The Complexity of Igbo Civilization in Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is post-colonial novel written in 1958. The setting of Things Fall Apart is in Nigeria, particularly at Umuofia village. Chinua Achebe’s work is important in elucidating the collision of European and African culture. Achebe crafted his work to explicate to us the complexity of Igbo civilization before the coming of the colonial. In expounding the civilization of Igbo society Achebe describe the trial process, the justice system, and family rituals, social and religious beliefs that define the civilization of Igbo society. Therefore, Achebe prevailing themes in Things Fall Apart as crucial at expounding his salient and auxiliary ideas fundamental to helping us understand the Igbo civilization during post-colonial and colonial period.
Chinua Achebe uses his book to document the Civilization that existed in Igbo Society during post-colonial period. The novel mirrors the trial process, the justice system, and family rituals, social and religious beliefs that define the civilization of Igbo society. Igbo society had organized structures that ensured justices systems and by evaluating the traditional practices the indigenous people of Igbo have, it is beyond doughty that these people lived a civilized life even before the coming of Europeans. The Igbo society employs ethics, morals and accountability for the people, and this was a good foundation for a civilized society.
The people of Igbo lived in an isolated world, where no one could interfere with their culture. However, the coming of Europeans in 19th century has cost them negatively as they come and interfere with their culture and structure thus causing clang of culture. Achebe uses Things Fall Apart to describe the collision of culture which occurred in both society and at individual levels. The Europeans perceived African as uncivilized. Therefore, the colonial decided to introduce western education and Christianity which generated the tension and conflict between the local and the foreign. After much opposition that Igbo society had towards the Europeans they were later transformed hence instigating a new culture such as the introduction of chiefs, Christianity, and western education. The coming of Europeans led to many changes in the Igbo society as they brought their civilization and submerged African civilization as they contemplate it as uncivilized. Therefore, Chinua wrote his book Things Fall Apart to portray that Igbo people were civilized thus encountering the Europeans stereotype which portrayed Igbo people as uncivilized; I strongly concur with Chinua’s portrayal of Igbo and strongly condemn the Europeans’ stereotyping of Africans. Chinua succeeds in this by explaining the customers, laws and rituals that the Igbo people practice before the coming of Europeans and how Igbo society employs ethics, morals and accountability to run their organization.
In considering the above explanation, we get to know that Africans were civilized even before the coming of Europeans. Therefore, instead of Europeans concluding that the Igbo people were uncivilized, they should have considered the structure of this society and evaluated it. The Igbo society employs ethics, morals and accountability for the people, and this was a good foundation for a civilized society. Therefore, according to my knowledge both Igbo and Europeans were all civilized as all community had structures that promote ethics, moral, and accountability.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor Books, 1994. Print.