Cultural Values In Things Fall Apart

2928 words - 12 pages

What are cultural values? Why are they essential to our lives? Cultural values are the lifestyles or way of life of a particular society. Within more or less ordered communities, cultural values give individuals a sense of identity within the community, and acts as a vessel of sustained unity that conducts our actions and affairs. For ex: In Nigeria, two characteristic’s associated with cultural values are strong family ties and village traditions that are expressed daily through the lives of Nigerian people. One of the many places exhibiting really profound culture values in Nigeria is the Umuofia village of the Igbo people. This village symbolizes great significance of cultural values, because it is clearly demonstrated throughout the novel Things Fall Apart.

As a child Chinua Achebe was brought up in a Christian family in the village of Ogidi during the 1930’s. Ogidi was an early center of Anglican Missionary work in Eastern Nigeria (TFA, 1996). Although Mr. Achebe’s early life was heavily influenced by the Christian missionary, brought on by British colonialism Mr. Achebe did not let the outside influence of British Colonialism affect his work at school and the loyalty to his native culture.
He was extremely focused to accomplishing his goal in academics. Recognized for his academic achievement Mr. Achebe was accepted into the University of Ibadan (TFA).

While attending college Mr.Achebe began writing and publishing short stories, and followed those with a draft of a novel about the Nigerian encounter with colonialism seen through the lives of three generations within the same family (TFA). That draft was separated into two parts and he published, one of which was Things fall Apart (1958) (TFA). Achebe wrote TFA in response to European novels that portrayed Africans as uncivilized beings who needed to be enlightened by the Europeans (Kanelmang, 2013). Chinua Achebe paints a vivid picture with an extravagant insight of Nigerian culture, which becomes a microcosm of Africa as a whole (Thakur, 2012). Moreover, Mr. Achebe symbolizes power, identity and nationalist cultural traditions pertaining to Umuofia citizens during the pre-colonial period of the 1890’s (Emenyo̲nu, 2004). Umuofia people are based within a large cultural village, composed of many other villages, on the east bank of the Niger River, Nigeria. (Wiki, 2012). Prior to British colonialism the Igbo people lived in independent villages ruled by titled elders.

In Umuofia, family members each play significant roles, which were valuable among the Igbo families. For ex: The Father depicts a masculine, brave, and protective role. He is not to show any sign of weakness, because his character is not one that’s reflects feminism nor is it quiet. It is loud and abrupt. On the other hand feminism is a part of the characteristics of the mother’s role, where as she comforts and reassures her child that everything is safe. A mother is a person who cooks, cleans, takes...

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