In the novel, Things Fall Apart, the effects of colonialism were extremely evident in the Igbo society. As the white Englanders moved into the native’s land, their cultural values changed. Examples of these changes were evident in all aspects of the Igbo people’s lives, in their religion, family life, children, and the dead. Many of the Igboians were upset by the colonialism of their society, but in the end they were completely incapable of doing anything to reverse the changes that had already taken place in their society.
As the English began to colonize the Igbo society, there were few natives who opposed it, they others just felt that the English would come and go, but they were wrong. Soon, the English began to introduce “white man’s religion. ” This new religion was completely the opposite from what the natives were accustomed to. Christianity was rather intriguing to many of the natives and many of them turned away from their families and everything they were to become a member of this new religion.
Before this, they natives had been very superstious, but as they new religion flooded over the peoples, their superstiousocity began to lessen and their belief in the many gods they had previously believed in. Also, as many of the natives ran to the new Christian faith, many family bonds were broken. Before colonialism took place, family was an important thing in the Igbo society. It was not often that a man would give his son away for any reason, but because of the English coming in and teaching a new faith, many families were forced to give up their sons, daughters, and even some men were forced to give up their wives.
The new religion also affected the way certain customs took place in the Igbo society. An example would be when one of the newly converted Christians killed the highly honored snake. In my opinion, the biggest effect that colonialism had on the Igbo society was the way in which their dead and infants were treated. In the traditional society, those who killed themselves were thrown into the Evil Forest, as where twins and children who died at young ages.
As Christianity began to grow the converts took the twins who were sent to the Evil Forest and gave them homes. Also, many of those who had twins or children who died while still infants looked at the situation much differently. Overall, the colonialism of the Igbo society affected them in many different ways. Each aspect of their lives and culture were consumed by English’s belief systems. Whether it was their religion, family life, children, or their dead—the white’s beliefs and systematic way of life took over the traditional systems and beliefs.