Religion in Things Fall Apart

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For many people, religion is a very touchy subject. For most, it is a personal decision; people choose a faith that aligns with their beliefs, ideas, and faiths. Although people would like to think that religion is a personal decision, and they can adapt it to how they feel and what they believe, in practice, that is not the case. Religion represents a commitment to a set of principles that are not moldable, adaptable, or flexible. Religion, although it may be a personal belief, it is extremely defined, with little to no room for flexibility. If people try to modify their religion to their own beliefs or ideas, the pushback can be severe. The lines in religion and faith as to what is acceptable and what is not acceptable are clear, and crossing them can bring serious consequences.

In the novel Things Fall Apart, religion prevails over individual thinking and common sense, as people desperately rush to seize control. In Umofia, religion is not a personal belief, but a way of life. Religion is the way that life is run, and if someone goes against those principles, they will be exiled by their community. When Okonkwo breaks the weak of peace by beating his wife, he has committed a sin, and the “The evil you have done can ruin the whole clan. The earth goddess whom you have insulted may refuse to give us her increase, and we shall all perish…. ”(TFA 30). Although Okonkwo has harmed no one else by beating his wife, he is villianized by the community for his actions. Although the general belief in the community is that violence during the week of peace is forbidden, how are they (or we for that matter), to know that that is what Okonkwo believes in? Perhaps Okonkwo is not a believer in the week of peace or perhaps not even in the ...

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... on both sides of the coin.

When is religion not black and white? Religion is not black and white when there is a personal clash between two sides, when the value of the debate becomes so high that it becomes a personal matter instead of a superficial one. When the stakes are high, The personal side of things come out. Sometimes, people cannot bring their personal opinions to the mix because of the nature of the society that they live in, where they would be punished for doing so. But, the fact remains that religion is rigid because the structure of it and the society it is involved in demands it to be so.

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor, 1994. Print.

Brown, Dan. The DaVinci Code. N.p.: Doubleday, 2003. Print.

Power, Carla. "Muslim Women Demand End to Oppressive Laws." TIME.com. N.p., 17 Feb. 2009. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.
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