Essay on Things Fall Apart

Submitted By tout10
Words: 853
Pages: 4

Culture sets every nation apart from one another. In some cultures, the customs and beliefs are easy to follow. In Okonkwo’s culture, that is not the case. They have a strict religion where they demand for certain customs to be followed by the whole clan. Their religion consists of the worship of many gods and rituals that are performed to honor the gods. The gods play a crucial role in their traditions and can either lead people in the right or wrong direction. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe shows traditional customs to be embraced and challenging through the use of imagery, mood, and symbolism. The use of imagery in this book shows the reader insight to the visual aspects of events such as the descriptions of Okonkwo’s exile. With the use of imagery, the reader can see a visual of how the traditions in this culture challenge the clans people such as Okonkwo. Okonkwo’s exile is one of these examples. When Okonkwo is exiled from the clan “ they set fire to his houses, demolish his red walls, kill his animals, and destroy his barn” (125). This tradition ruined all that Okonkwo had worked for his whole life. The use of imagery gives the reader a brutal image of Okonkwo’s life work being ruined by his own people because of a custom. It took Okonkwo seven years to overcome this exile. However, marriage is one of the more pleasing customs in this culture. The brides looked beautiful when they “ [wear] a coiffure which [is] done up into a crest in the middle of the head. Cam wood was rubbed lightly into their skin, and all over their body were black patterns drawn with uli” (71). The brides in this Igbo culture dressed nicely in front of their suitor. This shows that young women embrace their culture by following the traditions involved with marriage. Imagery in this book shows the reader how special a bride was to their culture. With the use of imagery throughout the book, the reader experiences first hand how the characters struggles and achievements affect their culture throughout the novel. Chinua Achebe uses mood to express the emotions of the characters to the readers. Throughout the book the feelings characters have are essential to understanding key events. In the scene after Okonkwo killed Ikemefuna, their was an unusual mood and “ [this mood] descended on [his son] again, this feeling, when his father walked in, that night after killing Ikemefuna” (62). The tradition of making sacrifices, such as Ikemefuna, set a negative mood in Okonkwo’s house. This mood comes from having strict, elaborate customs in a culture. These rules make people not want to follow the traditions and customs of the clan. When a member of the clan goes against the traditions, the gods will punish them. For example,when “ [a member of the clan] sang, in a terrifying voice, that Ekwensu, or evil spirit, had entered his eye” (122), the mood shows that the character is in fear in the scene because of the mood of the evil spirt. Mood in this book is important to show how the challenging traditions in this culture effect characters actions. Symbolism creates an understanding of how the traditions are looked upon through the eyes of the characters. When the readers look at…