When you consider the society of the Ibo it is almost inevitable that their society would crumble eventually. The impacts of colonialism tore apart families and disrupted the one common thread that connected all of the ibo people, their common religion kept all of them form destroying each other. “Blessed is he who forsakes his father and mother for my sake.”(p.152) This quote exemplifies the influx of christianity into Umuofia. The people who differed form normality tended to start gravitating towards the white man. Women who tended to conceive twins, which were later mercilessly thrown into the bushes to die left, children like Nwoye who didn’t quite fit into their more aggressive families abandoned them for a new life. “At first the clan had thought it would not survive. But it had gone on living and gradually becoming stronger.”(p.154) In this statement they talk about the church as a metaphor for the new and prominent religion that is sweeping the clans. The people gave the colonists the evil forest in hopes that it would kill them. When they eventually became an impressive and strong group, I feel that people began to lose faith.
I feel that Chinua Achebe was very successful in giving another look at Africa then the one we are used to seeing. The Ibo clans were very advanced in their own rights. They have an established way of life and that in itself is very impressive. “The nine villages of Umuofia had grown out of the nine sons of the first father of the clan.”(p.89) In the nine villages there are communities, farmers and a jury to solve problems. We as an American’s still follow all of these. “And she guessed that they must be on the village ilo, or playground.” The idea of an uncivilized group of people doesn’t tend to have a system of law and order, playgrounds, and people growing their own food. I feel very strongly that we need to have more perspective in our books.
I feel that this is the most well thought out and poetic ending I have ever read. In killing himself Okonkwo showed his weakness. “That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia . You drove him to kill himself; and now he will be buried like a dog…” I think the most important part of his death is that it has nothing to do with him. His life took 209 pages to explain and the author ended it in a page, this relates directly into how all stories surrounding african culture are written from outside opinions. “It is an abomination for a man to take his own life. It is an offense against the Earth, and a man who commits it will not be buried by his clansmen.” I think that this is actually very similar to today’s society in the sense that it’s selfish and cruel to kill oneself. Though I strongly disagree I feel that the white man in this story shows a lot about the negative change Africa went through after colonisation
During this seminar I learned a lot about what is taken form this book through many different lenses. One comment ally made really made me think a lot she said “Think about why africans didn’t colonise and push their ideas on the westerners.” I never thought about why they didn’t colonise and it all kind of boils down to that they probably didn’t think that this was an acceptable thing to do. So why did the easterners think that it was their place to force beliefs onto the people that they saw as lessers. I think that this comment changed my perspective on dominance and submission. These are core traits in this story and it is very important that Okonkwo thought that it was his job, while the rest of the clan thought that they were outmatched. This seminar in itself gave me a lot of insight into the views of my peers and my teacher.
This seminar was a very good one for my group. I feel that I gave a lot of cited evidence from the text. This was an improvement on my last seminar in which I talked without a lot of evidential support. One downside was that me and my peers agreed on most of the questions posed, and I learn better from opposition. I feel that I left room for people to disagree with me but nobody really took me up on it. All in all, I feel like this seminar was a success in which I strengthened my knowledge and my sense of understanding