Tradition Versus Modernity in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

Lèfara Silue



Okonkwo, the embodiment of Igbo tradition in the story, has started acting in a way that can jeopardize social peace. His exile makes easier the coming of the missionaries and Christianity into Umuofia. The Igbo accepted the missionaries on their land like good strangers. Shortly afterward, the foreigners appear as enemies of the clan. In this religious conflict, the outcasts or the victims of tradition regard Christianity as a way out or the source of salvation and freedom. The traditional Igbo society has become a fragile society under the yoke of colonialism. In this sense, immorality becomes morality and disorder turns into order. This can explain the subversive deeds Enoch perpetrates in the village under the cover of Christianity. Through the desanctification of the mask, one perceives the loss of ancestral values looming up on the horizon. His mental and psychological alienation impel Achebe to wonder about the survival of tradition in modern African society without references.



: alienation, colonialism, desanctification, missionaries, references, way out.

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