Analysis Of The Novel ' Things Fall Apart '

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Christine Kittrell Professor Harrington HUM 200: Contemporary Lit & Culture 30 September 2014 American society vs. Umuofian society Values are beliefs, priorities, and or activities that people find importance in. In the 1959 novel “Things Fall Apart” written by Chinua Achebe, the concentration is on the nine Ibo-speaking villages of Umuofian, which means "People of the Forest”. Umuofian is the village in which Okonkwo, the protagonist, thrives in everything and is able to secure his manly position in the tribe. There are little similarities and many differences in the values of an American society and the values of a traditional Umuofian society such as marriage, religion, role of men and women, the way each handle wars and the political system. One difference of an American society and an Umuofian society is the practice of polygamy, the practice of having many wives. This tradition is practiced in the connected nine villages of Umuofian and even encouraged by most of the people. A man 's wealth is partially based on the number of wives he has. As described in Things Fall Apart, a wealthy man is defined to have nine wives and thirty children. Okonkwo had only three wives and eight children. Polygamy is not something many Americans are familiarized with. American culture teaches that monogamy, the opposite of polygamy, is the proper, accepted form of marriage. In American culture, having more than one partner in a marriage is often cause for divorce and called cheating.
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