Things Break Down Western Ideas vs. Natives
Things Break Down Essay Many societies have beliefs rooted deep in ancient religion. Some beliefs consist of polygamy, polytheism, and patriarchy, or guideline by men. One such culture is that of Achebe’s Things Break down. Polytheism and polygamy are custom-made in the clan, and the function of each relative is very specified. The men are excessively aggressive. The females and kids are dealt with inadequately and typically beaten. Life in Achebe’s Umuofia would seem extremely different to someone living in modern America.
So, by closely anazlyzing the relationship and societies between the Umuofian society and the Christians, both societies need to have the ability to trade concepts and be at peace. Chinua Achebe’s 1959 unique, Things Break down, takes place in the 1890s, prior to British colonization. The unique concentrates on the nine Ibo-speaking villages of Umuofia, which is Ibo for “People of the Forest.” Umuofia is the town in which Okonkwo, Achebe’s lead character, flourishes in everything and has the ability to secure his manly position in the people. Now known as Nigeria, this land was a primitive agricultural society entirely run by guys.
Umuofia was known, and as Achebe states, “… feared by all it’s next-door neighbors. It was effective in war and in magic, and priests and medicine men were feared in all the surrounding nation” (11 ). Possibly, its most effective and feared magic was called.” agadi- nwayi, or old female it had its shrine in the centre of Umuofia … if anybody was so foolhardy as to go by the shrine past dusk he made certain to see the old woman”( 12 ). The people of Umuofia are extremely devoted to their religion and their magic. These ancient beliefs were believed to offer individuals some sort of power over their oppressors.? One custom-made of Umuofia that would be really various from Western culture is Polygamy, the practice of having lots of other halves. This custom-made is practiced in the linked 9 towns of Umuofia. In fact, a guy’s wealth is partly measured by the number of partners he has. A wealthy male described crazes Break down, had 9 spouses and thirty children. Okonkwo had 3 partners and eight children. Polygamy is not something many Americans are accustomed to. Western culture teaches that monogamy, as opposed to polygamy, is the proper, accepted kind of marital relationship.
Western culture locations that morality into its people, frequently from youth. In Western culture, having more than one partner in a marital relationship is typically trigger for divorce; however, in Umoufia it is practiced and even encouraged by most of its individuals. Another typical belief in Umoufia is polytheism, the worship or belief in lots of gods. Included in their practice of polytheism is their chi, or personal god. Achebe states, “A male could not increase beyond the fate of his chi” (131 ). He goes on to state, “Unoka was an ill-fated man. He had a bad chi, or individual god, and evil fortune followed him to the grave … (18 ). Achebe shows that this is a god of fantastic importance that predicts one’s future. It is customized to make sacrifices to the gods, like Unoka in Achebe’s novel informs, “Every year … prior to I put any crop in the earth, I sacrifice a dick to Ani, the owner of all land. I also eliminate a cock at the shrine of Ifejioku, the god of yams” (17 ). This shows the value of routine, and religion in Ibo society. Okonkwo thought he succeeded since he killed a couple of roosters, not because he planted great crops.
Western culture does not practice the ritual of sacrifice; most western religions look down upon living sacrifices. Judaism, a faith that used to practice sacrifices, has actually now chosen to remove the routine from its mentors in favor of a non-violent rite. Other western religions have actually never ever compromised animals to their gods. In the majority of states, eliminating an animal sacrificially would break animal ruthlessness laws, which would make animal sacrifices prohibited in the majority of the U. S.? Members in Umuofia’s society frequently found flaws in their beliefs.
The faith bothered and injured many clan members, and helped their conversion to Christianity. Twins, who were castaways, typically left the religious beliefs of Umuofia for Christianity. Christianity offered them a spot in society when they would otherwise be disliked. The western faiths appear to offer the Umuofian people convenience and acceptance in a place were they would be done not like and dealt with badly. The western faith used acceptance and love when the Umuofian religions offered banishment, and hate. Their religious beliefs dictate numerous customizeds and rituals including communal events.
These occur in the evenings once the sun becomes less ruthless. It is clear when the event is for guys by the way that the crowd stands or sits. Even if there are many ladies, they are forced to stand off to the sides like outsiders. The entitled men rest on stools while they wait for the trials to begin. In front of them are 9 stools booked for the egwugwu, the most effective and secret cult in the clan. Two little groups of people stand at a’ respectable ‘range from the stools. Before the ceremony begins, it is needed for them to speak as loud as they can.
Everyone is speaking simultaneously, and it sounds as if they were in a market place. When an iron gong sounds, each looks in the instructions of the egwugwu home with anticipation. The drums sound and flutes blow, developing a chaotic atmosphere. Once the egwugwu appear, it is instinctive for ladies and kids to flee out of fear. “And when … nine of the best masked spirits in the clan come out together, it was a scary spectacle,” Achebe goes on to state,” (the egwugwu) looked terrible with the smoked raffia body, a huge wooden face painted white except for the round hollow eyes and the charred teeth”( 88 ).
Considering that, the egwugwu remain in reality members of the clan, this ritual appears to emphasize that the males of the clan are like gods, and that females and kids ought to fear them. This spiritual rite seems like one carried out by the American Indians. This ritual would not be done by anybody in today’s society. No western religious beliefs practice custom-mades as frightening or fancy as the Umuofian one practiced here. The men and females of the town hold very set places and positions in the society. In Umuofia, men are thought about the rulers and leaders of the village; and just like all patriarchies, the ladies are considered as objects.
One example of an Umuofian male is the book’s protagonist, Okonkwo. Okonkwo had done well in his life and earned a dominant function in Umuofia, he had three other halves with many kids, and was a successful farmer of yams. Yams were important since they “stood for manliness, and he who might feed his family from one harvest to another was a very terrific guy indeed” (33 ). This would show that individuals of Umuofia felt that as long as a guy could feed his household in abundance, he achieved success as the head of the household, and a leader of the clan.
As long as Okonkwo showed the qualities of a guy: strength, courage, and wealth; he might not be challenged by someone of lower position. In one town meeting a man opposed Okonkwo. Achebe wrote, “Without looking at the man Okonkwo had actually said: ‘This meeting is for men.’ The guy who had actually contradicted him had no titles. That was why he had actually called him a female. Okonkwo knew how to eliminate a guy’s spirit” (26 ). This shows that Okonkwo knew that calling a guy a female would break his sensations of self-regard and worth. Okonkwo’s comment also seems to show that all guys in Umuofia would be insulted if they were called females.
Most of the men of Umuofia seem to hold the very same ideals that Okonkwo has, that women were placed here to be things and prizes, not for companionship and comfort. The women of Umuofia are treated extremely badly. Females were required to prepare, clean and take care of the kids. If these responsibilities were not looked after, the women of Umuofia might be beaten. The Ibo people not just allowed, however motivated spouse pounding. Achebe’s Things Fall Apart explains whippings on a few occurrences. The first occurs when Okonkwo’s 2nd wife does not come house to prepare him an afternoon meal.
Achebe states,” Okonkwo was provoked to sensible anger when his youngest other half … did not return early enough to cook the afternoon meal.” Achebe goes on to say, “Okonkwo bit his lips as anger welled within him … when she returned (Okonkwo) beat her greatly” (29 ). Okonkwo beats Ojiugo once again when she calls him a “gun that never shot.” Here is one serious case of beating in the people, but not including Okonkwo, Achebe refers to as,” my sister was with him for 9 years … no single day passed … without him beating the lady.” Achebe goes on to state, “when she was pregnant he beat her till she miscarried” (91 ).
After this trial was completed, Achebe prices quote one of the elders by saying, “I don’t understand why such a trifle need to come prior to the egwugwu”( 94 ). This would reveal the overall indifference towards the suffering and ill treatment of the females of the tribe. Achebe shows that the Ibo ladies have important parts in the society, though. The ladies paint the houses of the egwugwu. A man’s first wife is also revealed extra regard. Achebe reveals this through the palm white wine ceremony at Nwakibie’s obi, “Anasi was the very first partner and the others could not drink prior to her, and so they stood waiting” (20 ).
The significance of female’s role appears when Okonkwo is exiled to his motherland. His uncle, Uchendu, describes how Okonkwo must view his exile: “A man comes from his fatherland when things are great and life is sweet. However when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds sanctuary in his motherland” (133 ). A male has both pleasure and grief in his life and when the hard times come his “mom” is constantly there to comfort him. A rich guy in Okonkwo’s town, Nwakibie, was referred to as having 3 substantial barns, 9 partners, and thirty kids.
These are the factors in prosperity, however the author states that, “No matter how thriving a guy was, if he was unable to rule his women and children (and especially his ladies) he was not truly a guy” (53 ). Since of this, Okonkwo was pleased when he heard his boy grumbling about women. It revealed that in the future he would be able to control his ladies. Achebe expresses the value of beating females in Umuofian society. Western culture will no longer accept any type pf pounding. American laws dictate that no one can be beaten; detainees are not even permitted to be beaten.
American females are rapidly becoming seen more like males. They are out in the work place in force, and are even on the cutting edge in wartime. Western society has gradually but certainly incorporated women in the work place and raised the requirement of equality. Such actions would never ever be allowed Umuofia. Achebe goes on to speak about Umuofia’s most effective being, the earth goddess. The reality that the ruler of life, Ani, is female programs a great contradiction in Okonkwo’s beliefs. Ani being womanly might likewise reflect Okonkwo’s failure to seek balance between the manly virtues and the womanly virtues as comprehended in Umuofia.
Each of the catastrophes that affects him can be viewed as a criminal offense against the earth. This might likewise be Okonkwo’s terrible flaw: he is a male who lives in a culture that needs a balance in between “manly” and “feminine” that he would not accept. Okonkwo feared resembling his dad who stopped working to be a “genuine guy.” This may have been the root of his inability to accept the real role of ladies in society. Okonkwo’s concept of manliness is various from that of the clan. Okonkwo felt masculinity was anger and hostility, and that was often the only method he acted.
Okonkwo feels that showing any other feeling would be thought about weak. Achebe did an extraordinary task at revealing the idea of balance. Okonkwo is very contrary to his emotions and sensations. His “manly” feelings are very clashing to his “female” feelings. Okonkwo is so fond of Ikemafuna and Ezinma; in truth he even chases after Ezinma into the forest. This act reveals that he really is a caring, concerned father. Okonkwo has no perseverance for unsuccessful guys and anything thought about “womanly”, such as music, conversation, and above all else, emotion. His sensations for his child are, in his eyes, weak.
Weak point contradicts his motives and actions in the end when he kills the white guy’s messenger. Okonkwo thought he was doing the correct, manly thing to be done. He thought he could withstand cultural modification and keep his social status. It is due to the fact that he is so upset and narrow minded that Okonkwo can decline these modifications. In his quick-to-anger attitude he ruins himself; and in the end, he paradoxically becomes just like his father: a failure. Achebe’s Things Fall Apart exposes the fantastic cultural differences discovered in Western society and African society.
Most of the differences in the faith, and the role of the male/female in Umuofia would not be easily accepted here in America. Okonkwo did everything he could to combat weakness, and modification. In the end he lost, he stopped working. Achebe teaches us that there is a genuine balance between what we believe and what Ibo culture teaches. There must be some middle ground where females and males can exist, and stand out, as equates to. Till we are able to accept our weak point, and deal with one another as equals we will all wind up like Okonkwo.? Work Cited Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Random Home, 1994.