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Essay on Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: Spiritual and Traditional Aspects

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Spiritual and Traditional Aspects of Things Fall Apart  


Chinua Achebe describes in his book Things Fall Apart (1958) some interesting features of what life could look like in an African village during late 19th century. The society that the Nigerian author presents is in most ways considerably different from our western society of today. Life in the African village of Umuofia was, among many other things, spiritual and traditional.

The spiritual aspect of life in Umuofia is well illustrated by the episode where Okonkwo and one of his wives finally have a child that does not die at a young age. After having had to bury several of their children, Okonkwo and Ekwefi are told by a medicine man that all the children actually are one so-called ogbanje; a child that repeatedly dies and returns to its mother’s womb to be reborn. The parents are also told that it is almost impossible to bring up an ogbanje without it dying unless its iyi-uwa is first found and destroyed. An iyi-uwa is a special kind of stone which forms the link between the child and the spirit world. And so, aft...


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