Things Fall Apart. The Igbo Culture
The masterpiece by Achebe, Things Fall Apart, depicts a society with a primitive lifestyle. With an unbiased point of view, he narrates, and calls everything as he sees it through his novel. Igbo culture, like any other culture, had to grapple with tremendous changes that the wave of colonialism came with. The outcome of the Igbo cultural system was dependent on how they welcomed these changes that swept across the African content, Nigeria included. The reaction of a culture was dependent on the value system that they upheld.
The Igbo was a cultural society that was characterized by male dominance during the pre-colonial era as evidenced by the fact that the story revolves around male characters. As the plot of the story unravels, it is very difficult to find a female character associated with prominence. More often than not when female characters are mentioned, they are either sexual partners, priests, cooks, or a nanny for the children. The female character was a possession of the domineering male character. As a result, a consideration of how three characters, Okonkwo, Obiereka, and Nwoye’s reactions to the value system of their culture will be instrumental on how Achebe criticizes the Igbo culture.
Okonkwo reveals himself to be a staunch believer of the Igbo value system and culture. He exudes a faith that reaffirms his convictions to the societal standards, and is selfless just to prove that he is a genuine tribesman. Okonkwo is not an isolated character in this regard, since many other male characters were forced to conform to these cultural values in order to fit the societal jigsaw. This spirit coerced many in the Umuofia community to act contrary to their emotions, and rationale just to please their society. This dogmatic attitude crippled the reasoning of many Igbo tribesmen.
A case in point of this cultural practice is the cold blood murder of Ikemefuna, who was an alien from...