Friday, February 24, 2017

Akunna Matata

When the British first come to Umuofia, Mr. Brown is the priest who tries to convert the indigenous. Mr. Brown is very considerate and tries to immerse himself in the Igbo culture and values. He often visits Akunna, one of the leaders of the clan, and holds discussion centered around each religion. Mr. Brown is civil in his approach and attempts to learn the Igbo beliefs and use them to help convert the indigenous. Mr. Brown is respectful and avoids conflict by reaching out to Akunna and building a relationship. Mr. Smith, the priest who replaces Mr. Brown, is the complete opposite. Achebe uses the names to symbolize race, Brown representing someone more accepting of the African people and Smith, a common white name, to represent someone strict to British beliefs and white supremacy. Mr. Smith kicks out some converts for minor offenses and rules with a heavy hand. He views the indigenous as inferior and in need of the British as the only way to progress their civilization. Achebe juxtaposes the two characters, Mr. Brown and Mr. Smith,  to show how the British should go about trying to convert people, versus how they actually did.

5 comments:

Rickeia Coleman said...

Hakuna matata implies a problem free philosophy which the colonization of the British certainly isn't. The Ibo were happy for the most part and content before the British just decided to go and take over their land like they own the place. Mr. Brown was amazing because he just understood the natives and realized they weren't all gonna convert overnight. Meanwhile, Mr. Smith comes up like Scar and replaces the calm reign of Mufasa (Mr. Brown). mr. Smith is violent and mean and only wants those who act as fanatics in Christianity. The story is true to its name of Things Fall Apart because everything is downhill from there because not only has the British taken over by this point, but the bonds of community is completely destroyed.

Brooke Williamson said...

I really think Mr. Brown is a much more empathetic and understanding character who attempts to help the Ibo people and views them as having redeeming qualities. Mr. Smith, on the other hand, sees the Ibo as evil because they are physically different from the British and therefore is unwilling to accept and sympathize with them.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

I think sending someone like Mr. Brown then someone like Reverend Smith was a key part of the British strategy to achieve the pacification of the natives. Once the British had a following of native people, it was much harder for the other natives to fight back, which made it a lot easier for the British to take over.

Bailey Taylor said...

Mr. Smith was really mean because he was trying to kick out all the people who weren't 100% committed. He only wanted people in the church who would fight for the church if it came down to it. I think this was a strategy used by the British to gain power and minimize backlash.

Julia Scofield said...

I agree with Luke. The British would have been unsuccessful in converting so many people if they had sent Mr. Smith first. He would not let as many people join the church and kicked people out for minor offenses. If he was sent first, he would not have allowed so many people to covert, and therefore would have been unable to divide the village.