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Violence In Things Fall Apart Essay

Achebe and Fanon talk about colonial authority and colonial violence on colonial subjects. The authors feel violence is the only way to preserve sense of identity. For each book I will talk about three examples of how the books show negative effects of colonial authority and three examples of how they show violence is necessary to preserve their autonomy. In the book Things Fall Apart by Achebe in 1958, Okonkwo is a powerful man in an Ibo village in Nigeria. Okonkwo gets banned from his country and has to move to his motherland. There is conflict between the individual and society.

In the book The Wretched of the Earth by Fanon in 1961 it talked about Algeria was a brutal place by French colonialization. The natives has no high utility, the huts were built on top of each other. The settlers were well fed and normally white people. Violence has ruled over the ordering of the colonial world. In the books by Achebe and Fanon it describes colonial violence and colonial authority. I will first talk about colonial violence in the book Achebe. “Unless you pay the fine immediately, we will take your leaders to Umuru before the big white man and hang them. (Achebe, P. 196) The angings in Nigeria were in the white man’s court. Everyone has to obey the rules or pay the consequences. Okonkwo has anger problems and always has to show everyone he’s not like his father. He wants to be known as someone who is strong. “The drums were still beating, persistent and unchanging. Their sound was no longer a separate thing from the living village. It was like the pulsation of its heart.

It throbbed in the air, in the sunshine, and even in the trees, and filed the village with excitement. ” (Achebe, P. 4) Even though Okonkwo seemed like cruel man, his whole life he was dominated by fear of failure nd weakness. The Igbo culture was still determined to keep their traditions even if it meant violence. African culture had a lot of spirit and customs. The drums also stood for their ancestors calling to them and it picked up their spirits. “Who sat in darkness and in fear seemed to answer a vague and persistent question that haunted Nwoye’s young soul-the question of the twins crying in the bush and the question of Ikemefuna who was killed.

He felt a relief within as the hymn poured into his parched soul. ” (Achebe, P. 147) Okonkwo killed Ikemefuna even though he was like a son to him just to show his trength. Showing affection was a sign of weakness, and Okonkwo wanted to be seen as someone who had a lot of strength. The missionaries who came to Nigeria built churches to try to convert people to their religion. Over time their churches kept getting more and more people who converted. Nwoye doesn’t feel like he fits in the Ibo culture so he changes to Christianity.

Dignity and self-respect was lost when people started leaving the Ibo culture. I will now talk about the colonial authority of the book Achebe. “Does the white man understand our custom about land? “How can he when he does not even speak out tongue? But he says that our customs are bad. How do you think we can fight when our own brothers have turned against us? The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and 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, P. 176) The people didn’t think anything of the white people when they first came. They let them set up the church and have land to do hat. Little did they know the know religion would be so popular. Okonkwo’s family was separated about this cause Nwoye left the Ibo culture. The tribe has turned against each other and how can they fight against the white people when some of their own is with them. Going against the missionaries means going against your own as well.

Okonkwo is angry that the white men just came to their tribe area and took away some of their people with their religion. Some Ibo people feel that the white people don’t care one bit about their religion because they are just taking away their people. Religion and tradition is the only things that keep this tribe together and from falling apart. This quotation shoes the disrespect towards Igbo customs. “In the many years in which he had toiled to bring civilization to different parts of Africa he had learned a number of things.

One of them was that a District Commissioner must never attend to such undignified details as cutting a hanged man from a tree. Such attention would give the natives a poor opinion of him. In the book which he planned to write he would stress that point. As he walked back to the court he thought about that book. Every day brought him some new material. The story of the man who had killed a messenger and hanged himself would make interesting reading. One could almost write a whole chapter on him. Perhaps not a whole chapter but a reasonable paragraph, at any rate.

There was so much else to include, and one must be firm in cutting details. He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought: The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger. ” (Achebe, P. 208-209) The District Commissioner doesn’t know much about the natives and doesn’t care too much about them. He thinks highly of himself nd sees himself as someone higher up than the natives. He sees the natives as helpless people and he thinks he can help them out, but the District Commissioner is the one who causes the natives problems. “You think you are the greatest sufferer in the world?

Do you know that men are sometimes banished for life? Do you know that men sometimes lose all their yams and even their children? I had six wives once. I have none now except that young girl who knows not her right from her left. Do you know how many children I have buried-children I begot in my youth and strength? Twenty-two. I did not hang myself, and I m still alive. If you think you are the greatest sufferer in the world ask my daughter, Akueni, how many twins she has borne and thrown away. Have you not heard the song they sing when a women dies? For whom is it well, for whom is it well?

There is no one for whom it is well. I have no more to say to you. ” (Achebe, P. 135) There are two types of violence, internal and external violence. This is saying you want to take pride in your culture because it has meaning and not lose your identity. Culture is about values and community experience. It is not only Okonkwo who is going through a hard time. Their tradition nvolves when you have twins, you are required to get rid of one of them. So if you were a women and had twins some of them could switch to the white people religion and be able to keep both of them.

Everyone was suffering in some way, just some suffered more than others. It is about how you handle the hardships that are thrown at you. Now I will talk about the colonial violence of the book Fanon. “The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What maters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the eed for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be. (Fanon)

In the reading it talks about how they use today’s national distress as a means of getting on through scheming and legal robbery, by import-export combines, limited liability companies, gambling on the stock exchange, or unfair promotion. This colonial system brought violence between the people. The rich people are getting richer and the poor people are getting poorer. “And it is clear that in the colonial countries the peasants alone are revolutionary, for hey have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The starving peasant, outside the class system is the first among the exploited to discover that only violence pays.

For him there is no compromise, no possible coming to terms; colonization and decolonization is simply a question of relative strength. ” (Fanon) This quote means that colonialization and decolonialization both equal violence. The author is talking about the oppressed people will eventually push back against their oppressors, they don’t really have a choice at this point and literally have nothing to lose. The oppress people are under harsh power and uthority. The oppressors treat people in a cruel and unfair way and prevents people from having rights and opportunities to profit.

The people will only fight for the liberation of their people. “Colonialism is not a machine capable of thinking, a body endowed with reason. It is naked violence and only gives in when confronted with greater violence. ” (Fanon) Colonialization separates people while decolonialization unifies people because they are all working toward one cause. The reading talks about higher powers attempting to suppress the uprising of people. Colonialism is full control over another ountry and benefit from it economically. This war created mental disorders, national liberation, and it needed psychiatrists.

I will now talk about the colonial authority of Fanon. “The claim to a national culture in the past does not only rehabilitate that nation and serve as a justification for the hope of a future national culture. In a sphere of psycho-affective equilibrium it is responsible for an important change in the native. Perhaps we haven’t sufficiently demonstrated that colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native’s brain of all form and content. By kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it.

This work of devaluing pre-colonial history takes on a dialectical significance today. ” (Fanon) Fanon talks about how psychology can be used to colonize and control people. The French tried to change and control the Algerian people. They wanted the Algerian people to feel hopeless and like they had less power. “Colonialism hardly every exploits the whole of a country. It contents itself with bringing to light the natural resources, which it extracts, and exports to meet the needs of the mother country’s industries, hereby allowing certain sectors of the colony to become relatively rich.

But the rest of the colony follows its path of underdevelopment and poverty, or at all events sinks into it more deeply. ” (Fanon) In the reading it talks about the superiority of the higher ups were taking advantage of the majority of the people below them. The colonist take everything they need from the county and will give nothing back in return. They help other countries but leave most people in the current country with nothing. They profit from the natural resources in one country and sell it someplace else. So the rich people get richer and the poor people get poorer.

This turns a country with a lot of people in poverty. “For colonialized people the most essential value, because the most meaningful, is first and foremost the land, which must provide bread and, above all, dignity. But this dignity has nothing to do with human dignity. The colonized subject has never hear of such an ideal. All he has ever seen on his land is that he can be arrested, beaten, and starved with impunity; and no sermonizer on morals, no priest has ever stepped in to bear the blows in his place or share his bread. Fanon) The colonist saw the natives as savages.

The colonist tried to get rid of the dignity of the natives. The colonist try to take away their land and everything that meaningful to them. Land is important for food, work, and money for everyday life. In the books by Achebe and Fanon it describes colonial violence and colonial authority. They both talk about the effects that colonial authority has on the colonial people. The both have a struggle in the society and as a culture as a whole.

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