Broken Traditions in Things Fall Apart
Uploaded by Gotskillz on Dec 21, 2004
Two entirely different cultures are brought together in unique fashion in Courtney’s The Power of One, Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, and Costner’s Dances with Wolves, to reveal a common theme. When two cultures collide, the infringing and more imposing civilization generally retains its customs while either altering or destroying aspects of the weaker culture’s way of life. Peekay demonstrates this theme through his childhood and adult experiences in The Power of One. Okonkwo and lesser characters are able to endow this idea in Things Fall Apart, and likewise, Lt. John Dunbar is able to do so in Dances with Wolves. When two cultures come together, religion, politics, and views of intolerance are all affected.
Religion has been the bearer of wars and strife amongst civilizations because of the enormous role it plays in defining a society. Therefore, when two cultures come together, the more dominant culture’s religion will typically prevail. This scenario is evident in The Power of One, on occasion. The most obvious instance of this occurring is when Peekay returns home from his amazing adventure with Hoppie and cannot find his Nanny waiting to embrace him. Peekay proceeds to question the members of the household in an attempt to discover the whereabouts of his Nanny, of Zululand descent. His mother is relatively uneasy to tell Peekay the truth. However, the boy’s persistence coerces her to disclose what really happened to his Nanny who had been with him from birth, when she was deported to a facility for the mentally unstable. Apparently, Peekay’s Nanny had been banished to her homeland because she refused to remove her defining amulets and accept Christianity. Peekay does not truly understand his Nanny’s ostracism and realizes that there are many new changes with Dee and Dum, the two housemaids, as well. It is now obligatory for them to remove their religion oriented jewelry and read from Bible under the newly instated policy of Peekay’s authoritarian mother.
There is evidence of religion being affected drastically in Things Fall Apart as well. The encroachment of the English serves as a catalyst to the collapse of the Ibo tribe’s pillars of faith and philosophy. At first, the white men are nothing more than a humorous attraction with amusing stories of a single God. However, there are a few members of the Ibo tribe who embrace this awkward religion. Nwoye, son of Okonkwo, is of those who are attracted...