How Does Chinua Achebe Depict Ibo Culture In Things Fall Apart?

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How does Achebe depict Ibo culture in ‘Things Fall Apart’? Chinua Achebe’s, Things Fall Apart, is a story of a traditional village in Nigeria from inside Umuofia around the late 1800s. This novel depicts late African history and shows how the British administrative structure, in the form of the European Anglican Church, imposed its religion and trappings on the cultures of Africa, which they believed was uncivilized. This missionary zeal subjugated large native populations. Consequently, the native traditions gradually disappeared and in time the whole local social structure within which the indigenous people had lived successfully for centuries was destroyed. Achebe spends the first half of the novel depicting the Ibo culture, by…show more content…
Even though the Ibo are described as ‘primitive and savage’ by Mr. Smith, one of the missionary church leaders, the tribesmen evidently show their etiquette through their mannerisms. Proverbs, a form of Ibo mannerisms, are used quite frequently throughout this novel as ‘the art of conversation is regarded very highly [by the Ibo], and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.’ (Achebe. P.5:1986) The Ibo people are also not as violent and savage as many of the missionaries believed. This is shown when a villager from the Mbaino village kills a woman from the Ibo village, the Ibo village elders and those with titles, instead of initiating war against the neighbouring Mbaino, reach a peaceful agreement on the reparations from the Mbaino tribe.‘… [A]t the end it was decided to follow the normal course of action. An ultimatum was immediately dispatched to Mbaino asking them to choose between wars on the one hand, and on the other the offer of a young man and a virgin as compensation.” (P.8) Achebe also expands on the reflection of the Ibo peoples of being civil, depicting the civilised aspects of the Ibo religion. Another example similar to the peaceful reparation, previously
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