The Untouchables in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

The Untouchables in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe Essay

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Many people see other people as equal or lower than or higher than them. This includes by wealth, knowledge or rights. Few people know about the caste system in India, but many people are able to point out the untouchables. Why? Is it because everyone knows that they are better than the untouchables? Some people feel that the untouchables are strictly only in India, but they don’t realize that even bigger countries have untouchables; they are just called something else. Many tribes in Africa also have untouchables, including the Igbo tribe.
Untouchables are usually never accepted in any society, but they have their own place in which they live. According to dictionary.com, and untouchable is “a person disregarded or shunned by society or a particular group; social outcast”, or basically a person that is at the bottom of a social level. In Chinua Achebe’s book Things Fall Apart there are indeed untouchables and they are clearly mentioned in the book. Achebe describes untouchables as “A person dedicated to a God, a thing set apart-a taboo for ever and his children after him. He could neither marry nor be married by the free born. He was in fact an outcast, living in a special area of the village, close to the Great Shrine. Wherever he went he carried with him the mark of the forbidden caste – long, tangled and dirty hair. A razor was taboo to him. An OSU (Igbo word for untouchables) could not attend an assembly of the free – born, and they, in turn could not shelter under his roof. He could not take any of the four titles of the clan, and when he died he was buried by his kind in the Evil Forest.” (Achebe 156). An untouchable’s main problem is its existence. Untouchables are not permitted to be around a “normal” human. Many peopl...


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...s." Anthropology. Web. 09 Apr. 2010. .
"India's 'untouchables' Declare Own Religion - CNN.com." CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News. Web. 09 Apr. 2010. .
"Untouchability in Nigeria | International Humanist and Ethical Union." International Humanist and Ethical Union | The World Union of Humanist Organizations. Web. 08 Apr. 2010. .
"Untouchable @ National Geographic Magazine." Web. 09 Apr. 2010. .
"Untouchables | Define Untouchables at Dictionary.com." Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com. Web. 08 Apr. 2010. .

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