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Progress V. Tradition V. Language of Colonizers Essay

  • Submitted by: jahna5000
  • on November 19, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 4,229 words

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Below is an essay on "Progress V. Tradition V. Language of Colonizers" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.


Progress vs. Tradition vs. Language of the Colonizers

In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the majority of the conflicts Okonkwo faces are based on the progress of the characters, the community and the rejection of that progress.   Colonization of traditional ethnic groups brings new thinking, technology and religion to an already established civilization.   The reactions of the colonized people to the Europeans show a generational gap between the elders and the younger members of the ethnic groups, each desiring to maintain their dominance and individuality.   The impact of colonization and the “European-way” is apparent in Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.   Colonization and progress in these works lead to a near-collapse of the traditional African community and disgrace the characters in both novels.
For Okonkwo, protagonist of Things Fall Apart, progress begins with oneself and one’s desire to be stronger and more powerful than one’s father.   Throughout his life, Okonkwo sees his father’s folly and laziness. Achebe writes, “In his day [Unoka] was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow” (4), and decides to be the most respected member of the community.   Achebe states: “Any wonder then that his son Okonkwo was ashamed of him? Fortunately, among these people a man was judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father. Okonkwo was clearly cut out for great things” (8).   Driven by his fear and need to be respected, Okonkwo becomes a fierce warrior and wrestler, a revered community member and an extremely capable farmer.   By his midlife he has progressed to outshine not only his father but also many other men in the community.   Yet unlike his father, Okonkwo is violent, cold, detached and fueled by fear.   As Achebe suggests, “Okonkwo’s fear was greater than these. It was not external but lay deep within himself. It was the fear of himself, lest he should be...

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"Progress V. Tradition V. Language of Colonizers". Anti Essays. 13 Dec. 2018

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Progress V. Tradition V. Language of Colonizers. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/Progress-V-Tradition-V-Language-Of-547610.html