Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe Essay

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Every civilization since the beginning of time has had its own unique culture, language, and religion. In Nigeria, the Igbo tribe follows this trend. The culture of the Igbo’s has evolved to include a social hierarchy, unique customs, and an appreciation for achievement. Their language has developed to include not only words, but concepts as well. The Igbo people developed a unique religion including many gods and methods of worship. Set in the 1890s, the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe clearly proves that before the arrival of the Europeans, the people of Umuofia in Africa had their own language, religion, and culture.
In Things fall Apart, Achebe clearly demonstrates that the Igbos had their own culture before the arrival of Europeans. The building block of every Igbo’s life in Umuofia was their culture. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Igbo men had the ability to ascend the social ladder and obtain more titles and wives. The people believed while: “Age was respected… achievement was revered” (Achebe 8). In the novel, Okonkwo is successful because of his hard work and perseverance. He rose from nothing to have two titles. Along with these titles has come the respect of his people. Okonkwo has a reputation as one of “one of the greatest men of his time” (Achebe 8) because of his success as both a warrior and wrestler. Another important part of Igbo culture was the separation of the sexes. Men and women developed different parts of the Igbo culture. This is a patriarchal and male dominant society. The first wife is the next most influential, followed by the other wives and children. While making an agreement over giving Okonkwo Yams, Nwakibie’s first wife is not home so the other wives must wait to drink as “the o...


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...ing them into the Evil Forest. They also celebrated the Week of Peace, which was a “sacred week” (Achebe 30) to celebrate the time between the harvest and planting. Okonkwo breaks the Week of Peace by beating his wife Ojiugo. He then must pay the fine of one hundred cowries and make sacrifices to the gods. Religion is very important to the Igbo people.
Given the complexity of the Igbo culture, it is ironic that the District Commissioner wishes to name his book The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger. The Igbo’s had their own unique culture, religion, and language that enabled them to function as a society. The European’s arrival devastated their culture, as the Igbo had known it for years. Achebe shows how the European’s arrival disrupted the Igbo’s well-developed society. Things truly “fall apart” for the Umuofia and all the surrounding tribes.

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