Religion In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Decent Essays
Religion is what unifies families and villages worldwide. In the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, religion is the center of the Igbo life. The citizens of the Igbo tribe worship one main god. Additionally, they also believe in many minor gods, and similarly, worship their ancestors and other spirits too. Regardless of what the Igbo people think, they never dare to disobey or commit sins against any of these spirits because they fear she will take revenge and wipeout clans. Their religion has been passed down from generation to generation, which is why they believe so strongly in what they do. Religion influences every choice the Igbo people make every day of their lives. In the novel, Achebe includes religion into every aspect of…show more content…
People must die in a socially appropriate way and given proper burial rights to be accepted into their form of afterlife. On the other hand, if somebody does not die socially appropriate, then they believe only strangers may touch the one that has died. In the novel, the District Commissioner comes to seek Okonkwo. Shockingly, he finds out Okonkwo hung himself and his friends and families refuse to touch him. He asks, “Why can’t you take him down yourselves? he asked. It is against our custom, said one of the men. It is an abomination for a man to take his own life. It is an offense against the Earth, and a man who commits it will not be buried by his clansmen. His body is evil and only strangers may touch it” (Achebe 207). The living pay tribute to the dead by honoring them through sacrifices. They have strangers bury the dead and then do their duty of making sacrifices. On the other hand, if somebody of the clan does die appropriate their funeral ceremony is complex and elaborate. Rather than mourning with the family that has lost a loved one, they show the family respect by celebrating the life that person had lived. Kucharski expresses that guns and cannons are set off and drums are beaten. The people attending the funeral dress up wearing skirts and body paint (Kucharski). Igbo funerals are meant to give closure to the family that has lost a loved one. They are meant to show respect for the dead by singing and performing traditional dances. Overall, they strongly believe in showing respect to their fellow friends and families, that the spirit of one’s ancestors keep a constant watch on the living, and must be contacted through
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