Essay on Brutalities of African Society in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Essay on Brutalities of African Society in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Length: 1012 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Brutalities of African Society Exposed in Things Fall Apart

 
   David Carroll writes, of the novel Things Fall Apart, "This incident is not only a comment on Okonkwo's heartlessness. It criticizes implicitly the laws he is too literally implementing..." (Carroll) The incident that David Carroll refers to is the death of Ikemefuna. Ikemefuna was a young boy who was handed over to the village of Umuofia as compensation for the murder of one of that village's citizens. He is handed over to Okonkwo, a great man in the village, to whom he gives every affection. The brief life with Okonkwo and death of this innocent young man, and the life of Okonkwo himself, is a microcosm of life in Umuofia. Inconsistencies, brutalities, and conflict abound in even the highest of Umuofian life. And as Ikemefuna is led off to be murdered by the man he calls father, "the whole tribe and its values is being judged and found wanting" (Carroll).

 

When Ikemefuna first arrives in Umuofia, he is housed with Okonkwo because Okonkwo is a great man in the village. He had reached his prime and was a man of wealth. Ikemefuna quickly befriended Okonkwo's eldest son and began calling Okonkwo "father." Soon, however, this seeming peace and civility in the village and the life of the villagers disappears. Okonkwo receives a message from the village elders that the boy, the town's innocence, must be killed off. The boy is lead off to the slaughter completely unaware of his fate, and with his "father" in the company of the killers. When a machete is drawn and the black pot atop Ikemefuna's head is cut down, the boy runs to the man he loved as father. It is he who, lacking the courage to confront the others with his love for the boy, draws his machete and...


... middle of paper ...


...e on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart" (Achebe, 176). The village of Umuofia held to backward laws and values that "destroy innocent children" (Achebe, 146). The tribe's innocence had to die in order for those who survived to mature. Although Umuofia's peak of innocence may have been when Ikemefuna was handed over to the village, but its maturity would come through the death of Ikemefuna, the tribe's innocence, at the hands of those the tribe called "father." Things Fall Apart clearly illustrates the faults of the African system and way of life through "the series of catastrophes which end with his [Okonkwo's and Umuofia's] death" (Carroll).

 

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York, New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1994.

Carroll, David. Chinua Achebe. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Things Fall Apart: Okonkwo in the Male Dominant Igbo Society Essay

- The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, they emphasize on personal achievements, and taking titles which means leadership and respect (Ohadike Don C., p. xxvi-xxvii). In the book Things Fall Apart, the main character, Okonkwo is affected by the influences of the Igbo society and vows to become a man of the highest title and to gain respect from all the lands. Okonkwo and his family live in male dominant society where men are superior to women, therefore, Okonkwo thinks he is the owner of his household, and constantly beats his three wives and children....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Strong Essays
1432 words (4.1 pages)

Witchcraft in Contemporary African Society Essay example

- I. INTRODUCTION The Enlightenment and the emerging of modern rationalism have paved the way to a worldview where the suspicion of witchcraft is not needed to explain the mysterious phenomena of this world. This is not the case in Africa. The belief in the existence of witches, evil persons who are able to harm others by using mystical powers, is part of the common cultural knowledge. Samuel Waje Kunhiyop states, “Almost all African societies believe in witchcraft in one form or another. Belief in witchcraft is the traditional way of explaining the ultimate cause of evil, misfortune or death.” The African worldview is holistic....   [tags: african culture, magic]

Strong Essays
2504 words (7.2 pages)

Essay on The Slavery Of African American Society

- Our nation was built on the forced free labor of the African American people. That fact, seems to have been forgotten in history. We live in a society where we value white, but not black, men, but not women, rich and not poor. This are the values we live by that has cause inequalities, stereotypes, discrimination, and segregation in our society. When individuals believe a certain race (white) is superior, they become empowered and privilege and any other race is inferior and faces discrimination and unequal opportunity....   [tags: African American, Racism, Racial segregation]

Strong Essays
874 words (2.5 pages)

Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart Essay

- The white man considered Africans to be primitive savages. They were seen as inferior, second-class citizens. Chinua Achebe was an African novelist who sought to give the African people a voice. Achebe gave a prospective of African culture that had been missing from the literature. The white man primarily composed works of literature, therefore there was a skewed representation of African culture. Achebe conveyed a greater understanding of African culture through his first novel Things Fall Apart....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, African people]

Strong Essays
724 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Dignity of the African People in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

- Dignity of the African People Conveyed in Things Fall Apart In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, it is shown that the African people had their own complex culture before the Europeans decided to "pacify" them. The idea that the dignity of these people has been greatly compromised is acknowledged in the essay "The Role of the Writer," which is explanatory of Achebe's novels. A writer trying to capture the truth of a situation that his readers may know little or nothing about needs a sense of history in order to appropriately address the topic....   [tags: Things Fall Apart essays]

Strong Essays
776 words (2.2 pages)

The Africana Experience And African Americans Essay

- The Africana experience refers to the difficulties African American people have encountered throughout history. Racism is displayed through stereotypes, representational systems, music, politics, and several other ways, all shaping African American people. Racism began to rise in the early 1900’s and continues to affect African Americans in society today. Through popular music and popular entertainment, African Americans have continuously been misrepresented and segregated against in America. Although there are many changes in the way African Americans are represented, racism may still be present....   [tags: African American, Black people, Jazz, Blues]

Strong Essays
1153 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Society 's Effects On African Americans

- Claudia Hall Mrs. D’Aleo BRAM 29 April 2016 Society’s Effects on African American Females in The Bluest Eye The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is a tragic coming-of-age story that switches between the first person point of view of character Claudia MacTeer and an omniscient third person narrator. The novel takes place in Lorain, Ohio 1941, a time when racism was still extremely prevalent, especially in the southern United States. African American women often faced many setbacks, simply because of their race and gender....   [tags: African American, Race, White people, Black people]

Strong Essays
1866 words (5.3 pages)

Essay about African Civil Society : The Paradox Of Africa

- Introduction Maathai believes that Africa needs to unite and find their cultural inheritance. They should fight of the legacies left by colonialism, endemic corruption, poverty and climate change together to build a better continent for all Africans. This is done through transparent, ethical leadership free from western influence, but from within African civil society itself, through grassroots movements (Maathai: 2009). Maathai highlights the paradox of Africa; it is a con-tinent rich in natural resources such as diamonds, oil, copper and many more, yet it is still one of if not the poorest continent on the planet....   [tags: Poverty, Africa, Capitalism, Welfare state]

Strong Essays
712 words (2 pages)

Essay on Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart

- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, this novel tells the story about an African tribal hero and the British colonial invasion of Igbo’s shelter. This novel known as the masterpiece of African English novel. The author with a keen insight portrayed a tradition of heroic image - the hero Okonkwo is a persevering man and full of wisdom, his whole life is committed to overcome the shadow of his weak father around him, and achieved great success. He won a high reputation around the neighborhood. But because of his arrogance and fear, he was eventually expelled from his tribes....   [tags: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Africa]

Strong Essays
929 words (2.7 pages)

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart - Women's Role in the Ibo Society Essay

- Women's Role in the Ibo Society In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, women of the Ibo tribe are terribly mistreated, and viewed as weak and receive little or no respect outside of their role as a mother. Tradition dictates their role in life. These women are courageous and obedient. These women are nurturers above all and they are everything but weak.             A main character in the novel, Okonkwo has several wives. He orders them around like dogs. They are never to question what they are instructed to do; they are expected to be obedient....   [tags: Things Fall Apart Essays]

Strong Essays
1170 words (3.3 pages)