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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe - Essay Example

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People live in huts known as obis which are built at the center of the compound. Polygamy is also accepted in this community; as one man can marry as many women as he likes because having multiple wives and children is considered to be a source of wealth or that one was rich. Men and women had different roles in the community; men were responsible for growing yams as it was the most important crop in the community while women grew the less important crops like cocoa- yams, beans, cassava e.t.c.
The setting also enables us to follow and understand the Igbo way of life. The people of Umuofia have some significant ceremonies like the week of peace that was greatly observed by everyone, and nobody caused any trouble during the celebration as seen (Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart. Page 23) Okonkwo is fined for beating his wife during the festival. This was followed by the planting of yams then the new yam feast. Other celebrated activities also include dance, rites of passage and above all proverbs. The people of Umuofia loved their proverbs, and they never missed to us them in all occasions. They even have a proverb that says “words are the palm-oil with which word are eaten”. Religion is very valuable to the people of Umuofia as the egwugwu are deeply respected and are believed to keep the peace in the land and administer justice. A lot of people was talented in Arts e.g. Okonkwo’s father they were good in music and poetry, thing that according to Okonkwo were not manly, and he hated hearted Arts and those who did them. Everyone in the community had something to add to the progression of the community including women and children. Laziness was discouraged and rebuked as in many other African communities. A lot has changed since the time of the setting of this great book; for example, today in my community we do not celebrate agricultural patterns or dance among others. Polygamy is also not practiced in my community, unlike Umuofia. However, we have wedding, dance celebrations, and we also do farming as the main economic activity. The setting of a book is what builds it. It is through setting that we are able to discover the economic activities of the community, its social activities, culture, and location among other factors that build the body of the book. A rural setting is always attractive and very informative compared to other kinds of settings. Question 2 Achebe wrote the novel “Things Fall Apart” to educate people, and to combat demeaning stereotypes about Africa. However, he does not present the Igbo society as ideal. He criticizes some aspects of the community through his characters. Achebe seems to challenge some traditional beliefs and practices. For example, the killing of Ikemefuna, Okonkwo’s adopted son. He does this through the character Obierika (Okonkwo’s best friend) who refused to join the rest of the village men in the walk to the forest were the boy was to be killed by say that he has better things to do(Chinua Achebe, Things fall Apart, page 32). Obierika also told Okonkwo that his deeds would not please the earth because of the men’s actions. This turns out to be true later, although Okonkwo disagrees with him, but he is later faced with a great misfortune and is exiled from his home for seven years. This shows that Achebe does not agree with the murder of the young boy for he had committed no crime to be killed in that manner. Achebe ...Show more


The time is relevant to the history of Nigeria as that was the time that the British Colonial governments were expanding their territory in Africa economically, culturally, religiously and politically. Umuofia is a well known and respected village/ community as it is powerful, rich and prosperous among all other villages in the area. …
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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
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