Things Break Down: A Summary
!.?. !? Tao Li Teacher Kalubi African literature 22 September 2014 The culture difference crazes Fall Apart from Social Point Of View Intro In the book Things Break down effectively expressed the conflicts between the western Christian civilization and African Igbo society. There is no doubt every civilization need to amount to each other. However compare to the western Christian civilization, the Igbo’s civilization is “weak”. When these two civilization dealing with each other, there need to be assimilation between them. And to Igbo, this is painful and passive. Okonkwo’s death is brought on by that assimilation.
In these days the majority of people in this world will believe a way in a western view. If we think from a other method, it might be called as westernization or globalization. The western Christian civilization is controling the world in current hundreds of years. The various culture and faith can be equivalent, but not economy and armed force. The western world colonize almost the entire world in those days, even the rest of independent nations are influent by western missionaries and merchants. According to above, we can tell that the assimilation between these two civilization must be Igbo being assimilated.
That assimilation occurs to Igbo’s society and religious beliefs. For Igbo people, the old gods and ancestors are forgotten and the Jesus is worshiped and remembered. Advancement Okonkwo and his people utilized think in fetishism. Fetish (stemmed from the French fetiche; which originates from the Portuguese feitico; and this in turn from Latin facticius, “artificial” and facere, “to make”) is an item believed to have supernatural powers, or in specific, a manufactured object that has power over others. Basically, fetishism is the emic attribution of inherent value or powers to an item.
For instance, In chapter 18 of Things fall apart, Okonkwo’s clan thought about a python as an holy animal. Okonkwo’s clan believe the Christians have eliminated and consumed their holy animal. Okonkwo advises Mbanta to drive the Christians out with violence, however the rulers and elders choose to ostracize them rather. Okonkwo bitterly mentions that this is a “womanly” clan. The arrival of the white colonists and their religious beliefs damages the kinship bonds so main to Igbo culture. Ancestral praise plays an important function in Igbo faith, and conversion to Christianity includes a partial rejection of the Igbo structure of kinship.
The Christians tell the Igbo that they are all brothers and children of God, changing the literal ties of kinship with a metaphorical kinship structure through God. The overjoyed reaction of a missionary to Nwoye’s interest in going to school in another village–“Blessed is he who abandons his daddy and his mom for my sake”– shows that the Christian church clearly recognizes Igbo kinship bonds as the central barrier to the success of its missionaries. Another contrast of the 2 faiths is the practice of polygamy compared to monogamy. Monogamy is what Christians practice and it is being married to one spouse at a time.
Christians believe that when a male and a females end up being joined in Christ they turn into one, and a man can only have one other half at a time. In contrast, the Ibo practice polygamy, which is having many spouses at a time. In Umuofia, the more wives a man has, the better. Okonkwo, the primary character in the book, has 3 better halves. (13) It is a common practice in Umuofia for all the guys to have more than one partner. Each spouse and her children reside in a different hut and the guy lives by himself in his obi. A final distinction in Ibo and Christianity is the beliefs in the afterlife.
Christians think that if the Lord conserves their soul from sin they will have immortality in paradise with God, who is also everlasting. Christians bury the bodies of the deceased in the ground, but believe their soul goes to heaven if they have accepted the Lord in their heart. In contrast the Ibo believe in ancestor praise. They believe that when an appreciated individual of the clan dies they will be kept in mind. The consequences of treating the Ibo religion as culturally inferior caused the breaking down of Africa. Since Okonkwo was a symbol of Africa and he dedicated suicide at the end of the book, Africa likewise fell apart.
The white people came to Africa to attempt to transform the Ibo to Christianity, and most of the white people did not respect the Ibo. The exception was the missionary Mr. Brown who listened to clan members about the Ibo religious beliefs. The white individuals believed that Christianity was the only religious beliefs to have and that if somebody did not have their faith they might treat them as inferior. In their eyes, Christianity was way of validating the bad treatment of people and seeing them as inferiors. European missionaries is not provided as a terrible occasion. The villagers, for example, mock the interpreter’s dialect.
They neither perceive the missionaries as a risk nor react strongly like the town of Abame, even though the missionaries call their gods “incorrect” outright. And the missionaries do not by force thrust Christianity on the villagers. However Nwoye is kinda of start to get in hard with the Christianity. Since Igbo religion has not been able to show him a lot of answers. And likewise, missionaries describe the holy trinity is one god. Igbo people generally have a lot of gods, they believe in a lot of things in the nature as gods. Christians’ belief is far more various from the Igbo’s religion.
But things altered after those missionaries broke a great deal of rules that the villagers utilized to think in. The missionaries ask for a piece of land on which to develop a church. The town leaders and elders provide them a plot in the Evil Forest, believing that the missionaries will decline it. To the elders’ amazement, the missionaries rejoice in the deal. However the senior citizens are specific that the forest’s sinister spirits and forces will eliminate the missionaries within days. To their surprise, however, nothing occurs, and the church soon wins its first 3 converts.
The villagers mention that often their ancestral spirits will permit an offending man a grace period of twenty-eight days prior to they penalize his sins, however they are entirely astounded when absolutely nothing occurs after twenty-eight days. The church thus wins more converts, consisting of a pregnant woman, Nneka. Her 4 previous pregnancies produced twins, and her husband and his household are not sorry to see her go. Nwoye are drawn in to Christianity, due to the fact that it seems to address his long-held suspicion his native faith, specifically the deserted newborn twins and Ikemefuna’s death.
In addition, Nwoye feel they have actually been eliminated from his community because he does not think in its laws, and churches to supply shelter to those cast out of society. Value system that will permit the church life of twins, for instance, it gives you a comfortable four females had to endure her newborn twins dropped dead. Similarly, no title to become Christian guys discover their individual values verified. Oregon State University had the ability to discard the opinions of others, their caste as the banished members and equivalent to other converts into the church. Okonkwo, on the other hand, there is good reason to turn down Christianity.
If you do not drive Mbanta missionary, he killed Ikemefuna will lose part of their religious grounds. Damage to his relationship with Nwoye likewise appears more than ever, is useless. These two concerns became his own errors, instead of the outcome of the will of God. In addition, high-status men like Okonkwo view church as a hazard, due to the fact that it weakens their accomplishments and cultural values. Their titles and spiritual authorities and tribal leaders lost their lower status positions of guys’s power and status, if not excellent can not be measured on the worthless, worthless if you do not have actually disappeared.
There is a truly fascinating part in Igbo’s culture. In other farming, the locust can be the worst things can occur to farmers. It implies bad luck and death. Crops are consumed by them, the farmers can’t get adequate food. But Igbo people have a truly different way to see this. To the village’s surprise, locusts descend upon Umuofia. They come as soon as in a generation and will return every year for seven years prior to vanishing for another lifetime. The town excitedly collects them because they are excellent to eat when prepared. Ogbuefi Ezeudu pays Okonkwo a check out, but he will not get in the hut to share the meal.
Outside, he notifies Okonkwo in personal that the Oracle has actually decreed that Ikemefuna must be eliminated. He tells Okonkwo not to participate in the boy’s death, as Ikemefuna calls him “father.” Okonkwo lies to Ikemefuna, informing him that he will be returning to his house village. Nwoye bursts into tears. And at last the locusts did descend. They settled on every tree and on every blade of yard; they decided on the roofs and covered the bare ground. Mighty tree branches broke away under them, and the whole country became the brown-earth color of the vast, starving swarm.
This passage from Chapter 7 represents, in highly allegorical terms, the arrival of the colonizers. The locusts have actually been coming for years, however their symbolic significance in this passage depends on the inevitable arrival of the colonizers, which will change the landscape and psychology of the Igbo individuals irreparably. The repetition of the phrase “They settled,” an example of the rhetorical gadget anaphora (in which a provision starts with the exact same word or words with which the previous stipulation begins), in addition to the repeating of the word “every,” reflects the all of a sudden ubiquitous presence of the locusts.
The option of the verb “settle,” naturally, clearly describes the colonizers. The branches that break under the weight of the locusts are signs of the customs and cultural roots of Igbo society, which can no longer endure under the attack of colonialism and white settlement. Paradoxically, the “large, hungry swarm” is not white but rather brown like the earth; the focus, nevertheless, stays on the locusts’ consumptive nature and inevitable existence. Conclusion 1 Okonkwo’s death and his boy turned his favor to Christianity shows that the traditional Igbo society to break down.
The interaction between various civilization is similar to trade products, everybody can gain from each other. However it is still sad to see some of the traditional culture being forgotten and lost. The world is westernized, other culture do learn some advanced social system, innovation and western culture and manners. However that does not mean whatever from west is great and innovative. 2 Polygamy means ignorant and backwards. Monogamy is advanced and civilized in nowadays. I do support monogamy.
But possibly polygamy can make men who are strong and smarter has more opportunity to have babies. Survival of the fittest benefits the human beings. Although that is really terrible, but it make good sense in some way. Maybe this is a bad example. but all I wish to state is that everything real is rational. Much like the goal of interaction is to improve, essence absorption and dross discarding. Works mentioned “Chinua Achebe’s Things Break down– The Clan’s Beliefs and Christian Beliefs. “123HelpMe. com. 22 Sep 2013. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Igbo people: http://en. ikipedia. org/wiki/Igbo _ people From Wikipedia, the complimentary encyclopedia, fetishism http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Fetishism Sparknotes of the Things fall apart: http://www. sparknotes. com/lit/things/ Achebe, Chinua. Things Break Down. Oxford: Heinemann,1996. “Dispute and Custom crazes Fall Apart.” 123HelpMe. com. 22 Sep 2013. “Things Break Down by Chinua Achebe.” 123HelpMe. com. 22 Sep 2013. “Life Goes On in Chinua Achebe’s Things Break down.” 123HelpMe. com. 22 Sep 2013. An international history: from prehistory to the 21st century Leften