Things Fall Apart Essay

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Things Fall Apart: The Community in Umuofia

Community in tribal cultures is tight knit and deep-seated. The men must follow the laws and traditions that have come long before current generations. The rules come from nature and no one seems to know where or how they started the men just know the actions must be carried out precisely or the community would be punished. The tribal community has a responsibility to ensure that all are following the laws of the set forth or the entire village will be punished.

A very important feature of any community is the hierarchy of leaders. The men of the Umuofia village must earn titles that governed the people. These titles were not voted upon, but obtained because of certain aspects or strengths the men possess. The responsibilities range from tree tapping to serving as board members for “trials” among members of the clan. Men of titles are held to high expectations and are prohibited from engaging in specified activities. Okonkwo, himself had acquired titles and felt they were important to him, but it was not a highly discussed topic in the novel. The villagers respected the title and with the exception of the medicine man the importance of a man’s title position was not significant to relationships within the novel. The medicine man and the gods were the only persons in which the author placed notable recognition. This community of villagers was no doubt like many others in their governing body with leaders that rule according to old traditions and practices.

Every community has its own set of rituals and ways to show respect, worship, and celebrate. The rituals of Umuofia were long standing traditions and were performed for specific reasons although sometimes unknown. One important element of the story was the accidental murder of a fellow clansman that prompted the exile of Okonkwo. His exile was punishment but no one in the clan clearly understood or agreed that Okonkwo should be exiled. His action was not of...
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