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Word Count: 765
John English The assimilation of the African continent by European colonizers and missionaries was a destructive and often bloody chapter of our history It imposed a way of life that was foreign and often contrary to the ways of Africas people as Chinua Achebe shows us in his book Things Fall Apart The main character in this work Okonkwo is almost completely unable to react to the change that the Anglicans brought to his land without violence and anger and he suffers for it as a result exemplifying some of the main themes in the story Throughout Things Fall Apart Okonkwo is subjected to difficult changes but it is his inability to react to them wisely that truly destroys him When the Anglican missionaries arrive Okonkwo and his tribesmen consider their language to be mere noise Not only is this an ironic opinion because the Anglicans historically considered native Africans languages to be mere noise themselves but it is also a prime example of Okonkwos unwillingness to learn more about a situation then what he initially sees Because he chose to ignore the missionaries he weakened his ability to fairly assess their importance When Okonkwos son Nwoye joins the Anglican Church he disowns him He did so because He sees any diversion from the way of life that he is accustomed to as weak and to be looked down upon This brings about a feelings of unhappiness and loss in both him and his son and if he had been more excepting of other ways that would not have been so Okonkwo is a man who is so set in his ways and so unable to adapt that when he is subjected to change he falls to pieces When the missionaries begin to influence his society Okonkwo suffers great consequences When one of the converts Enoch kills one of Umofias ancestral sprits he and his tribesmen burn down the Anglican Church resulting in their own
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