Colonialism is a central theme in the novel Things Fall Apart. The story itself portrays the Igbo society and the English changing it overtime on multiple levels. Colonialism ishighlighted through religion, which is being referred to as “White man’s god” (Achebe 47). Moreover, Christianity was referred to as the only religion, while the tribe members believed in false gods and had to convert through fundamental teachings. An example is Mister Brown’s dialogue in which he refuses to acknowledge the similarities in religions while stating that Christianity is the only wrong belief system (Achebe 58). The change in religion, which has been a significant part of the Igbo community, has led to multiple changes, such as a change in the prevalent intrinsic values. A symbol of colonialism was the killing of a sacred snake (Achebe 58). As colonialism itself, the initial culture was utterly disregarded and killed through the killing of the python as a representation of the culture and its minimization.
The Heart of Darkness is another novel portraying some aspects of colonization told from the perspective of an English person. However, while Things Fall Apart is focused on some religious aspects, The Heart of Darkness portrays trade stations and how natives change when a white person becomes influential in society (Conrad 119). Moreover, since the narrators are Western, the natives are described as either naïve or primitive. While this is a significant difference, the topic of colonialism is illustrated in both novels and refers to the gradual yet significant cultural changes that correlate with the concept of colonialism. Moreover, both literary works suggest the humanistic shifts that happen due to the influence of a whole new culture trying to establish new rules in foreign societies.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Knopf, 2003.
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. Hesperus Press, 2012.