The Significance of Customs in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

1016 Words Jan 28th, 2018 4 Pages
The book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe focuses on a small community of Igbo people in lower Niger that undergoes a large change. Their village, previously full of solid morals, traditions and religious belief begins to undergo European colonization. The result of this is a loss of old customs and an acquisition of new ones. Customs can be anything from saying “thank you” when given something to believing that twins should be thrown into the forest upon birth. The elders in the story try hard to save their previous customs but eventually are betrayed by the younger generation. Customs are key and even the foundation of a community. They are necessary for 3 reasons: to remind people of basic beliefs (whether religious or moral), to give people a general feeling of culture and respect, and finally to keep the people of a society together, which is a biological human need and keeps a community alive and united.

Sharing beliefs and morals contributes largely to how close the people are within a society. Igbos have many traditions, from storytelling to the actions performed at ceremonies. Almost all of these customs are based around respect. Umuofia, the village, “never went to war unless its case was clear and just and was accepted as such by its Oracle...If the clan had disobeyed the Oracle they would surely…

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