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Things Fall Apart Essay

1308 words - 6 pages

Tradition and culture, two aspects that makes a person unique, what would happen to that person if they stopped believing their own tradition and culture? Chinua Achebe the author, is a very traditional man who feels that his roots and all of Africa’s roots is what make Africans special. Throughout the book Achebe describes the traditions of the Igbo people, and when the colonists come, Achebe describes how many of the Igbo people lost their traditions and a sense of who they really were. Achebe says in his essay “The worst thing that can happen to any people is the loss of their dignity and self-respect”. Achebe tries to remind many Africans who they once were and from where they came. The Igbo people, as described by Achebe, are traditional people who will try to keep their traditions and fight to continue their traditions.
Achebe believes that it is his job as a write to help people regain their dignity and a their history, and tries to explain what happened to them and how they originally lost a sense of who they once were, and he succeeds. On page 9 it says, “Darkness held a vague terror for these people, even the bravest among them. Children were warned not to whistle at night for fear of evil spirits. Dangerous animals became even more sinister and uncanny in the dark. A snake was never called by its name at night, because it would hear. It was called a string.” This quote is describing a part of the Igbo people’s culture; it talks about how they believe that evil spirits roam the Earth at night, and that a snake would hear you if you called it by “snake”, so that is why the people must call the snake “a string”. Achebe is able to describe a part of their culture, and even the smallest details of this culture has great meaning. Every culture has a holiday that symbolized rejoice and coming together. What the Igbo people have is called the “Week of Peace”, and shows that no matter the biggest differences between two people, they should unify. On page 31 it says “No work was done during the Week of Peace. People called on their neighbors and drank palm-wine.” This quote is describing a holy week throughout Umuofia, and describes that the Week of Peace is a week where everybody comes together and set-aside their differences to become friends and offer gifts to each other. Achebe is able to paint an image for the readers that help depict the culture of the Igbo people and show their true beauty.
Achebe believes that all people have beauty on the inside that is shown through culture and traditions, and he is able to sculpt the culture of the Igbo people, showing their individual “depth and value and beauty”. On page 36 Achebe says “The Feast of the New Yam was approaching and Umuofia was in a festival mood. it was an occasion for giving thanks to Ani, the earth goddess and the source of all fertility. Ani played a greater part in the live of the people than any other deity, She was the ultimate judge of morality and...

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