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Tradition and Customs in Things Fall Apart - Term Paper Example

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Name Professor English Literature (Classic and Modern) Date Tradition and Customs in Things Fall Apart The book entitled, Things Fall Apart is written by Chinua Achebe in 1958 (1-148). This book circles on the life of Onkonkwo, an influential man in an Igbo village and the struggles he was confronted with which eventually resulted to his dreadful plummet (Achebe 1-148)…
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Download file to see previous pages Friesz (209) also emphasized that it is a transmitted or inherent way of discerning or acting which involves unwritten laws that had a tendency to evolve to fit men’s own choices over a period of centuries. Conversely, Nelson (84) defines tradition to imply a body of long-established and generally accepted authoritative forms of thought and behavior. The term is also given the meaning of a situation where knowledge, belief or custom is handed down frequently by word of mouth through successive generations bound in some common activity or form of social action (Nelson 84). Shils emphasized that tradition is a dimension of social structure which is lost or hidden by the temporal circumstances which now prevail in the social sciences (7). Moreover, Shils stressed that the prominence of tradition and its immense influence are too great to be disregarded entirely, which is evident in the literary work entitled, Things Fall Apart wherein the impact of tradition to the male protagonist named Onkonkwo was too imposing that he followed it strictly. Furthermore, the tradition of the villagers guided their decision in every predicament that would arise in their community. The Definition of Culture Whenever the theme of Tradition and Customs are discussed, another concept known as culture usually arises. Traditionally, anthropologists have defined culture as the way of life of a people (Matthews 1). Culture refers to the creation and use of symbols which distinguish a particular way of life whether of a people, a period or a group or humanity in general (Baldwin et al. 4). Likewise, Pohlong added that culture as a way of life includes many components such as technological inventions and devices, customs, folklore, religion and value system, laws and norms, language, art, science, etc. (92). Furthermore, it refers to the totality of these various domains of life and displays the complexity and unity of life; as a result, in a culture various actions and interactions are noticed which in a way people can call the way of life of a people (Pohlong 92). Thus, every action has some purposes or meanings in some way or another; human action has to be judged from the point of view of value rather than factual judgment or as mere collections of facts or patterns of behavior (Pohlong 92). In the work entitled, Things Fall Apart, the people of the village of Onkonkwo deemed that every action has a purpose and each decision chosen and action performed could result to a variety of consequences. The Definition of Custom Custom as defined by Webster is the usage or practice typical to many or a particular place or class or habitual with an individual (308). It is also described as a long established, repeated practice considered as unwritten (Webster 308). Conversely, it is also illustrated as the whole body of usages, practices or conventions that regulate social life (Webster 308). In the aforementioned literary work, the life of Onkonkwo revolved around the customs of their tribe and it was his guiding force in making decisions and which also aided him in everything that he does. Igbo Culture and Theme on Traditions and Customs The Igbo or Ibo people form one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, with about 15 million living in Nigeria and another million living outside; their farming communities are broadly situated between the Niger River in the west and the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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