The Role Of Umuofian Culture In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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In his novel Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe introduces his readers to the Nigerian village Umuofia and its culture through the protagonist, Okonkwo, a well respected Umuofian leader. Umuofian culture is centered around pleasing and respecting spiritual life. Everything within this culture and religion has a specific order; however, the Umuofian culture ultimately reaches its demise when Evangelists arrive to convert the Umuofians to Christianity. As seen through the events that transpire in this novel, from Nwoye leaving his family to letting the osu have a place in society, religion has the potential to both build and break a society. Specifically, religion has the power to break apart families, introduce new ideas into society, and bring hope into one’s life. Introducing a new religion has the potential to bring a society to its demise because it has the ability to break apart families. This is evident when Nwoye, Okonkwo’s son, converts to Christianity, going against his father’s will. In Umuofia, abominations are taken very seriously. Okonkwo wants to be seen as the perfect role model of Umuofia; when he discovers that Nwoye becomes a convert, which is an abomination in his society, he gets frustrated because he is afraid of losing people’s respect.; he desires to command respect because he does not want to lose his authority within society. As a result, he warns his children by saying “ ‘You have all seen the great abomination of your brother. Now he is no longer my

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