Essay Example on Culture tradition and family In the book Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe









Culture tradition and family In the book Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe helps the reader see the importance of Culture Tradition and Family Tradition family and culture each symbolize powerful things such as respect and masculinity Many of the rituals and beliefs in igbo culture are very different than the American culture today although readers can relate to some of Okonkwo's inner personal struggles such as issues he struggles with his Father As the story unfolds the reader sees how change is dealt with and the impacts it has on the characters and their stories Culture is what creates a common way of living There is the culture in so much you encounter every day The culture the author introduces to the reader is known as the Igbo culture The Igbo culture easily has many differences in comparison to the American culture but as the story unravels similarities are not uncalled for Igbo men have to be strong successful have many wives and children and never show any emotion or weakness Women care for children clean and prepare food Okonkwo sees Men as extremely powerful Okonkwo is constantly referring to and addressing women in a harsh negative way In Igbo culture the way of living is different in other aspects such as the housing 

Each wife lives in their own hut Each of his three wives had her own hut which together formed a half moon behind the obi pg14 this is a very different ways of living in comparison to the society we live in today Because of cultural expectations Okonkwo puts an immense amount of pressure on himself which leads to destruction within himself This relates to the life of a High School teenager immensely In our own society we see this happen in other ways self destruction because prominent and emotions are kept inside in an unhealthy way this is what slowly happens to Okonkwo throughout the novel The reader learns why culture is so important because it creates the way characters live and interact Traditions are practices that apply to everyone whether it be traditions in your family or your culture A tradition can be ritual that usually occurs the same time every year the same way for the same reason In Things Fall Apart there are several traditions that are practiced by the people of the Igbo culture such as the Week Of Peace the yams and the Kola Nuts The yam crops are a crop grown to create wealth for one s family to be eaten and sold for trade Yams are traditionally grown by only men 

The yams symbolize masculinity and strength The growing of yams create a large reputation for men and represent hard work Go home and work like a man pg18 This quote was directed towards the growing of yams and represents how seriously they think of the yam crops and where masculinity plays into them Another very important tradition that occurs is the Week Of Peace In his anger he had forgotten that it was the Week Of Peace his first two wives ran out in great alarm pleading with him that it was the sacred week pg24 This quote represents the great significance of the Week Of Peace The Week Of Peace occurs the week before the new yam crops are planted Everyone must remain peaceful with one another during this week to allow the earth goddess to create successful harvesting for the year to come If one does not follow the rules of remaining peaceful they will get thrown into the evil forest where they will die For us a simple handshake or hug is how we would welcome guests into our homes but in things Fall apart welcoming of guests is shown in a different way The kola nut is something that symbolizes the welcoming and respect of guests entering one's home The Kola Nut is broken and gets eaten as a sign of welcoming a guest The guest is the one that brings the kola nuts to create peace 

The Kola Nut is a very different ritual but a huge part of the Ibo culture He who brings Kola brings life pg 6 Tradition is extremely important in this novel because the traditions are another story within culture itself This tradition is important because without it hosts would feel disrespected In Things Fall Apart Okonkwo and his family have very poor relationships The reader learns many lessons through this Okonkwo spends his life trying not to be like his father who he thought of as lazy and useless Although Okonkwo spends his life trying to be the opposite of his father the ending makes readers question if he did turn out to be his like father in the end These sons of wild animals have dared to murder a daughter of Umuofia pg 11 Okonkwo had a very short temper which was a huge weakness of his this caused him to beat his wives and kill his sons The importance of family is learned through this as we see how Okonkwo acts after the killing of his family and how it creates the ending of the story Chinua Achebe does an amazing job of showing us the importance of culture tradition and family in many different ways throughout the novel The reader learns about the Igbo culture and the traditions within Not only do we learn the true meanings and importance of these things but many lessons are learned as the story unfolds This story allows us to recognize the differences as well as identify similarities between our culture traditions and families today in comparison to Okonkwo's life as an Igbo

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