Conflicts in “Things Fall Apart”.
Conflicts are major part of every story. In the start of every drama or novel, conflicts arise and could not be solved till end of the plot. In case of “Things Fall Apart”, there are mainly four conflicts, which are developed by the writer. The writer has created them and forget to solve them at the end of the story or it can be said with heavy heart that they were unable to be solved as history is evident about the social lives of Ibo peoples. The demand of the novel is real historical story, which is based on true and realistic antiquity. Chinua Achebe used a realistic technique and in this way he illustrated the conflicts but could not solve them as they were not solved in the history of Igbo society. Somehow, these conflicts are real and also experienced by the writer, which can neither be solved nor they can be underestimated because they are based on harsh reality.
The first and main conflict, which arises in the novel is between the Igbo religion and Christianity. Religion, according to some people is life, some people think that it is personal but in others eyes, it is just inner satisfaction. The title of novel in hand revels the whole story as well as the conflict, which is between the Igbo religion and Christianity. The people of Igbo society have their own beliefs. As we know that religion is somewhat related to inner satisfactions of the people. In the same way, Igbo people have their own ways of spending life. The chief goddess was Earth. Their beliefs of killing the twins, feasts, peace days all wererelated to their sacred religion but with the expansion of imperialism, Christianity also expanded and touched the boundaries of Igbo society and the conflicts aroused but it reached at the peak when Okonkwo returned from his exile. He could not save his religion white men. Even he could not save his son, who was converted and ultimately Okonkwocould not find any other way but suicide. Thus, this conflict solved at the end in shape of elimination of Igbo religion and beliefs.
The second main conflict is Igbo Culture vs. Christianity. The people were spending their own lives happily as they were happy with their culture. Though they were superstitiousyet they were happy with it but the conflict ascends with the entering of Christianity. Religion always follows culture or vice versa. Both, culture and religion are related to each other. HenceThus, if Christianity overpowered the people, they would certainly forget their Igbo culture as Christianity was against superstitious beliefs. There was a lot of difference between white men’s cultures and Nigerian culture (Igbo society). Henceforth, it was also a conflicts, which is illustrated in the novel by the writer and also summarized the theme of the novel i.e. fadingof Igbo society’s culture.
Indeed, there are a lot of conflicts but major and prominent conflicts are necessary to be described. According to me, another chief conflict is between man Vs. her mind, termed as “Chi” in the novel. Although the society was containing a number of people but they were spending their life individually. For instance, Okonkwo was fighting with his inner fear of failure. Her son was fighting with his weakness, considering himself right as comparted to his father. Apparently, they were happy but somewhere in their minds they were trying to find a better life. Obeirika was also a follower of Igbo culture and obey every order, given by earth goddess but he was against the philosophy of killing the twins. He wanted to do something but could not do any efforts for this purpose. In this way, it was also a main conflicts, given by the writer in this historical incident. Furthermore, modern literature always deals with man vs. his innersole. Chinua Achebe was well aware with the technique that every human, living in any corner is dealing with the same situation. It is the only conflict which is common in everyone and the same was also available in the Igbo society. This was the main conflicts which forces Nwoye for alienation from his religion, culture as well as his society and family.
Apart from above, there are also some of the small conflicts such as; Man Vs. Man in form of wars, Man Vs. himself as Okonkwo struggled hard in his life to convince himself, Son Vs. Father as Nwyoy thinks that he was right, Man Vs. Religion as Obeirikawas uncomfortable with the killing of twins. These conflicts are clear and masterly described by Chinua Achebein the novel but the main theme as well as purpose of this novel covers only one conflict which is; Imperialism and colonialism. People, who were spending life with freedom had accepted the religion and culture of Christianity. Some accepted it with happy hearts and some with heavy hearts, therefore, the prominent conflict of the novel, as discussed supra, is the clash between the Western and traditional African Values.