Culture And Culture In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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When a culture full of not only ties to the Earth and the past, but also strong bonds between people, what force could possibly tear that culture apart? Chinua Achebe, in his novel Things Fall Apart, answers this question by bringing Christianity into the Ibo tribe in Africa, and shows the reader the changes and disruptions that occur. Achebe teaches the reader many lessons throughout the story of the Ibo tribe’s destruction from the infiltration of British Christianity. His lessons, however, can be summarized into one main sentence. Bringing new religion into a culture can help guide a society into better ways of life, showing the people kinder and more open traditions, but it can also pull families apart and break down a previously established …show more content…
For most cultures, the people have a very specific way of life, certain beliefs, and special traditions. When someone tries to incorporate a new idea or belief into the mix, it often doesn’t mix well at all. People break away, authority figures become outcasts, and traditions become “wrong.” The culture and rituals of the everyday life of a citizen break apart, people beginning to question and think they don’t have to participate. It lead people away from their home culture, and turns things upside down. “The church had come and led many astray. Not only the low born and the outcast but sometimes a worthy man had joined it... and like a madman had cut the anklet of his titles and cast it away to join the Christians,” (Achebe 144) In the Ibo culture, a man receives titles based upon his achievements,and the men and their first wife wear anklets of them with pride, to show their status. A man’s pride is in how many titles he has and how many of them are higher titles. For a man to cast those away is crazy. And yet, men of high title were discarding their anklets to join the Christians, destroying not only the idea behind the culture, but also the system of leaders. The lack of order and the destruction of the society he knew so well becan to destroy Okonkwo as well. He wasn’t used to, nor did he like, this new religion. He thought it was ruining his people. So he took drastic measures to get away from the break down he saw before him. Achebe switches to a different point of view for this part, and states, “Then they came to the tree from which Okonkwo’s body was dangling, and they stopped dead... “It is against our custom,’ said one of the men. ‘It is an abomination for a man to take his own life. It is an offense against the Earth, and a man who commits it will not be buried by his clansmen. His body is evil...” (Achebe 178). Okonkwo strongly believed in

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