Most people think that saving natives from their primitive lifestyles is a glorious thing and that people should continue on to converting their faith; but when seen from a native’s point of view, becoming civilized to another’s standards does not always turn out so well. When people come to an established native colony and does what they can to try to make them believe in what they think is correct, one can understand a native’s feelings toward the outsiders. Feelings of torment, awkwardness, diversity and anger are just to name a few. After reading the book, Thinks Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe it is easy to connect to the main character, Okonkwo, and his life during the forced modifications of Christians on his ways of living. Okonkwo was a man of tradition and culture.
Feeling threatened and abused, he learned to hate the white people who pushed to change every part of his raised ethics. One can understand if they try to put themselves in his same situation; out of nowhere some people show up and try to change everything they’ve ever known and the way they’ve been raised to live and treat their people. I think the white people and Christians taking over and trying to colonize Okonkwo and the Mbantu people had an opposite effect and should have never been pushed upon them.
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Okonkwo was raised as a man of power, to live and die by the Mbantu ways of living. Although he let his temper take a hold of him and dishonor his people at times, he still was proud of his tribe and thought nothing could change his lifestyle. Until one day, an unfortunate accident, a killing of another in his tribe, led him and his family to a seven year exile. After living among his mothers’ tribe for two years, Okonkwo was happy with his new tribe and their ways of tradition, until the missionaries decided to show up. After that, Okonkwo was never the same again. Okonkwo learned to hate the white men and how they tried to convert the tribesmen to their beliefs.
After years of having to put up with these outsiders and losing his older son to them, Okonkwo’s seven year banishment was finally over and he could bring his family back home to his own tribe and people. After arriving back home, Okonkwo was shocked at how much the white people had changed his village and people as well. Nothing was the same anymore. The traditions, lifestyle and spirits of the Mbantu people were being destroyed by the new laws and rules pushed onto them by the newcomers. Okonkwo’s hatred toward the white people grew and eventually led him to suicide after killing one of the white men. This greatly shows how colonization can definitely have an adverse effect among the natives and that religion should never be pushed onto anyone. Some think that making natives civilized is the rightful thing to do and that all natives should become colonized.
But people rarely think about the damage it can do to the natives and their ways of living. The breaking up of families, resentment and hatred can result from the native people when different religions and lifestyles are pressed upon them. The fictional story of Okonkwo’s native.