The Importance Of Liminality In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Liminality Today Not much is similar across the globe in each and every human being. Hence, the few similar phenomena that do exist prove to be very important in the understanding of human beings. Liminality is such a phenomenon. First discussed and classified by Arnold van Gennep, liminality is an universal anthropological phenomenon that refers to the transition stage during a ritual. Liminality is an essential element of the human experience. However, liminality is not only confined to an individual experience, although this can also the case. Rather, liminality may also be extrapolated in order to understand the transitional changes in the political and societal landscapes as showcased by Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and the National …show more content…
The community in Umuofia are split between supporting the white man and hating their arrival. People such as Okonkwo are furious at the changes the white man is bringing about. However, on the other hand, there were many that “[do] not feel as strongly as Okonkwo” due to the money the white man is bringing in. Although, the white man did “indeed [bring] a lunatic religion” and is affecting the kinship of the community at large, “he … also built a trading store and for the first time palm-oil and kernel became things of great price, and much money flowed into Umuofia.” Consequently, the people of Umuofia are confused about the white man. In this way, the citizens of Umuofia undergo liminality since they are unsure of the continuation of their Igbo traditions while simultaneously being uncertain of the future. Change is right around the corner, and Igbo culture will never be the same. Yet in the meantime, the Igbo people are in freefall until the next stage. Interestingly in this case, liminality is not confined to an individual, but rather, the whole community is experiencing liminality as they, collectively, attempt to come to terms with their new

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