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Things Fall Apart: Literary Analysis Essay

In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, the Ibo culture is depicted as a civilized society although it is quite the contrary. The Ibo tribe is first portrayed as a civilized society to those who live amongst it with good morals, a safe environment along with its leaders, and a stable religion. Throughout the novel,it is clear that the Ibo people are not a civilized society. In Things Fall Apart, Nwoye is an important male role who disagrees with his culture and whether or not his cultural traditions are moral. This is evident in Nwoye when Chinua Achebe states,”Nwoye had felt for the first time a snapping inside him… when they heard an infant crying in the thick forest.” (Achebe,61) This is an example of a conflict dealing with morals because Nwoye is said to have this horrid feeling as they are passing by the thick forest, and they hear an infant’s cry he feels bad about the situation because that baby was put there for being a twin and it was tradition to throw twins in the Evil Forest.

Nwoye realizes that this is not morally correct and is inhumane just like it wouldn’t be correct to follow through with this tradition now a days in any culture. Foofo, Fafa, a columnist of GhanaWeb states in her column on the book, Things Fall Apart,“He could have censored all the gory details if he chose to ….the throwing of twins into the evil forest etc. All of these fly in the face of our general human values today,” meaning that such a tradition now a days would be immoral and wrong and the author gave us such details and made them important so they he could portray a better picture about what kind of society the Ibo are, an uncivilized society. The Ibo society’s practices such as having more than one wife, the male being the leader of the house, and the family violence seen in the novel provide another reason as to why the Ibo society is uncivilized.

For example, in the novel it says,”She was Okonkwo’s second wife, Ekwefi,whom he 1 nearly shot,”( Achebe, 39) when speaking of the time Okonkwo almost shoots his second wife for a small misunderstanding, this quote shows both the practices of having more than one wife and family violence, which are both corrupt practices. This information being provided to the readers by the author helps better understand how the Ibo society is and whether or not it is civilized. ”Like polygamy and patriarchy and the violence it sometimes engenders against women,” states Foofo, Fafa, when explaining how the Ibo society practices and actions shown in the novel would go against social norms today and are not very civilized practices and actions to begin with. The tragic death of Ikemefuna, being killed by his fatherly figure,the novel’s protagonist, and tragic hero is another major reason as to why the Ibo are not civilized.

“My father they have killed me,”Ikemefuna said as he ran towards Okonkwo,”who drew his machete and cut him down. ”(Achebe, 61). These two quotes are used to explain how Ikemefuna dies and also to show the darker side of Okonkwo and how far he would go to be seen as not weak, they whole event in the novel can be used as an example to show how the Ibo are uncivilized because first, Ikemefuna was killed because Anni, the goddess, said he must be killed and second because it is is murder and murder is morally wrong.

”The killing of Ikemefuna who had become a part of Okonkwo’s family,” writes Foofo, Fafa when explaining that the murder of Ikemefuna by his so called father was provided by the author to understand the novel, and most of all culture and society of the Ibo, and how they are coarse and uncivilized in many ways. The Ibo society is uncivilized despite the fact that it is first shown as a civilized society. Whether or not the Ibo society was civilized is important because it shows how times have changed, this novel having been written in the 1950’s and even though the culture may be different, many practices, actions, and beliefs shown in the novel affected many and are still being put to practice now a days in different.


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