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Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” in addressing the theme of culture starts with a reference to a great wrestler of Igbo culture: Okonkwo a legend founder of Umuofia who wrestled ‘a spirit of the wild” day and night for a whole week. This image of the wrestler…
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Download file to see previous pages... Use of their way of life (culture) and gender helps to give a reader an overview of traditional Igbo life and folkways that are seldom differentiated in European novels about Africa.
Igbo society was a communitarian rather than individualistic tribe and its rituals and festivals were a means of fostering that community life.One of the Igbo cultures was the division between what is feminine and masculine varying from chores to crime. There were female crimes, those committed inadvertently, and there were male crimes. For example, Okonkwo’s killing of Ezeudu’s son as a result of an accidental gunshot was considered a female crime that was punishable by seven years of exile in his motherhood. If he had committed a male crime, Okonkwo’s punishment would have been permanent exile or death by hanging. The society of the Igbo was dominated by men that symbolizing power and control in the society. For example, due to their power and control, men were allowed to have multiple wives as one sign of maintaining status in the clan. The more the women a man had, the higher the rank he was placed in the society. Additionally, women were required to live strictly according to Igbo customs. They were characterized by generosity and supportive of each other and each other’s children. It was also their culture that leadership was to be exclusively dominated by men while the women were supposed to be obedient to every man not only her husband. This expresses inferiority of women in the society as there were just there to follow orders from men without questioning. Igbo people were strongly bonded to their culture to an extent that even the arrival of the missionaries, they did not want to abandon their culture for the white man’s culture. The men were there to be first rebellious of the white man’s culture that claimed equality between man and woman, but the man was very stubborn ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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