Use Of Myths In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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Myths are used by primitive peoples to record their history to make sure it gets passed down to future generations. Achebe incorporates folktales and myths into Things Fall Apart to show how Igbo people use them as tools for teaching their children the history and values of their ancestors. Many of these myths and fables draw themselves from the earth, sky, and nature, which the African culture believes to be a central part of what it means to be human; to have a relationship with the earth and the humans that were made from it. For Okonkwo, these folktales are symbols which provide important values and morals in an effort to keep peace within his tribe and to keep their place in Africa. Okonokwo tells masculine stories of bloodshed and violence, however Nyowe still preferred the stories his mother told, which are more interesting and less violent. He remembers the story his mother often told of the quarrel between the Earth and Sky. Sky withheld rain for years and crops withered and the dead could not be buried in the stony Earth. Vulture was sent to Sky to ask for forgiveness. Sky finally decided to forgive and gave Vulture rain wrapped in tree leaves to give to Earth. On the way back home Vulture “pierced the leaves and the rain fell as it had never fallen beforeˮ (53). This story illustrates the clan’s dependence on nature for its survival, and how children are naturally drawn to mother earth and all its wonders. According to the locust myth,

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