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Things Fall Apart Themes Essay

1635 words - 7 pages

The novel I have read, “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe talks about the changes which took place in an old and firmly established society and structure under the impact of new, different and much more advance ideas from the outside world. In this book, we could find many themes that are relevant in our daily life.
After reading the novel, I suggest that the main theme of this novel is the theme of change. When the white men came into the Ibo tribe’s life, we could see they bought in new ideas into Umofia, and thus they started to change the village in many aspects such as religion, human laws, in political, economic and the social structure. At first when they brought in new believes ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, I believe the theme of change is a major theme in the novel.
In the Malaysian history, we were also once conquered and colonized by the English men, and that had brought the start of changes among us. As they brought in their beliefs and religion, people from who were living in Malaya stated to change, starting from religion as well. In no time they also started to change the education in school by studying the English language in the missionaries schools such as MGS, MBS, Convent and ACS. After the colonization of the British, we changed our political and our education system until the present time. In the modern era, we could also see many changes in the Malaysia youngsters hardly follow the values and traditions of their ancestors as they think it is old fashion. They prefer to follow the western culture of doing things and thinking such as dressing, cooking and many more that currently we foster in our daily life. We could say this is how the theme of change is related to our daily life. We could see that change brings good and bad effect on us. When we change, we are able to learn new things, and have new ideas in life, but at the same time, we may lose our moral values due the western influence.
Another theme we could find in the novel is the theme of violence. When I said violence, I do not only mean the violence we see in the Ibo culture, but also the violence the white men brought to them. I believe when the white men first encounter the Ibo people, they had a culture shock. As the culture of the Ibo people seems strange to them, they marked them as uncivilized, and think their way of doing things in violent instead of accepting that it is their culture and believes they had practice for many years. It may be true that the Ibo traditional society contained a great deal of violence and unreasonable, nevertheless it was their beliefs. Every people have their own culture and beliefs, it is like an identity of their race. The white men thought they were the better ones, and did not think they were also being violent. To my interpretation, Achebe does not suggest that which culture is better, but merely saying both culture have different view of violence. For example Ibo law killed for religious reasons, on the command of their God; the white men killed according to the commands of man- based and man- designed structure laws. For example, in the Ibo tribe, Ikemefuna was killed or sacrifice because it was ordered by the God through the Oracle. As for the white men, Achebe showed us Mr Smith, a person who has a narrow minded mind, appeared later in the story, takes no effort to understand the Ibo culture, and view them as uncivilized barbarians just because their culture is different from him. He started the conflict by insulting the Ibo people believes and tried to force the other Ibo tribes men who have not yet convert into accepting Christianity. There was one incident in chapter twenty- two, which put a wall between the Ibo...

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