Cultural Comparison Of Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Cultural Comparison of Things Fall Apart Even though Things Fall Apart is a fictional novel, it still seems to accurately depict the Igbo culture of that time. Things Fall Apart was written by a Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe (Achebe). Things Fall Apart is set in the country of Nigeria and more specifically, the southeastern portion of Nigeria (“Nigerians” 420). Things Fall Apart is basically about an Igbo tribe in the village of Umuofia. The story focuses on the life of a very wealthy and strong warrior named Okonkwo. Okonkwo’s action’s gives insight to Igbo Culture. Things Fall Apart shows how Christian colonization impacted the Igbo people. In the end of Things Fall Apart Okonkwo commits suicide because his tribe becomes weak due to Christian…show more content…
Chinua Achebe is from Ogidi, Nigeria, which is in southeast Nigeria (Nnaemeka 10). The setting of Things Fall Apart is also in southeastern Nigeria, so Chinua Achebe should have a good understanding of this area’s culture. Chinua Achebe was born half of a century later than the setting of Things Fall Apart, which means he did not get to experience pre-colonization first hand (Nnaemeka 10). However, this does not mean Achebe does not have the knowledge to accurately depict the time period and culture of Igbo society in Things Fall Apart. Chinua Achebe believes artists have a role to play in social change (Nnaemeka 10). Nnaemeka the author of Chinua Achebe’s biography says “He sees the writer as a teacher, moral voice, truth-teller, and social critic and as a storyteller and a guardian of the word and memory.” (Nnaemeka 10). The key point in this quote is “truth-teller” because this shows why Achebe might have depicted Igbo culture so well in Thing Fall Apart. This information about Chinua Achebe is important to know because it gives him credibility to correctly depict Igbo…show more content…
The yam is a “man’s crop” amongst the tribe. Women normally had small gardens outside of the compound, but they definitely did not plant yams. Chima Korieh a professor in the history department at Marquette University says “Yam thus came to represent the Igbo icon of masculinity, achievement, and identity.” (Korieh 222). Women plant crops such as beans, corn, pumpkins, and or melons (Igbo). In Igbo culture the variety of crops are planted according to gender, just like in Things Fall Apart. In Things Fall Apart the yam is also seen as a sign of masculinity, achievement, or identity. For example, the narrator says “Okoye was also a musician. He played on the ogene. But he was not a failure like Unoka. He had a large barn full of yams and he had three wives.” (Achebe 6). This quote is made in reference to Unoka, who is considered a failure. Unoka definitely did not have a barn full of yams because his wife and kids barely had enough food to eat (Achebe 5). Unoka is also not considered very masculine by Okonkwo and the tribe. Okonkwo thinks violence is a sign of masculinity and Unoka could not eat after the sight of dead person. In Igbo culture the yam is also a sign of masculinity, achievement, and identity (Korieh 222). In Things Fall Apart there were also rituals and ceremonies for the yam planting or harvest seasons. An example of this is the annual New Yam Festival, which took place several
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