Things Break Down: Nature and Culture in West Africa
Every society has aspects that structure its culture which are customs, standards, and customs. In addition to these structures, culture is also shaped by a society’s environment. In some areas, nature is the most significant factor of a culture’s identity. In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the reader is given a look into the structure of a West African town called Umuofia.
In Umuofia, culture and gender are closely associated to nature. This link has formed everything from the genders of their gods to the separation of work that men and women were anticipated to do. Nature in this West African society is an effective force that is linked with the life and culture of the Umuofia people.
In the book Things Fall Apart, Achebe illustrated how instrumental nature was in specifying gender structures in Umuofia society. For instance males and females cultivated various crops based upon the crop’s viewed masculinity or femininity. In Umuofia, yams were considered the “king of the crops” and were corresponded with masculinity.
Male were expected to plant, cut, and cultivate yams. According to Achebe, yams were the source of power in Umuofia society, and a guy’s worth was determined by the quantity of yams he produced each year. Females on the other hand were anticipated to plant and cultivate crops such as melons and beans due to the fact that those crops were related with womanhood.
Other separations of work associating with nature and gender were that women were expected to cook, tidy, and maintain their families. Guy were required to fulfill manly job such as, slicing wood, tapping palm trees for wine, and building huts.
Nature likewise affected West African’s gender perceptions concerning their gods, for instance the “great goddess of the earth” whom the Umuofia individuals worshiped, was considered a female god with the capability to replicate and replenish the land. The “excellent goddess of the earth” was signified as a female deity since of her relationship to a lady’s capability to replicate and bear kids, like the land does every year by flourishing and crops for the village.
Nature had an extensive result on the gender relationships in Umuofia society. The villagers utilized nature as a method of drawing boundaries between masculinity and womanhood. Whatever in Umuofia society was structured into gender functions, even the task of farming had to be structured by gender.
Furthermore, the simple art of story informing had to be genderized to keep society’s gender structure. Innocent fairy tales were thought about womanly and womanly, while stories of death and gore were considered masculine manly stories. Gender is highly structured and is very important in keeping West Africa identity and culture in the Umuofia society.
The Power of Females in Umuofia
Millions of women across the globe reside in male dominated societies. Federal governments, armed forces, families, and communities continue to be dominated and controlled by guys. Nevertheless, throughout history females have actually constantly handled to exert some type of power within their societies.
Whether, it was as subtle as an other half rebelling versus her husband or as bold as a queen protecting her country, these examples reveal that females have constantly held some form of power in their societies. The book Things Break down by Chinua Achebe captures the essence of this dynamic through the women in Umuofia society, who in spite of the challenges they dealt with in a polygamous and patriarchal society they still managed to preserve some kind of power within Umuofia society.
One female that had power in Umuofia society was Chielo who was the Priestess of the Oracle god Agbala. The Oracle had incredible impact in Umuofia society due to the fact that it was believed that the Priestess possessed the powers of the god Agbala. Everybody in Umuofia society feared Priestess Chielo consisting of the male elders who governed Umuofia society.
The Priestess played a crucial role in society because she offered advice to the villagers who eavesdroped worry of outraging the god Agbala. The Oracle also utilized her power to avenge ladies who were mistreated by their husbands. This occurred when the Priestess Cheilo purchased a boy called Ikemefuna eliminated since she knew Okonkwo (who was the main character in the story) was close to the young kid to get revenge on him for beating his better half.
Additionally, the priestess was not the only woman in the Umuofia society with power. The women of the Umuofia town likewise had power as a cumulative system. The females were responsible for safeguarding the crops and penalizing individuals with heavy fines if they were responsible for destructive another villager’s crops. This was demonstrated in the story when a cow got loose and all the ladies in the town were bound to safeguard and safeguard the crops from the cow. As a cumulative system the ladies were able to apply some power in Umuofia society.
Females in Umuofia society might likewise rebel versus their husbands if they believed their hubbies were being incredibly terrible. Although domestic abuse prevailed for females in Umuofia. Some women would get away with their children to their homelands to escape the abuse. In one scenario in the story, a guy’s wife left him and he had no control on whether she would take him back.
Instead he was forced to plea before the elders of the village for his wife’s return or for the return of her bride rate if she picked to remain separated from him. This is an example where a lady was really holding power over a male in Umuofia society.
The women in Umuofia society faced sustaining difficulties but they were still able to maintain some kind of power in society. Women had extremely little power in West African society however they had simply sufficient power to have an impact on their society. Even in death females were allowed to be buried with their forefathers as a symbol to their enduring impact and legacies within a patriarchal West African society.