Stereotypes In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Ed Koch states that, “Stereotypes lose their power when the world is found to be more complex than the stereotype would suggest. When we learn that individuals do not fit the group stereotype, then it begins to fall apart.” This quote tell the truth when it comes to the Imperialist stereotypes which are placed upon Africa. Stereotypes label Africa as an uncivilized continent. However, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, illustrates the civilization in Umuofia as an advanced society. Achebe contradicts the stereotypes of Africa through the presence of Igbo culture, religion and judicial system.
Achebe portrays the Igbo culture’s appreciation and respect for their values through their traditions. There are many traditions that the Igbo tribe take pride in, such as the Week of Peace. The annual Peace Week is a tradition in honor of their gods, during which no form of violence shall
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Within the Week of Peace in Umuofia, Okonkwo notices that his youngest wife Ojiugo, forgot to prepare dinner and returns home late. Due to his wife’s negligence, Okonkwo overcomes with an aggressive rage. During his intense outburst, Okonkwo severely beats Ojiugo, violating the sacred rules of Peace week. The tribe does not take Okonkwo’s actions lightly. Committing sins in the Igbo culture is a crime against the gods. These sins call for punishments that include animal sacrifices, heavy fines, symbolic gestures of atonement, exile from one’s fatherland, and death. This shows the tribe’s sheer respect for their traditions and values and no one, even the most honorable men will pay for their sins. The consequence of Okonkwo’s sin causes the Priest to demand Okonkwo to sacrifice a nanny goat and a hen and pay a fine of one length of a cloth and one hundred cowries. Respect for every individual in a community is a key aspect to a community’s development

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