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Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart And The Power

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Things Fall Apart and The Power and the Glory Reading Response Chinua Achebe’s world-renowned work, Things Fall Apart, centers around a Nigerian tribe which becomes the subject of conversion to Christianity via missionaries. During the course of this novel, we follow the central character, Okonkwo, through times of stability and times of change in his homeland to arrive at the cathartic ending of his suicide. Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, however, centers around an unnamed whiskey priest, who is on the run from the authorities in Mexico, where religion has been outlawed. Over the course of this novel, the struggle between church and state is illustrated as well as the conflicting perspectives of the people both are trying to…show more content…
Having seen the way his father was mocked, Okonkwo’s entire life was “dominated by fear of failure and weakness,” and he made it his goal “hate his everything his father loved” (Achebe 13). This, in turn, caused to Okonkwo to become “a man of action and a man of war” even though “perhaps down in his heart, Okonkwo was not a cruel man” (Achebe 13). Because of the community he lived in judged a man according to his worth as it was part of their culture and custom, the action-driven Okonkwo was able to succeed despite living in the shadow of his father’s failures. In addition to Okonkwo’s success in his village, Achebe also shows how religion and culture is a source of stability by portraying it as a system of justice and moral code. The egwugwu, or the ancestral spirits of the tribes, served as the closest thing to a legal system in Okonkwo’s society. In the context of the story, the egwugwu judged the case of Uzowulu, who was the kind of man to “not listen to any other decision” other than the one given by the egwugwu (Achebe 94). Another source of ultimate authority was Ani, “the judge of morality and conduct” (Achebe 36); when Okonkwo or any other man broke her laws of peace, they were punished accordingly. The villagers and their beliefs about their ancestral spirits enabled a system of peace and harmony. In many ways, Achebe portrays the tribe’s culture and customs as an essential part of society in its own way, keeping the people together with
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