Things Fall Apart The Meaning Behind The — страница 2

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dissatisfied with the Ibo religion are drawn toward it. Some of the untitled men in the tribe, whom Okonkwo refers to as “women,” are immediately drawn to it. Nwoye, who questions the practice of “throwing away” twin babies in the woods, and who felt that killing Ikemefuna, Okonkwo’s adopted son, on the advice of the Oracle was wrong, was drawn to the new religion because it preached that killing the innocent was immoral. This acceptance of all embodies what Okonkwo’s maternal uncle, Uchendu, said about the nature of the mother; that she is where one goes when one is in trouble and needs comfort, and that she can always be depended upon to give her unconditional acceptance. These ideas filled a gap for many tribesmen that the Ibo religion couldn’t fill, since it was

so unbalanced toward masculinity. The Ibo religion thereafter grew less powerful, and the tribesmen’s attempts to reverse this by killing and burning only made things worse. Some of the wise elders said that Umuofia was getting weaker because the tribes were ceasing to intermingle the way they once had, and were actually competing with one another instead. Very few people understood the importance of the saying ‘mother is supreme’, and would therefore lose connection with their motherland. When Okonkwo’s daughter came of age to marry, Okonkwo thought it best not to have her marry one of the many suitors in his motherland, but rather someone in his fatherland, in order to gain a better position there. Even within Umuofia, the tribes had become so unfamiliar with one

another as to think that each other’s customs were quite strange. All of these factors served to drive the tribes of Umuofia apart and make them vulnerable, so that when the foreign influence of the white man was introduced, they were unable to help each other. It might even be argued that the night belongs to the female, and the day belongs to the male. In the book, it is during the day that the males conduct their business. In the evening, they return home to the comfort of their wives’ cooking and their beds. In contrast, it is at night that the priestess of Agbala is most active. The men fear the night and all of the unknown things that dwell there, but in the night the priestess fearlessly walks the woods, practicing her profession. This book is aptly named, as I cannot

think of a more appropriate title for it than Things Fall Apart. The author definitely suggests that there is a balance to all things, and that when that balance is lost, the system is reduced to chaos. The balance in the case of the Ibo society was one between masculine and feminine forces, with an imbalance on the masculine side eventually turning order to entropy. For Okonkwo, things literally fell apart: his hopes and dreams, his family, his culture, and his life.