Term Paper on Things fall apart

This essay has a total of 492 words and 4 pages.

Things fall apart


"The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were
amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our
clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together
and we have fallen apart."

As the British colonized the areas of Nigeria inhabited by the Ibo, they brought with them
their new religion of Christianity, which sought to overrun the traditional animist way of
life that had endured in the area for centuries. The new religion was treated with
skepticism early on, but the lure of the wealth that British traders brought into the
city, along with the support of the British government and judicial system eventually
displaced Ibo society completely. Although many historians make the assertion that the
tribesí conversion to Christianity by English missionaries was responsible, even noble,
the truth is that the fragmentation of Ibo culture was not for the love of God, but for
the love of money and power.

For the colonialists, Christianity was used as an effective wedge between the Ibo and
their land. They knew that without infiltration from the inside, the people of Umofia and
surrounding villages would continue to rebel against British authority in the area. By
introducing Christianity into the villages, and creating conflict amongst the natives,
they were able to gain a foothold into the psyches of the tribespeople. Converted
Christians, having been ostracized by the rest of their communities, were forced to rely
on the British for support. The presence of natives loyal to the Queen gave the British
blanket jurisdiction over the entire village, and the Royal administrative and judicial
system could now enforce British law over the Ibo.

Although the argument can me made that these effects were merely byproducts of a noble
effort on the part of the Europeans to bring the Christian faith to Africa, more evidence
suggests that the real motivation was money, not religion. The colonists had much to gain
from a colonized Africa, including abundant natural resources and workers to tend farms
Continues for 2 more pages >>