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Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Book Review - Essay Example

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For example, wedding ceremonies were complicated affairs that were punctuated by periodic sacrifices to various gods and goddesses. Then there were the egwugwu who would judge all legal disputes while observing numerous ceremonies. Even mundane activities such as the cooking of some foods had to follow given specifications that had cultural significance. Yams, for example, due to their complicated cultivation and harvesting process, were considered to be a manly crop while other staples such as cassava were less significant.
In the Igbo community, whenever visitors were received in homes, the ceremony was marked by the breaking of a kola nut. The Ibo religion which promoted belief in many gods, determined how people raised their children, ruled the society, or entertained and communicated with each other. Achebe uses an Igbo proverb that states, “…that when an individual agrees with something, his chi agrees also” (Achebe, 27). This shows that the Ibo felt that if an individual believes in his or her chi – or personal god- the deity will protect the individual and ensure his o her success. The Igbo believed that the gods ruled over the affairs of men, as is portrayed when Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was informed that, “…when a man is at peace with his ancestors and gods, the greatness of his harvest will be according to the strength of his arm” (Achebe, 17)....
The Igbo believed that the gods ruled over the affairs of men, as is portrayed when Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, was informed that,

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“…when a man is at peace with his ancestors and gods, the greatness of his harvest will be according to the strength of his arm” (Achebe, 17). There are aspects of Igbo culture, such as the importance of showing hospitality, and the importance of religion in bonding together the community, that are emulated by my culture. However, the difference is in the fact that the community members are not ruled by the political or spiritual community leaders’ interpretations of religion. Everyone, and in particular the women, are free to make their own decisions about the issues n their lives. It is much freer than Okonkwo’s society. Even as Achebe works to educate his readers about African culture and to combat demeaning stereotypes about Africa, he does not present the Igbo society as ideal or perfect. The portrait of this culture on the eve of its "falling apart" in Part I of Things Fall Apart is complex, sometimes contradictory and critical. What aspects of pre-colonial Igbo culture does Achebe seem to question or criticize? How does Achebe use characters like Obierika, Okonkwo, and Nwoye to offer such social criticism of Igbo society? It would appear that Achebe is critical of the roughness towards the helpless that characterized traditional life in the Igbo community. He used the happenings in the lives of various characters to demonstrate the errors that were common in Igbo traditional life. For example, Okonkwo's best friend, Obierika, is portrayed as a thinking man who encourages Okonkwo to be more balanced in his emotions. In contrast to the main character, Obierika is a dedicated father,

Summary

Chinua Achebe’s book, ‘Things Fall Apart’ is a book that was set in the Igbo community in Nigeria during the1890s when the Colonists began to explore the inlands of West Africa. …
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