Things Fall Apart Diary, Essay Example

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Essay

Okonkwo VS “Things Fall Apart”.

As Okonkwo I am very determined. In Things Fall Apart, I am faced with a changing culture and how it affects my perspective and lifestyle.  I resist the change in both religion and politics, fearing they are not manly enough to replace my current ideals.  I feel as though if I were to participate, it would essentially be emasculating me and my culture. I feel personally that Ibo culture and Christianity do not mix well, as the tenants of Christ like turning the other cheek is a sign of weakness. My fear of religious change is based on my fear of losing social status.  I am a leader of my tribe, and the master of my family.

Ibo rituals VS Christian rituals.

Ibo rituals have very structured beliefs that can, at times, contradict Christian rituals as well.  One ritual is one based on umunna, which is basically about a family and the man is the head of it.  Another ritual is the courtship of a man and woman. This could be decided at birth by the parents or chosen by the man and woman as adults. Another Ibo ritual is the use of kola nuts.  This caffeinated nut is used in rituals and celebrations alike.  I have grown to depend on these standards because this is what society judges me on. Changing these practices in order to implement Christian traditions would take away the Ibo practices I am accustom to.  Christian ritual bases marriage as being decided and ordained by God.  Not based on what my family decides, it is directed by God.  Another Christian religion is marriage in church by an ordained minister, based on the Bible not on cultural beliefs.  All of my rituals will be uprooted in order to practice Christian rituals, they are two separate things and it comes down to a choice of Ibo or Christian rituals.

 Ibo Proverbs VS Christian Proverbs..

In my culture, I have been raised to believe in Ibo proverbs.  The proverbs include such sayings as “a baby on its mother’s back doesn’t know the journey is long,”  “If you want to eat a toad, you should look for a fat and juicy one” and “Never kill a man who says nothing.”  The Ibo contrast Christian hymns in the context of beliefs.  In my opinion the focus is not on what I can do myself as a man, but the theory that God has higher priority and superiority.  An example of a Christian hymn is, “a sure stronghold our God is He, A trusty shield and weapon; our help He’ll be, and set us free from every ill can happen.”  It’s reflective on guidance from a supreme being, not based on proverbs by which I was raised to believe.  Based on situations and right or wrong opposed to set ideals.

Ibo tribal laws VS European laws. Lastly, I have to consider the Ibo tribal laws versus the European laws. The Ibo law determines that no man or woman can have a child outside of marriage.  If a woman has a child without a husband, the child becomes property of her father.  In the case of a heathen dying, they are not to have a funeral service and their death is not to be announced.  European law does not support the father’s ownership of a child out of wedlock.   Therefore if a child is born to a single mother, that child is still the property of that mother.  Ibo law cannot strip a mother of her maternal rights because a man failed to fulfill his cultural duties.  Also, death needs to be recognized regardless of the quality of the man. If the man was a bad person, he still has a right to be buried and rest in peace.  Believing in this would not make me less of a man, simply a human being with a heart.  In these changes, I have to determine if tradition or societal standards has more weighing on my decisions in which path I follow.

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