Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"

Essay by oz4420University, Bachelor'sB+, February 2006

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Chinua Achebe has penned the book "Things Fall Apart" as retaliation against the Western books portraying African cultures and tribal religions as brutal, savage and animalistic. He attempts to portray through his book that the people of the African Igbo tribe are not savages or mindless tribals, they are a people with a history and a culture and a well thought out way of life. He also tries to give a realistic portrayal of the Igbo tribe`s traditions, festivals, social hierarchy and religious activities, along with the effect of Imperialism on the tribe and its people, with special reference to the hero of the book, Okonkwo, drawing a parallel between his fall and the tribe`s fall in the face of colonialism.



The tribe`s important actions, such as going to war and the like, are always subject to the decision of the tribe`s "Oracle of the Hills and the Caves", a woman thought to be in constant commune with the spirits.

The Oracle is a woman named Chielo a widow with two wives, but who has the title of " Priestess of Agbala", who was the Oracle, and was perceived as a completely different person when the spirit of the earth goddess entered her. Although Achebe does not depict any supernatural occurrences, there are certain predictions of the Oracles that he depicts as uncanny. An example of this would be the way the Oracle of Abame village predicted how the white man would go about his conquest, though she had no knowledge of their methods. Another example is that of the healing of Ezinma after her mysterious visit to the Oracle`s cave.

Ezinma`s iyi-uwa is a good example of the Igbo`s religious beliefs. Ezinma was presumed to be sickly because...