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When Things Fall Apart, Should We Fall To Pieces:

1854 words - 7 pages

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the Centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world” (Yeats, p.1102). This metaphor represents man when he is far removed from what keeps him centered; it illustrates how there can be no control when you lose control the only thing that can come out is chaos. Our decisions are the foundation to how everything finds balance. Though our decisions usually are based on past experiences. It is our beliefs, which may lead us to make decisions. We as humans use faith or a belief system to deal with problems to which we need to solve. Sometimes it is our beliefs that may cause more harm than good. When our beliefs do just that what do we look for in ourselves to make decisions. Is our belief system the one and only thing that causes us to make the decisions that we make? Should our decisions based on belief have other factors involved before an exact will transpire? Through history and in recent years, it seems that our beliefs our conflicting with a multitude of people who don't share the same feelings. The biggest demonstration of tragedy from our beliefs is death. Death must be taken into account when decisions are made, otherwise we may not have much time left alive. In the story “Things Fall Apart” is it a coincidence that the belief of a people control the decisions that our made throughout, or is it an ill-fated story with tragedy springing up at every turn? Chinua Achebe brilliantly illustrates this story of a man “Okonkwo” despite his every effort to better his life; is plagued with disastrous outcomes. Throughout this tale it is apparent that Okonkwo’s decisions are heavily weighed upon by his beliefs. Is it his beliefs that lead to his death, or is there some other factor?
There have been studies on other African cultures that may lead to an answer in this area. Gyekye describes “the Akan ethics as focused on virtue and character; whenever someone commits an act of wrongdoing it is said, not that “he/she did something wrong” but that “he/she is a bad person” (Gyekye, 1987). Although the Akan people are of a different tribe in Africa a commonality is shared in this thought process. For Okonkwo and his clan stature is gained through virtuous doings. “Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements” (Achebe, p.1102). It is apparent that these achievements allowed Okonkwo to block out the shadow that his father had cast on him. “By stressing that virtues aren’t merely dispositions we either have or don’t have. A virtue is not just a beneficial disposition but also a matter of our intentions” (Foot, 1978). Okonkwo became enthralled with becoming better than his father and achieving all the titles that a man can earn in his clan. More importantly holding great title does not only influence Okonkwo, he is driven by his cultural beliefs “That when a man says yes his Chi...

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