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Statement

Choose one of the books you have read for the course thus far and analyze something in it that interests you—a statement, argument, or interpretation—and analyze it, that is take it apart into its component parts. In writing up your analysis, include a logical argument either opposing or favoring that something. A logical argument is a chain of reasoning, such that if the premises are accepted, then the conclusion must be accepted. An example of a chain of reasoning formulated in the second half of the 20th century follows. It is from a letter that Caspar Weinberger, then U.S. Secretary of Defense, sent to selected newspapers in countries that were members of NATO. It provides an argument for nuclear deterrence:

The policy of deterrence is difficult for some to grasp because it is based on a paradox. But this is quite simple: to make the cost of a nuclear war much higher than any possible “benefit” to the country starting it. If the Soviets know in advance that a nuclear attack on the United States could and would bring swift nuclear retaliation, they would never attack in the first place…. But for deterrence to continue to be successful in the future we must take steps to offset the Soviet military build-up. If we do not modernize our arsenal now, as the Soviets have been doing for more than 20 years, we will, within a few years, no longer have the ability to retaliate. The Soviet Union would then be in a position to threaten or actually to attack us with the knowledge that we would be incapable of responding…. This is exactly why we must have a capability for a survivable and endurable response—to demonstrate that our strategic forces could survive Soviet strikes over an extended period.

The outward signs of a logical argument can include “if ..., then ...” phrases, and words like “therefore” and “thus.” Sometimes these words and phrases are only implicit. In the passage above, Weinberger uses two “if ..., then...” constructions and one “[t]his is exactly why,” equivalent to “therefore.” Unless the argument is a fallacious one and, therefore, not logical, then the only way to avoid acceptance of the conclusion is to challenge the premises or the evidence that argument relies on.

Present as fairly as you can whatever it is you are analyzing and whatever evidence or logical arguments would seem to support it. Then marshal your evidence and logical arguments for and/or against it. For example, you might analyze an assertion made in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. You could point out evidence and argument that shows this assertion is a faulty one. Or you might argue that the assertion is a simplistic one that does not take into account the complexity of the issue. Or you might disagree with a particular statement in, for example, something in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart or something Gabriel Marquez asserted in The General in His Labyrinth. In any event, we will judge your essay on the logic of the argument and your use of evidence, not on what you decide to analyze.

Your essay should be no longer than five (5) pages or approximately 1250 words . This exercise is meant for you to develop and demonstrate your analytical skills. Follow the same procedure as you did in the first essay in terms of stating your main theme in the first paragraph, presenting your evidence and logical argument in the middle paragraphs and recapitulating your theme in the final paragraph. But do pick a topic different from that of your first essay. We will judge your essay on the basis of the criteria discussed in the “Course Goals” and in “Three Criteria of Historical Study.”

Statement

The purpose of this paper is to develop a logical argument for a book written by Chinua Achebe.  In his book, Things Fall Apart, the Author used many creative characters to deliver themes in his literary work. Therefore, we will consider a particular statement from this book and then develop a logical argument. This argument will involve selecting a statement that will lead to its interpretation and analysis. Things Fall Apart was first published in 1978. The main statement that we focus on analyzing is based on Ibo’s reaction to the coming of European missionaries. Therefore, by interpreting and analyzing, we will formulate a chain of reasoning based on the statement.

The concept of Christianity in the book, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is one of the major themes that the author analyze. In his book, the author describes how missionaries came to Umuofia and how Ibo reacted to their coming. They reacted in many ways that formed major themes in this book. One of the reaction by Igbo was to welcome the European missionaries to the land of Umuofia. It is asserted that Obierika comes to visit Okonkwo but he found white missionaries in Umuofia. These missionaries have managed to build a church. As a result, the reaction of Ibo to the coming of these missionaries is celebration. They celebrate the coming of missionaries in the land of Umuofia. In fact, many people have converted to Christianity as a result of influence by the missionaries.

The coming of missionaries is associated to positive changes by Ibo. This is the reason behind their positive reaction. They welcome them to Umuofia so as to benefit from activities of the missionaries. After coming to Umuofia, the missionaries have started converting Ibo people to Christianity and have constructed churches so as to attract more people. For that reason, Obierika visits Okwonko because he saw Nwoye among the converted people in Umuofia. Despite many people converting to Christianity and embracing missionaries in Umuofia, it is very clear that another larger group does not take the coming of missionaries in good faith. They are fully against the actions of these missionaries. This is where Achebe develop the title of the book. Things Fall Apart is a statement demonstrating the disagreement of Ibo society.

The people of Ibo acted differently to the coming of missionaries. In this paper, we consider those who supported missionaries and their activities in Ibo. For example, when they first arrived in Mbanta, the villagers came in large numbers to see them. They were represented by a white leader who could only communicate through interpreters.  This leader initiated a program to convert the people of Ibo by telling them that their gods were false. In order to win Ibo people, missionaries told them that the only true God was the Christian god. Some people in Umuofia were very convinced and they ended up embracing Christianity. The conversion to Christian by Ibo people was headed by Nwoye. He fully spearheaded other villagers towards embracing the doctrine of Christianity. He also spearheaded Ibo people towards neglecting their cultural beliefs and their god.

Argument

However, in a liberal-minded community, there were some people who reacted negatively towards the coming of missionaries. Among them was Okwonko. After hearing the new doctrine of Christianity, Okwonko decided that the missionaries were unsound. According to my interpretation, the fact that some people in Ibo community embraced the coming of the missionaries, it was important to consider all aspects associated to the new faith. In that connection, the rebellion of Okwonko was also justifiable because he may have noticed some issues. However, we find Nwoye enjoying Christian songs that made him feel something stirring in him. This was a good indicator on how much he appreciated the coming of missionaries. On the other hand, Okwonko had to leave the land of Umuofia when Christian songs were being played.

Consequently, it was clear that the coming of missionaries brought disintegration of Igbo society. Actually, the author formulated the title Things Fall Apart from disintegration. In that connection, the central images brought by the coming of missionaries are the idea of collapse at individual and social level. Okwonko represented the collapse at individual level while the converted group demonstrated the collapse at social level. The people of Igbo were united before the arrival of Christianity. However, division came after the arrival of Christianity due to ideological differences in religion. This division started affecting the society. The first victim was Okwonko and his family. This was demonstrated by division of father from a son. On the other hand, some people decided to collaborate fully with missionaries. For example, when missionaries asked village leaders to provide land for construction of churches, the leaders agreed to offer a plot in the town’s Evil Forest. This was where the undesirable dead and powerful medicine men were buried. This action further brought disintegration among Ibo Community. According to Okwonko, the new faith was interfering with their cultural beliefs.

It is sad that things that should integrate people become the main cause of disintegration. In the book, Things Fall Apart, Achebe used the theme of religion to demonstrate how religion disintegrated the people of Ibo after the coming of missionaries to the land of Umuofia. Therefore, the group against Christianity was very optimistic that the white missionaries would die after building churches in Evil Forests. This forest was associated with unpredictable magical energies. However, they did not die as expected. In that connection, the people of Mbonto conceded that the white missionaries had powerful command magic. This made churches to win more converts.

According to my analysis, the doctrine of religious has a wide contribution towards integration and disintegration of people. In the book, Achebe demonstrates how the coming of missionaries have brought positive and negative reactions. These reactions can be justified and it would be difficult to determine which group in Ibo society is doing the right thing. For instance, Mr. Kiaga represents the African converts that have a positive reaction towards the coming of missionaries. He is in charge of the new church in Mbanto. He is joined by Nwoye after he hears him preaching in the market. They want to convert as many people as possible.

On the other hand, Okwonko and Obierika represent the group that reacts negatively towards the coming of white missionaries. They are against the new faith claiming that the missionaries are interfering with cultural beliefs of Ibo community. The two cases indicate the theme of social disintegration as a result of Christianity.

Lastly, my opinion on the reaction of Ibo Community towards the coming of missionaries is based on benefits that can be drawn from the new faith. The group that reacted positively to Christianity is justified because missionaries managed to enlighten them on the new faith. On the other hand, the group that reacted negatively to Christianity are also justified since they were protecting their faith and culture. This is where the chain of reasoning arise in this paper.

The logical argument would be to determine which group to support. Either way, the reaction was justified. Nevertheless,  I would favor the group that reacted positively towards the coming of missionaries because they brought civilization to Ibo community. Construction of churches brought development of infrastructure. I would oppose negative reaction that Okwonko demonstrated. He should have viewed both positive and negative sides of Christianity and embrace the positive side. The negative side of the coming of missionaries would be discarded by Ibo community so as to benefits fully.

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. William Heinemann Ltd, 1958.

Cottrel. The study skills handbook. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Jeffrey, Sachs. The Age of Sustainability Development. Tantor Audio, 2016.

Jeffrey, Sachs. The Age of Sustainable Development. Columbia University Press, 2015.

John, Blewitt. Understanding Sustainable Development. Routledge, 2008.

Lash, Scott, and John Urry. Economies of Signs & Space. London: Sage Publications, 2014.

MacDonald, Susan Peck. “The Erasure of Language.” College Composition and         Communication 58, no. 4 (2007): 585-625.

Moore, Ernest. Trauma, Eighth Edition. McGraw-Hill Education/Medical, 2017.

Mulvaney & Joliffe. Academic writing: genres, samples, and resources. New York: Pearson    Longman, 2005.

Owens, William. The Advanced Ventilator Book. First Draught Press, 2017

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