Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines civilization as the “condition that exists when people have developed effective was of organizing a society and care about art, science, etc.” Civilized is defined as “marked by well-organized laws and rules about how people behave with each other.” When asked if the British brought civilization to Umuofia in Things Fall Apart written by Chinua Achebe, the answer would be no because the people there were already a civilized group. In order to be civilized, there are certain things that a society must have- government, economy, societal roles, and religion, all of which Umuofia possess. The government of Umuofia and their religion are tightly intertwined. The people of Umuofia are polytheistic meaning they have more than one god. The supreme god of Umuofia is Chukwu who made the world and all the other gods (179). The gods were responsible for telling the people what they should and shouldn’t do hence also forming their government. When Okonkwo accidently kills Ezeudu’s son, it is a crime against their Earth goddess, Ani. Their religion dictates that Okonkwo must leave his clan for seven years and that his compound and animals be destroyed. The destruction of Okonkwo’s things was seen as “justice of the earth goddess” (125). It was the elders of the clan who enforced this punishment as they were carrying out what they believed the will of the goddess to be. Ani was also responsible for twin babies being thrown away as they were an “offense of the land” (125). There is another instance of a god telling the people what to do. Ikemefuma was taken from his home because of a crime another man committed. The goddess Agbala who was known as the “Oracle of the Hills an... ... middle of paper ... ...a marriage ritual the family of the bride would cook a large meal for the groom’s family. The groom’s family would bring man pots of wine for the bride price and as a show of respect. Marriage rituals also included a confession in which the bride had to proclaim her virginity to the public. Funerals for men with titles were very extravagant in which the entire clan came and also an appearance of the egwugwu. There was also a group of people called osu or outcasts. They had to live in a special area and also grow their hair. They were also buried in the Evil Forest and not allowed to take on any clan titles. The implication that the British brought civilization to Umuofia would be wrong as Umuofia was already a civilized society. The British were only responsible for bring their definition of civilization and disrupting life as they had known it for many years.

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