A.K.M. Aminur Rashid
Being a postcolonial narrative, Things Fall Apart experiences a wide critical acclaim. From the pen of Chinua Achebe, the Igbo cultural complexity has come into being a theme that opens up a historical account of the clash of two cultures. Okonkwo, a very well-known public figure in his community falls under the threat of a new culture brought by the white missionaries preaching the gospels of the Christianity. After the arrival of the Christian culture, the first collision that takes place is the division at the individual, and then at the societal levels. When a number of the Igbo people, including Okonkwo’s son, change their religion, it creates chaos and confusions throughout the community. Although the Igbo people have a well-established way of life, the Europeans do not understand. That is why they show no respect to the cultural practices of the Igbo people. What Achebe delivers in the novel is that Africans are not savages and their societies are not mindless. The things fall apart because Okonkwo fails at the end to take his people back to the culture they all shared once. The sentiments the whites show to the blacks regarding the Christianity clearly recap the slave treatment the blacks were used to receive from the whites in the past. Achebe shows that the picture of the Africans portrayed in literature and histories are not real, but the picture was seen through the eyes of the Europeans. Consequently, Okonkwo hangs himself when he finds his established rules and orders are completely exiled by his own people and when he sees Igbo looses its honor by falling apart.