Conflicting Values in Things Fall Apart

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It is important to denote that change is one of the most important themes in Things Fall Apart. This book depicts numerous instances where the change occurred in the Igbo’s way of life and personal beliefs. These changes were one of the main reasons for the emergence of conflicts amongst the people who lived in the village of Umofia.

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Things Fall Apart analyzes the lives of the Igbo people in the periods of the late 1800s. This was during the periods of the British colonization. The British missionaries introduced a series of believes and values which were very detrimental to the Igbo people. The British missionaries introduce new trade practices, laws and a new religion i.e. Christianity (Achebe, 31).

Not all the Igbo people embraced Christianity, and an example is Okonkwo. On the other hand, Nwoye, his son acknowledges and accepts to join this new religion. To Nwoye, Christianity is an outlet that helped to solve all his frustrations that were brought about by the Igbo culture. These frustrations came as a result of the killing of Ikemefuna, his best friend and adopted brother (Achebe, 39). Ikemefuna was a young boy given by a neighboring village for the murder of an Iguedo woman.

In a period of three years, Ikemefuna became close to Nwoye but was sentenced to death by the oracle of the hills. This was a strong religious voice amongst the people of the Igbo. To Nwoye, this killing was uncalled for and senseless. This makes him lose faith in the believes and customs of the religion of the Igbo people. He begins to question and doubt the validity of the traditional practices of the Igbo people. Nwoye doubts the power that I-we had, and whether Ogbanje really exists. Ogbanje is an evil spirit that always re-incarnates itself, and it can only die as a baby (Achebe, 41).

It is important to denote that one of the daughters of Okonkwo was an Ogbanje.

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