Imperialism on Trial
- During this project we read the book Things Fall Apart a influential book by Chinua Achebe, and we explored how european imperialism affected Africans. Imperialism is a foreign country taking control and imposing their government, religion and/or society onto these people. Things Fall Apart tell the story of imperialistic missionaries coming to the village of Umuofia and creating a new government converting people to their new religion, and condemning things they deem normal. During the book for the main character Okonkwo things fall apart when the christians come and eventually he kills himself. For this project we held a mock trial trying a case of the wrongful death of Okonkwo. A wrongful death case is a lawsuit claiming that someone is responsible for someone else es death through being careless.
- For the trial our class chose to be the plaintiff and I ended up being an attorney. The plaintiff is the prosecuting or attacking side so we were trying to prove that the christian missionaries caused okonkwo’s death. Most attorneys had a specific witness that they were to work with but, I was an extra so I just helped whoever needed help. The witness I ended of focusing on was nwoye’s mother in the case we had her read out of okonkwo’s affidavit to show his feelings. These are a few questions I asked her: Who was Okonkwo? What were some ways that the Christians impacted you and your family? Lifestyle? Could you please tell the court about the importance of the egwugwu in Igbo culture? Have the christians committed any tribal offences? What crimes has Okonkwo committed in his life.
- During this project there were many things that I improved on and many things I could Improve on. During the project I learned a lot about collaboration and writing with emotion. Because of being sick on the first day of trial preparation I ended up not being paired with a witness and ended up pairing up with whoever needed help. I ended up bouncing around and helping the people where were behind. I found it very hard to just jump in the middle of someone's writing and so I just ended up just writing some specific sections which would have to be changed to fit in with the writing. Because of this my voice was almost never fully included in the pieces. Next time I would have lobbied more to have my work fully included instead of being modest and letting it be overwritten and changed. Though this was happening I learned a lot about writing with emotion. I am used to writing just to convey information but this time I had to convey emotion, how these people felt. Eventually I got the hang of it but it took time and was mostly changing wording to fit the tone.
- My perspective has changed vastly mostly because I know now how hard it can be to understand other cultures. Nationalism it the idea that your group or nation is the best in every way. In most of recorded history nationalist people were the ones recording. Thinking they were the best they saw differences as imperfections, and there were many differences between europeans and the other peoples of the world. Because of this it is very hard to determine what was and was not normal hundreds of years ago. Even compared to Americans we are vastly different in ideals hundreds of years later so comparing societies is completely unfair.