Achebe, Things Fall Apart Essay

Things Fall Apart The impact of European Imperialism counter acting with the weaker African society brings great attention to how the 19th century functioned. Chinua Achebe discusses through out his novel, Things Fall Apart, just how the Europeans at the time became a greater supremacy by taking over colossal Africa. Achebe describes the hard times that went on during the 19th century imperialist era, and how the Igbo culture had to fight for what they thought was right. Comparisons of European characteristics and the African way of life can be made in many different ways.

Achebe condemns European imperialists and how they colonized around Africa. He shows how at the time being that major powers could take over at any given time. European powers were always trying to make a move towards a more positive economic route. The 19th century Europeans tried to make a name for themselves and Africa was the forefront for a new expansion in an industrial market. The scramble for Africa described in chapter 20 of Ways of the World, shows how the Europeans started to colonize all over the continent of Africa.

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Many rival powers such as, “Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, and Italy sought to get a piece of a continent that many believed held the promise of great wealth. ”(960) While the Europeans planned to colonize for wealth; “ the entire partition of Africa took place without any direct military conflict between the competing countries. ”(960) Remarkably the European countries showed no conflict within their selves. European Imperialism was growing right in front of the Africans eyes and there was nothing that they could do to prevent it.

Achebe’s Things Fall Apart skillfully shows how Africans transpose the resistance to European imperialism. This leads the reader to believe that both African and Europeans were fighting for what they believed was right in their own perspectives. The ethics of the Europeans is what drove Achebe towards criticizing them throughout the novel. “And at last the locusts did descend. They settled on every tree and every blade of grass; they settled on the roofs and covered the bare ground. Mighty tree branches broke away under them, and the whole country became the brown-earth color of the vast, hungry smarm. Achebe describes the colonizers as “locusts” and how they were surrounding them everywhere they went. He uses repetition of the word “every” to really show the reader how the people of Africa could not do anything with out the Europeans watching over them. Achebe uses a sense of malicious wording when using the “locusts” to describe the Europeans. He tries to critique the antics and ethics of 19th century imperialism, and how the psyche of the Igbo was changed as soon as the Europeans settled.