Things Fall Apart

Topics: Igbo people, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe Pages: 4 (1552 words) Published: October 30, 2010
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe contains a great deal of information about Igbo society. From this novel we can learn much about how people in Igbo society lived. It details customs, traditions, religion, and the class structure of the society. Achebe strives to give people a look into Igbo society, especially for those who have never been introduced to this culture before. Achebe’s novel also gives us insight into the arrival of colonialism in Africa, as Achebe himself was born in Nigeria and experienced colonialism. Specifically, we will see that colonialism represents a major shift in the way of life of the Igbo people. The way of life of the Igbo people comes into conflict with the views of colonial rule. In addition to literature be Chinua Achebe, many other sources can be useful in understanding the effects of colonialism in Africa.

The novel Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe gives great insight into Igbo society. The main character Okonkwo lives in the village of Umuofia. As we soon find out, Igbo society is male dominated. When a woman from Umuofia is murdered by a member of a neighboring village, all the men are gathered in the market to decided the village’s course of action (Achebe 11). The men debate the best course of action, showing that Umuofia contains a form of direct democracy. Justice in Umuofia is explored through the trial between Mgbafo and Uzowulu. Uzowulu is accused of beating his wife repeatedly. The nine egwugwu, or impersonators of the nine founders of the villages of Umuofia reside over the case. The egwugwu listen to the case and ultimately determine the outcome. This not only shows the justice system of Umuofia, but also the importance placed on ancestral worship. Later, we see the rigidness of the laws and punishment in Umuofia as Okonkwo is exiled for seven years after he accidentally kills a clan member. In Umuofia, we learn that respect is gained by personal achievements. Okonkwo gains much...
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