Things Fall Apart

How does the District Commissioner break faith with the leaders of Umuofia?

Chapter 23

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After the District Commissioner returns from his tour, he invites the leaders of Umuofia to come meet with him. Six men are invited, among them Okonkwo. The meeting is a trap; the six men are taking prisoner, and the DC demands the stiff fine of two hundred bags of cowries.

The DC is completely ignorant of local ways, and he has no intention of learning about them; the different ideas of justice ensure conflict.

The corruption of the system is also clear. The DC does not even speak the local language, giving the kotma ample room for trickery.

Okonkwo is humiliated and "choked with hate" for the white man. The DC arrogantly speaks of the need for "good government" and "justice" under the reign of the queen. He is speaking to the Igbo like subjects of the Empire; little by little, that is what they have become.