Things Fall Apart

The Destructive Clash of Cultures

In their respective works Things Fall Apart and The Joys of Motherhood, both Chinua Achebe and Buchi Emecheta depict the effects of colonialism on Igbo society.

While Achebe demonstrates the gradual process of colonial imposition, Buchi Emecheta examines its aftermath. Nonetheless, Nnu Ego and Okonkwo endure a parallel struggle with the conflicting cultures of Igbo tradition and colonial society. The gradual downfall of Okonkwo and the eventual solitude of Nnu Ego are byproducts of these clashing attitudes. Essentially, they both are enslaved by their inherent devotion to tradition. For Okonkwo, the colonial imposition undermines every value and influence that has shaped his existence. In an analogous way, Nnu Ego attempts to fulfill her traditional goals of motherhood amidst the ÃÂÂmodernÃÂ? and colonized city of Lagos. Both characters inevitably fail as the discord between the cultures proves to be insurmountable.

Although colonialism is the main focus of Chinua AchebeÃÂÂs novel, a significant portion of the book is devoted to establishing Igbo culture, untouched by western influences. In his description, he attempts to be an objective historian as he relates all aspects of the culture, even those that seem outrageous. For...

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