Post #13: Diaspora : Spread






Diaspora in Things Fall Apart

·    Church: When the white missionaries came in, many of the Ibo were opposed to the church. However, there was a minority that was in favor of it. The osu, the outcasts in the Ibo society, finally found a place where they were welcomed and accepted. The church, unlike the Ibo society had accepted these people. People, other than the osus, who joined the church protested the presence of the osus, so the church had to force the osus to shave their hair off. Not only this, but people like Nwoye and others who went against the Ibo traditions found something to believe in and found a source of answers to their questions at the church. Although the church had a positive influence on the osus, many of the Ibo were opposed to the church and its teachings. People like Okwonko felt offended by the white missionaries. The church negatively influenced some people like Okwonko, getting them to become more violent, fighting against the church.

·    Courts: The egwugus were originally in charge of keeping peace and justice through the lands. They never seemed to make harsh decisions and ruled quite leniently. For example, when the husband and wife came in with a problem, the egwugus told them to try living together again and so on. The people were not punished severely. However, when the white people came in, the court system and ruling system they set up was harsh and strict. Just because the the Ibo men, including Okwonko burned down the church, the men were whipped, tortured, and required to pay a fine. Not only this, but killing someone in Ibo society was forgiven through exile or payment. However, the white people believed that it was unacceptable to kill others. For example, at the end of the story when Okwonko had killed a white messenger, the white people came after him to kill him. In short, the new courts were strict and had more influence over the people. If the power was used in an accurate and just way, it would have kept order and kept the people organized. Despite this fact, because the idea of punishment and strict rules were unfamiliar to the Ibo, they had trouble adapting to it, and many people despised the white rules and courts by rebelling against the white. 

·    Schools: The Ibo originally passed on their stories and history through oral traditions. However, as the Christian missionaries came in and set up schools, some of the Ibo were educated to read and write. With time, the Ibo would have communicated and passed their stories and history down through reading and writing. This would have made the stories and history more accurate. On the other hand, some of the Ibo protested this new institution, believing that it would take away from their culture and traditions. Although many were against this new institution as it was a “white” thing, no actions were taken against it due to the fact that it was a minor offense against the Ibo culture.

Korean-American Diaspora         

·    Education is a change agent that impacts the Korean-Amerian diaspora. Many Koreans and Korean-Americans are educated to speak English, go to international schools and eventually colleges and universities abroad in english-speaking countries. This causes the younger generation of Koreans to become more “Americanized,” speaking English, disrespecting elders, voicing their opinions, following their dreams, and what not. This change may allow Korean-American students to become more creative thinkers who can go after the things they believe in; I believe it gives students more freedom. Although this is true, I feel like the new generation of Koreans are losing their cultural heritage. Many “Americanized” Korean-Americans no longer respect their elders, believing that everyone is their equal. Not only this, but they do not follow any more traditions like holding spiritual rituals for the dead. 

·    Subways are one of the major contact points that impact the Korean-American diaspora. When Korean-Americans ride the subway and speak english, many of the elders complain telling them that koreans should speak korean. Although this happens, the Korean-Americans continue speaking english. This shows how the gap between the older and more conservative generation and the Korean-Americans is growing.

·    Clothing and products are change agents that impact the Korea-American diaspora. Many Korean-Americans tend to favor American brands of products and clothing and while in Korea look for American brands. On the other hand, Korean people favor Korean products and Korean clothing despite poor quality. The Korean-Americans wear and use different things than the Koreans. This causes Korean-Americans and Koreans to shop and buy different products, creating a bigger gap between the two. 

The Title: Things Fall Apart and Diaspora

  The title of the novel Things Fall Apart comes from the poem by William Butler Yeats’ “The Second Coming.” Both the book and the poem talk about a group of people falling apart and a new beast appearing to make the situation worse. In the book, the group of people falling apart are the Ibo people. As the Ibo people fall apart and lose connections to their ancestors and heritage, the white people come in to make things worse. In the book, the black people who have fallen apart due to white influence struggle. The newer generations of the Ibo people, like Nwoye, start believing in white and Christian philosophy leaving their parents, siblings, and friends behind. From the center of the Ibo, a tightly unified group, things start falling apart throughout the story. Many Ibo people change while others protest and others are indifferent to the whole situation. Because of conflicting views, the Ibo people start to fall apart creating a diaspora. Because this is so, the title of the novel is Things Fall Apart.


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