from the book things fall apart
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An individual is defined by the community in Umuofia. An individual's destiny is derived from tradition, family history and other factors outside a person's control. This is why Okonkwo's story was so incredible. His father was considered pathetic and was left to rot in the wild after death, this was the ultimate insult. Still Okonkwo became one of the most powerful men in the village. Unfortunately most marginalized people were not like Okonkwo. They remained on the margins with no hope of being treated humanely by the community. This is why, when the missionaries came, many were so attracted to Christianity. They felt it gave them some individual personal validation against their treatment by the community.