Colonialism as a Redeeming Evil in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

Purwarno Purwarno, Andang Suhendi


Colonialism is commonly perceived and portrayed negatively in any discoursesand even considered as an evil. This perception is generally connected with the harsh, severe and brutal exploitation of the people and land being colonized. It is related to its historical and cultural denigration, oppression, suppression, economic exploitation and deprivation, literary prejudice and linguistic interference on the side of the colonized. However, apart from the negative impacts due to the colonialism, there is no doubt at all that ithas brought some certain positive impacts for the colonized. Colonizers have civilized huge numbers of peopleby spreading enlightenment,knowledge, information, technology, and even a love of learning all over the globe. It is while governing the indigenouspeople that theycivilizethem. This studyaims at critically studying on the colonialism as a redeeming evil in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall ApartIt highlights the enlightenment, progress and divergent developments brought by colonialism to the Nigerian Igbo.The research result shows that colonialismhas brought some positiveimpacts and undeniable landmark achievements to the Igbo in terms of establishment of religion,building ofchurches, schools,hospitals,courts,government, trade and commerce, theacceptanceofoutcasts,thestoppageofthekilling oftwins, that have made it a necessary redeeming evil,and even a blessing in disguise.It also reveals that Chinua Achebeactually acknowledges that colonialismhas brought positive impacts to the Nigerian Igbo. The method used in thisresearch is descriptive research proposed by Kothari (2004). 


Keywords: Colonialism, redeeming evil, Igbo, outcast, ogbanjeosu.

Full Text:



Achebe, C. (1982). Morning yet on creation day. London: Heinemann.

Achebe, C. (2000). Things fall apart. South Africa: Heinemann.

Boehmer, E. (2005). Colonial and postcolonial literature: second edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Daniel A. O. (1986). Imperialism and dependency. Nigeria: Fourth Dimension Publishing Co. Ltd.

Gikandi, S. (1991). Reading Chinua Achebe: language and ideology in fiction. London: Heinemann.

Kenalemang, Laame Maatla. (2013). Things fall apart: an analysis of pre and post-colonial Igbo society. Karlstad, Sweden: Karlstads Universited.

Kothari, C, R. (2004). Research methodology: methods and technique. Jaipur, India: New Age International (P) Limited, Publishers.

Sahu, P. K. (2013). Research methodology: a guide for researchers in agricultural science, social science and other related fields. India: Springer.

Sahu, P. K. (2017). Colonial Niger. Retrieved from


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © 2017 Syiah Kuala University

ISSN: 2345-6789

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.