armed. Since many of the Ibo women slowly convert themselves, the population starts to decrease. Furthermore, when the church accepts the osu, giving them status, importance, and identity, it causes an uproar with the Ibo people. At first the osu debate with themselves on their acceptance but “seeing that the religion welcome[s] twins and such abomination, [they] thought …they would also be receive” (155). The osu, or outcasts, develop a forbidden presence; therefore, losing the three things in their culture. The outcasts shave their hair signifying their convert because Mr. Kiaga, the leader of the church, accepts the rejected. Now many of the Ibo people learn that the church is willing to accept anyone, it allows the church to gain more residents. Nonetheless, other factors contribute to the downfall; one reason focuses on the greatest warrior, Okonkwo, retain in another land for 7 years. During his absence, the tribe starts to change dramatically. When Obierika visits Okonkwo, he tells Okonkwo changes that are occurring to Umuofia and other tribes. He explains that the missionaries display cleverness, coming “quietly and peaceably with [their] religion…Now [they] won [Umuofia’s] brothers, and [the] clan no longer act as one” (176). Okonkwo plays a role in the decisions during his stay in the tribe. With him gone, many of the tribes start to disperse because they do not know what to do or think. A voice that represents the tribe’s decision dies demonstrating that the Ibo’s religion was not as strong as Christianity. Its people could not keep faith in it during troublesome times, making the tradition vulnerable and quickly forgotten. When Okonkwo finally return to the Umuofia tribe, He realizes the drastic changes that occur due the presence of the missionaries. Seeing the tribe “breaking up and falling apart,” he wonders how the “warlike men of Umuofia…become[s] soft like women” (183). Examining the ‘damage’ the missionaries did to the tribe, he believes that they would destroy the tribes’ way of life. As a result of no leader, Okonkwo feels that he could not prove himself to others since he lost his status, causing him to be indifferent to the others. Therefore, this implies the leadership role in the tribe. Due to the irrational thinking and action of Ibo tribe, it also plays as another contribution to their collapse. During the time of the missionaries’ first arrival, the Ibo people allow them to stay, but in the Evil Forest. The Ibo