The Ibo Society In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Societies are widely portrayed across literature as groups of people living together in an organized community while sharing a similar culture. However, not all societies have developed properly to be classified as civilized. A civilized society is one that has been brought to a stage of social, cultural, and moral development, causing it to be considered more advanced. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, author Chinua Achebe depicts the Ibo society as civilized through their egwugwu justice system, worshipping of a spiritual Oracle, and patriarchal dominance. The Ibo’s government is administered by the nine egwugwu who are ancestral spirits that represent each village of the clan. As large crowds of the Ibo tribe would gather on the village…show more content…
Within the Ibo tribe, men have more dominance over the women as they accept titles to display their power and importance, allowing them to participate in the decision making for the village. Compared to the women of the clan, men can marry multiple wives as a sign of wealth, and their wives stay home attending to their husband and caring for their children. For example, Okonkwo has already gained much respect among his tribe as “He was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and had just married his third wife. To crown it all he had taken two titles and had shown incredible prowess in two inter-tribal wars. And so although Okonkwo was still young, he was already one of the greatest men of his time. Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered” (Achebe 8). To prove their masculinity and power, Ibo men rely on their wealth, shown by their farming and the number of wives they have, and their fighting abilities in wars. Even though elderly members of the tribe gained much respect, a man’s contributions to the village and successes increases their importance among the clan. As demonstrated from a village gathering, “It was clear from the way the crowd stood or sat that the ceremony was for men. There were many women, but they looked on from the fringe like outsiders. The titled men and elders sat on their stools waiting for the trials to begin” (Achebe 87). During the ceremony, the way one is positioned illustrates their role in society. While the titled, important men and elders are seated in the front rows, the women are neglected in the outer regions as to show their low social status compared to the men. Achebe compares the women to outsiders because they serve little importance to the ceremony and to the village as they only work from home to care for their family. The ability of men to accept titles and

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