Examples Of Individualism In Things Fall Apart

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The American population is known for its love of democracy and freedom. In fact, these two ideals are among the most ingrained ideas in American culture to the point that its laws and government reflect these principles. For instance, anyone may petition for a change or repeal in a law. Other countries, such as China, have different ideals and hence, different governing styles. The same principle applies to the two main governments in Things Fall Apart, the Ibo and the British, follow this principle. For the Ibo, it’s the protection and survival of the villages. This causes them to use a nine man government who settle disputes, decide what to do, and hold all authority. The British, in contrast, cherish individualism and justice. Thus, while…show more content…
This mentality is apparent after Okonkwo is exiled because his gun explodes and kills the son of Ezeudu. Even though the villagers also burn his house and kill his animals, they “[have] no hatred in their hearts against Okonkwo… They were merely cleansing the land which Okonkwo had polluted with the blood of a clansman.” (Achebe 125). While the exile of Okonkwo is unjustified considering that he didn’t kill the boy on purpose, it still demonstrates that the village does what is necessary, but not just or moral. Despite everyone knowing that he is innocent, the clan still exiles him. Obierika even says that “if the clan did not exact punishment… [the Earth goddess’s] wrath was loosed on all the land…” (Achebe 125). From this, we see that the village truly believes that if they do not punish Okonkwo, then the whole tribe will be harmed. Thus, the tribe is acting to protect itself as a whole at the cost of individual justice. In contrast, the District Commissioner exposes the British reasoning of punishment. After he arrests the six men, he says, “I have brought you here because you joined together to molest others, to burn people’s houses and their place of worship. That must not happen in the dominion of our queen” (Achebe 195). The fact that the DC uses the Queen of England as justification for the imprisonment means that he is appealing to an authority. However, this isn’t the same as the Ibo appealing to the Earth goddess as the Ibo follow the goddess’s will out of fear of destruction. Instead, the Queen symbolizes justice, evidenced by how the District Commissioner says that justice is administered “just as it is done in [his] own country under a great queen” (Achebe 195). Thus, the six men burning down the church is considered an act of injustice, which the DC states “must not happen”. This implies that the fining of the six men

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