“THINGS FALL APART” By Chinua Achebe
“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, was a terrific book because it elicited many emotions, from sympathy towards Okonkwo’s bitterness due to his childhood, intrigue of the customs I was unfamiliar with and anger towards the sacrifice of Ikemefuna. There is one thing that stood out most to me and therefore my focus is comparing the exploitation of religious systems, as explained in the book, by those in authoritative positions to rule how they saw fit. By breaking down the differences and similarities of both religions and using articles and journals to back up my stand, I would like to display that the depiction of Christianity as the source that tore the clans apart is only perpetuating prejudice and ignorance as much as the word ‘tribe’ does and only telling one very small side of the story of the deterioration of the African clans, lineages, cultures, beliefs and ways of life. The particular religious practices of the Ibo people of Umuofia are focused on respecting and praying to their ancestors for life, health, protection and sacrificing to different gods for fear of over worrying the Master, “Our fathers knew that Chukwu was the Overlord” (181 Achebe). The Ibo people followed what they had been orally taught and passed down from their ancestors to lead a balanced way of life. This led to an order that maintained the peace and rule within their society. “Umuofia was feared by all its neighbors. It was powerful in war and magic, and its priests and medicine men were feared in all the surrounding country. Its most potent medicine was as old as the clan itself.” (11 Achebe) Because of their practices and beliefs, Umuofia established power and prestige throughout the region. They were regarded as mighty warriors, feared, and neighboring clans knew not to test or go to war with them because of their ‘agadi-nwayi’ whose shrine was located in the center of Umuofia. In order to follow the strict practices and...
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