Culture In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

analytical Essay
1337 words
1337 words

When you think of the word “culture” what comes to mind? Many elements can contribute to the meaning of the word culture. In Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, we are given an insight into a Nigerian Ibo culture in the village of Umoufia. Like the Ibo, many other nations are strongly rooted to their culture, one of which is the First Nations people of North America. These two cultures have many similarities in which they can relate, but not all cultures are the same. There are many factors that can distinguish a culture from another such as the roles of men and women, polytheism and religion. The roles of men and women are not the same in all cultures, especially for the Ibo and First Nations people. In the Ibo society, men are considered the rulers and leaders of the …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes the role of men and women in achebe's novel, things fall apart, in the ibo village of umoufia.
  • Explains that men's work took them away from the villages, and it was dangerous. they would travel hundreds of males following the buffalo to ensure they would collect enough food for their villages.
  • Opines that plains indian women worked hard, but were held in high esteem for the elemental role they played.
  • Analyzes how the umoufia believe in polytheism, the worship of many gods, and the importance of ritual and religion in the ibo society.
  • Explains that religion in the ibo village has been passed down from generation to generation, which is probably why they are committed to their beliefs.
  • Compares the ibo culture of umoufia and the north american first nations culture.

Women were required to cook, clean and take care of the children. If these duties were not taken care of, the women of Umoufia could be beaten. The Ibo tribe not only allowed, but encouraged wife beating. Achebe describes beatings on a few occurrences. One occurrence is when Okonkwo’s second wife does not come home to cook him an afternoon meal. Achebe says “Okonkwo bit his lips with anger welled within him…when she returned (Okonkwo) beat her heavily.” (p. 29). Despite the beatings, Achebe shows that the Ibo women have valuable parts in the society. The women paint the houses of the egwugwu. The man’s first wife is also shown additional respect. Achebe shows this through the palm wine ceremony at Nwakibie’s obi, “Anasi was the first wife and the others could not drink before her, and so they stood waiting.” (p.20). Unlike the Ibo, the Plains Indian gender roles were well defined, and men’s and women’s responsibilities were equally crucial to the functioning, even the survival, of their societies. Both men and women were respected for doing their jobs well. The men were responsible for hunting, defensive and aggressive warfare,

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