171- Final Paper- Colonialism- Jaocb D. Pritchard -2.docx

171- Final Paper- Colonialism- Jaocb D. Pritchard -2.docx -...

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Jacob Pritchard HIS 171 Research Paper Due: 4/27/17
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George Orwell and Chinua Achebe share similar ideas about colonialism in their respective books. Colonialism is the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically. Orwell and Achebe suggest that some of the negative aspects of colonialism for both the colonizers and colonized include the loss of original culture, violence, and racism. To begin, a negative aspect of colonialism for both the colonizers and colonized is the loss of original culture. In both books, the natives are met with new cultural influences. In, Things Fall Apart , things actually fall apart for good with the arrival of the white man. The white man brings with him a new culture. This new culture has a different language, religion, and worldview. Normal life as the natives knew it ceased to exist. For them, life would never be the same again. The character of Okonkwo felt this change the most. His way of life was changing before his eyes. Okonkwo knew that he would be the last of his kind. The last man to live like his ancestors. His peoples’ culture was being lost forever. When asked if the white man understood their customs about the land, Okonkwo said, “How can he when he does not even speak our tongue? But he says that our customs are bad, and our own brothers who have taken up his religion also say that our customs bad… our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart . ” Achebe, through Okonkwo, writes this to show a negative aspect of colonialism. This passage evokes sympathy from the reader. Achebe is showing the audience how it feels to lose culture and tradition. This is a short quote that speaks volumes about how, Okonkwo and other natives, felt about colonization. This quote also brings up religion. The white man brought with him a new religion of Christianity. Religion is an important aspect of any culture. This new religion created a division in the native population. This division contributed to the downfall of their culture. Their religion was an 1
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important part of the culture of the Ibo villages. It gave their society structure. Once a new religion was introduced, that structure was questioned. So began the loss and change of the native culture. As Okonkwo said, some of the natives had taken up this new religion. Their culture would and could not stay the same with both religions present among the people. The new religion brought the natives closer to the culture of the white man. It is noteworthy that Achebe writes this through the perspective of Okonkwo. As previously stated, Okonkwo represents the native culture in its purest form. Achebe implies that the change and loss of their culture is a negative thing for the colonized Ibo villages, especially for Okonkwo.
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