To understand or comprehend a novel, we must suspend our beliefs, values and morals with regard to our culture. By establishing such a mindset when reading a novel can helps us to understand certain practices considered unacceptable in our own culture. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Achebe presents an unbiased portrait of traditional Ibo culture. Certain cultural practices, laws and government cannot be ignored because as some qualities shaped the society other ones caused it to fall.
Achebe has chosen the appropriate title for his work, Things Fall Apart. Under the invasion of Christians, Ibo society fell apart. Achebe illustrates a traditional and unified society that little by little broke apart because of white missionaries that introduced their religion to the Ibo society. The collapse of Ibo society cannot be completely blamed on the Christians but also on the Ibo customs and beliefs that troubled some of the peoples mind. Achebe included some of the positive and negative aspects of Ibo culture and it is through some of his characters that he voiced objection to some of the Ibo the customs and beliefs.
During Ezeudu`s funeral, Okonkwo`s gun fire accidentally into Euzeudu`s sixteen year old son. Because killing a clansman was a crime against earth goddess, Okonkwo had to take his family into exile for seven years. Men from Ezeudus`s clan burned Okonkwo`s huts and kill his animals to wash the village of his sin. “Why should a man suffer so grievously for an offense he had committed advertently?”(Achebe 125). Although not intentionally, Ibo society banished a person for committing a female crime to keep order in the society. By giving such penalty a person is reflecting on what they did and realizing that it was wrong but most importantly the message being sent out to the society was that consequences should be expected for those who ill-treat others.
The Egwugwu is a masquerader who impersonates one of the ancestral spirits of the village. Each of the nine Egwugwu represents a village of the clan. Their leader was called Evil Forest. All the Egwugwu come together to form a type of court in the village to settle disputes. Mgbafo was a wife who ran away and left her husband. “The law of Umuofia is that if a woman runs away from her husband her bride-price is returned.” (Achebe 92). The reason why Mgbafo left her husband was to save her life because she says that he was a “beast” that throughout their nine years of marriage he beat her. The resolution that the Evil Forest concluded was that her husband was going...