Things Break Down
Things Break Down, by Chinua Achebe includes a lot of details about Igbo society. From this novel we can discover much about how people in Igbo society lived. It details customs, customs, religion, and the class structure of the society. Achebe strives to offer people a look into Igbo society, particularly for those who have actually never ever been introduced to this culture before. Achebe’s book also offers us insight into the arrival of colonialism in Africa, as Achebe himself was born in Nigeria and knowledgeable manifest destiny. Particularly, we will see that manifest destiny represents a significant shift in the way of life of the Igbo individuals.
The way of life of the Igbo people enters dispute with the views of colonial guideline. In addition to literature be Chinua Achebe, many other sources can be useful in comprehending the effects of manifest destiny in Africa. The novel Things Break down, by Chinua Achebe offers terrific insight into Igbo society. The primary character Okonkwo resides in the village of Umuofia. As we soon learn, Igbo society is male dominated. When a woman from Umuofia is killed by a member of a surrounding town, all the guys are collected in the market to decided the village’s course of action (Achebe 11).
The guys dispute the very best strategy, revealing that Umuofia includes a kind of direct democracy. Justice in Umuofia is explored through the trial between Mgbafo and Uzowulu. Uzowulu is implicated of beating his spouse repeatedly. The nine egwugwu, or impersonators of the 9 creators of the towns of Umuofia reside over the case. The egwugwu listen to the case and eventually determine the outcome. This not just shows the justice system of Umuofia, however also the significance put on ancestral praise.
Later, we see the rigidness of the laws and penalty in Umuofia as Okonkwo is banished for 7 years after he accidentally eliminates a clan member. In Umuofia, we learn that regard is gotten by personal accomplishments. Okonkwo gets much regard since of his triumph over Amalinze in a fumbling match that was “among the fiercest since the creator of their town engaged a spirit of the wild for seven days and 7 nights” (Achebe 3). This demonstrates how the Igbo society values strength and bravery. Male in Igbo society are viewed as effective if they are wealthy, take titles, and wed many wives.
A guy is viewed as a failure if he is poor and idle. Yams are the main crop grown in Umuofia, and wealth is examined by the amount of yams a guy has actually harvested. Unoka, Okonkwo’s daddy, might hardly feed his household and was greatly in financial obligation so individuals in his town looked down on him (Achebe 5). Okonkwo resented his dad due to the fact that of his laziness, and worked very difficult to build his wealth and range himself from his father in every way. Through Okonkwo’s family, Achebe describes the structure and significance of family in Igbo society. Families, like society, are patriarchal. Families live in compounds surrounded by red earth walls.
Each compound contained an obi or hut for the head of the household and one for each of his spouses. The compound also held a barn for yams, a shed for animals, and a shrine which held signs of the gods and spirits (Achebe 13-14). Ladies were loyal to their husbands. Ladies did all the cooking, and it was expected that meals be given the head of the household in his obi. Okonkwo’s other halves appear to cohabit peacefully, and their children cohabit as brothers and siblings. During the planting season, families would go to their farms and work for most of the day. When the harvest approached, a big event would be held.
The Banquet of the New Yam marks the start of harvest season. Old yams are disposed of, and brand-new yams are consumed during the banquet. Okonkwo, like all rich males, are expected to invite a large number of visitors for the feast. This enhances the value of household. Faiths were also extremely crucial in Igbo society. The laws and custom-mades of the society are carefully lined up with their religions. The Igbo people praise their ancestors together with several gods. Sacrifices are also made to calm the gods. Chielo, the priestess of Agbala was a crucial religious figure. Chielo, when lived in by a god, becomes an oracle.
She recommends the village on many different matters, and is regarded as the greatest authority in Igbo society. The arrival of colonialism in Africa would ultimately suggest an end to the way of life that the Igbo people had actually taken pleasure in for numerous generations. When the missionaries first showed up in Mbanta, all of the villagers came to see them. Their leader was a white man who spoke through interpreters. He informed the people that their gods were false and only the Christian god was real (Achebe 144). Right after, the Christians asked Mbanta leaders for a plot of land to develop their church on. They were provided a piece of land in the wicked forest.
Lots of thought the evil spirits in the forest would rapidly eliminate the Christians. After the church was finished, and the Christians were still alive, a few of the Igbo began to convert. The church wins lots of converts from the efulefu, or title less, worthless males and also numerous outcasts. The new faith also divides daddy from child, as Nwoye leaves his family to register in the Christian school in Umoufia. The church is considered as a nuisance above all, and is permitted to remain. When Okonkwo go back to Umuofia after his exile, he understands that it is a really various place than it when he left it.
The church has actually grown strong in Umuofia and introduced the British judicial system and guidelines of government. In many methods this successfully eliminated the old Igbo way of life, in which their guidelines and federal government were highly associated to the Igbo religion. People are no longer allowed to perform Igbo customizeds without fear of penalty by the district commissioner and his brand-new laws. However numerous still did not feel strongly about eliminating the Christians due to the fact that they brought flourishing trade and other benefits such as schools and health centers. When the guys of Umuofia finally choose to act versus the Christians, they damage the church.
All hope of driving out the Christians is lost when the leaders of Umuofia are recorded by the district commissioner and thrown in prison. Colonialism forces the Igbo people to deny the only custom-mades and customs that they understand, and to conform to the laws of a foreign culture. As Christianity grew in strength, Igbo society slowly weakened. Literature can provide a good deal of details on Igbo society and dispute with colonialism, as Achebe’s book shows. In lots of methods though, there is still much that can be gained from other sources.
An autobiography or a memoir for example might give an individual account of the scenario. This is important since it could be from a person in the midst of the occasion and reporting back what they experienced. It might consider that individual’s reactions and reactions too. Reports by government authorities of both Nigeria and Britain could also add perspective to the situation. Each side has their own objectives and agendas, and a lot might be found out through their objectives and even the techniques they use to complete their goals. Photos might tell us what people, locations, and occasions truly looked like.
Literature can assist us imagine what things appear like, however it is certainly as much as our mind to translate things. Pictures therefore could eliminate such unpredictabilities. Court records could show crimes charged versus the native Africans. From this we might learn of contradictions in between Igbo customs and colonial rules. I believe that books, memoirs, and autobiographies written by individuals of the Igbo society would be the most useful in attempting to comprehend how the Igbo challenged colonialism. If authors of these sources were members of Igbo society, then they would know firsthand about the arrival of colonialism and its results.
Other sources might assist support the proof, but it would not be as substantial as an account from somebody who has actually endured the event. It could explain in great information the society prior to and throughout the arrival of manifest destiny. No other sources could share as much insight into the circumstance. Certainly books, autobiographies, and memoirs like all other sources present a specific bias, but I think it is particularly important to get information from those who have actually personally experienced the occasion. While the occasions in the novel Things Break down may be imaginary, the book still provides a lot of details about Igbo society.
We discover that Igbo society is quite reliant upon its spiritual views. Much of its culture is connected straight to its faith, and makes up much of its identity. As manifest destiny and Christianity spread to Umuofia and other villages, Igbo society starts to lose its identity as it adapts to the brand-new rules set down by colonial oppressors. Numerous sources can be beneficial in understanding the results of colonialism in Africa, however Achebe’s novel is particularly essential since of his direct exposure to colonialism very first hand.