Western and Ibo Cultures (Things Fall Apart)
21 May 2012
Western and Ibo Cultures
What can we, civilized, technologically advanced people possibly have in common with the uncivilized Ibo people? In the story “Things Fall Apart” an Ibo village is disturbed by Westerners that try to change the Ibo people’s entire outlook on life. I really enjoyed this book because it reminded me that if you believe in something then you have to do everything to defend it. This story teaches us that no matter how sable something may seem, someone can come and ruin everything. The Ibo people’s culture is very interesting and very different from Western culture, but like any other cultures they also have their little similarities. The Ibo people have a very unique way of speaking. When they talk, it may take a while for one to decipher the meaning of the things they say because they use many confusing proverbs. For example “A man who makes trouble for others is also making it for himself” which means that if someone is making trouble for people they are also subconsciously making it for themselves. Another Ibo proverb is “A baby on its mothers back does not know that the way is long” this one means that if you rely on someone else to get somewhere in life then you will not get the full experience. “Whenever you see a toad jumping in broad daylight, then you know that something is after its life” this quote is my favorite, its saying that everything happens for a reason, no matter how stupid that reason may be, it exists.
The Ibo and Western culture may seem to be complete opposites at first glance but, if you look close enough, you will see their similarities. Both the Ibo and Western cultures share problem solving techniques. For example, they sent Okonkwo to a different village to act as a representative, just like we send people from our country to other countries to speak for us about the different issues our countries may have. The Ibo people and westerners also have some similar values. They both value