Things Fall Apart

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Abhinav Sharma
719535
Ms. Ngo
ENG-2D0
04/17/13
The Undermining of the Ibo Faith

The power of a religion can either guide a society or destroy it. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe creates a Nigerian village whose faith and beliefs are based on superstitions. Christianity is able to undermine the beliefs of the Ibo people because their religion is based on cruel superstitions, the promotion of inequality, and barbaric practices. Firstly, Christianity is able to undermine the beliefs of the Ibo people because of their superstitious religion. One evidence of the cruelty in their superstitious system is that they kill twins. “Nwoye had heard that twins were put in earthenware pots and thrown” (61). It is very cruel to kill babies, but superstitions falsely taught the Ibo people to believe that twins are evil, and therefore must be killed. In the Christianity religion, killing anybody is a horrific sin. In addition, superstitious beliefs are so strong in the Ibo faith that they also control medical practices. “When a man was afflicted with swelling in the stomach and the limbs, he was not allowed to die in the house...He died and rotted away above the earth.”(18). According to the Ibo superstition, if a man so afflicted, he must be sent to the evil forest and forced to die. This is also an evidence of the cruelty in the Ibo superstitious system. The beliefs of Christianity are the complete opposite. When a man is afflicted with any type of sickness they should be treated with care and love. To summarize, Ibo superstitious system is cruel because it supports the killing of twins, and the abandonment of sick people.

Furthermore, Christianity was able to undermine the beliefs of the Ibo people because their religion promotes inequality. Where we first see the promotion of inequality in the novel is when Unoka goes to see the Oracle, “go home and work like a man” (18). The religion is promoting inequality because the Oracle is...
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