Examples Of Discrimination In Things Fall Apart

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When asked what traits he dislike most in a person, politician and activist Gordon Brown responded by saying “I hate prejudice, discrimination, and snobbishness of any kind - it always reflects on the person judging and not the person being judged.” This quote directly relates to the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Discrimination can be found in many cases, whether it is race, gender, religion, or anything that makes people different. Things Fall Apart proves that discrimination is fostered by ignorance. Women aren’t treated as equals compared to men in Igbo society. As described in the novel, women do different work and have different responsibilities compared to men. Okonkwo explains that “His mother and sisters worked hard enough,…show more content…
After Okonkwo kills a messenger, the District Commissioner goes to the hut of Okonkwo where it is discovered he has hung himself. After they remove the body, the District Commissioner considers writing a book about Okonkwo’s story of murder and the colonization of Africa. “He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger”(208). He discriminates the villagers by calling them a “Primitive Tribe.” Using “primitive” suggests that he thinks less of the African people and that despite the book showing how well-organized their society is. He represents Europeans as a whole and how they believe that the villagers are unsophisticated and animal-like by using this specific word choice. This discrimination can be traced back to their skin color, culture, and religion. Ignorance was an important factor in categorizing them as “primitive.” The role of racism and conflict between the two groups is shown after the death of Mr. Brown . A new missionary, Reverend James Smith is brought into the village as his replacement. Instead of having a more lenient policy of dealing with the villagers like some of the other missionaries , he is quite fierce on imposing Christianity on them. “He saw things as black and white. And black was evil. He saw the world as a battlefield in which the children of light were locked in mortal conflict with the sons of…show more content…
Soon after the missionaries’ arrival at Mbanta, they gathered all of the villagers to speak to them about converting to Christianity. The villagers say how insane they are and start asking them about how each of their gods are fake. The missionaries respond “All the gods you have named are not gods at all. They are gods of deceit who tell you to kill your fellows and destroy innocent children. There is only one true God and He has the earth, the sky, you and me and all of us.“ (Achebe 146). The missionaries conviction in their words shows how settled their minds are on their own opinions. They have such a deep belief in their religion that the missionaries say to those that believe in different gods that they are “gods of deceit” and that their gods “tell you to kill your fellows and destroy innocent children.” The missionaries shouldn’t be able to draw this conclusion because they barely know anything about the villagers and their religion, especially with the fact that they haven’t resided in Africa for a long enough time to learn about it. Knowing how much they believe in their own gods, the missionaries are ignorant enough to conclude that they would be able to get the villagers to convert by harassing the villagers and their religion. This display of ignorance by the Europeans towards the villager’s religion is a main cause in the discrimination of their religion and beliefs.

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