Theme Of Colonialism In Things Fall Apart

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In his novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe depicts the bleak decline of African strength under colonial oppression through the story of Umuofia, a land that experiences the detrimental impact of European colonists. In order to demonstrate the steady suppression of the Africans through the arrival of the Europeans, Achebe creates the allegory of the locusts, which descend upon the land and consume everything in their path. Though the Umuofians initially celebrate the locusts and welcome them to their land, it does not take long for the locust’s destructive nature to emerge. The seemingly harmless arrival of the locust represents the missionaries who, under the guise of religion, serve as the harbingers of colonialism. The minute collection…show more content…
In fact, it does not take long for the missionaries begin converting eager Umuofians to Christianity. Achebe writes that not long after the arrival of the missionary, Mr. Brown, “he won his first three converts”(105). Amongst this group is Okonkwo, the protagonist’s, son Nwoye. Nwoye is enamoured by the stories and psalms of the missionaries, and celebrates their teachings. Achebe writes that “Nwoye had been attracted to the new faith since the first day.”(106). Many Umuofians are eager to welcome to missionaries, and willingly join their faith. Their welcoming of the colonists is foreshadowed in the celebration of the locusts. When the locusts arrive, the colonists cheer and rejoice, however they do not comprehend the danger that is yet to arrive, as the locusts devour their crops and consume their land. Similarly, the emergence of the missionaries is exalted by many, yet the ruinous outcome of the locusts indicate the dangerous nature of the impending…show more content…
As the emergence of peaceful missionaries successfully dispelle the African religion, colonial power grows until it supersedes the government and court system. Colonists are able to quickly assume authority over the Umuofians and silence their leaders. Though they are initially welcome, the colonists become a dangerous and dominating force that consumes all of Umuofia. Achebe foreshadows the harmful repercussions of the colonists arrival through the microcosm of the locusts, who descend upon the land and fervently devour the crops. Ultimately, Achebe uses the symbol of the locusts in order to create a religious parallel to the Christian colonists. By depicting them as locusts, Achebe draws a comparison to the plague the descends upon

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