Things Fall Apart Photo Essay BY: SEbastian Brown

Things Fall Apart is a book filled with interesting characters and traditions, but some of those traditions are what get Okonkwo killed. In the book there are a lot of separations that people have now in this decade; like gender separation, traditions and customs, and religion, these matters play an important role in the book and are what cause issues between the colonist and the Ibo people.

In the book Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo has 3 wives, just like other wealthy people in the village. In the Igbo village, women are seen as inferior and week. Women are made to remain at home, not go to work, and supply their husband with any need. Each wife prepares a meal for their husband to eat, the husband eats portions of each of his wives food, and whatever he does feast on is giving to that wife and their children as dinner for the night. In the Igbo culture men are seen as the money makers and the rulers of the village. Men are the ones in the family who make the money and who own all of the possessions in their compound (including their wives), if a mans wife acts in a manner that doesn't suite their husband, then they can be beaten or punished as a result.

Women and Men are separated in the Igbo society.
Men are considered stronger than females.
The women bow to their husbands, and follow their rules.
Men are more valuable to the Igbo society because they are the working ones.
Women stay at home while the man goes to work.
Women do the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting.
Men are focused on the hard tasks while women focus on simple ones.
Men are superior.
Men and Women are on different sides.
The women balances the home life all alone.

History: An example of how men are superior to women in common society is an example of the gender pay gap. Women are paid 79 cents for every $1 that a man is paid. This has been an issue for a very long time, and is still not solved, but it is a great example of gender segregation.

In the book Things Fall apart the Igbo people practice a polytheistic religion with gods that relate to the earth, air, fire, sun, etc. When the white people come to the Igbo land, at first they are killed, but then another village realizes not to upset the gods by killing them again without them speaking, so they listen. The white people make relations with the Igbo people and build a church there. Once their church is built, they start recruiting more and more people, which upsets Okonkwo. Eventually they have many buildings in the region and start provoking the Igbo people, and try to prove their religion wrong. The Igbo people didn't like being provoked, and disrespected by these white people, so Okonkwo attacks back, but fails.

African religious figurine.
Odinani religion figures.
Igbo religious gathering.
An image of a pottery piece depicting three people seated representing the Igbo deity Ifejioku.
Religious figurines.
Alusi deity.
Worshiped statue by the Igbo people.

Historical Events: Throughout time, religion has played a large roll of diplomatic relations between areas of control. Most people on this planet were raised with some kind of religious belief, and believe that their version is the only correct one. Many battles have been fought over altercations because of this divide. For example, many radical Jihadist groups like ISIS perceive their religion in a different way than others, and persecute people who don't agree, or who live a different "unacceptable" lifestyle.

The Igbo tradition and culture is a very unique and complicated one. In the village, Ranks are given to the older, wiser members of the community and they are physically marked with it. Another way to be high up in the traditional village is by wealth, which also is accompanied by how many wives you have. IN the Igbo culture, wives are chosen by the male then are discussed by their fathers and the wife. Finding a wife and marrying her are very complex traditions that involve a lot of family members, village heads, and other village members.

Igbo bride price discussion/ wedding ceremony.
Igbo ceremony involving Kola nuts and garden eggs.
Igbo bride with her maidens.
Feast of the new Yam ceremony.
Igbo Masquerade party.
Igbo ritual.
Igbo homecoming.

History: Their are many different diversities and many different cultures. These cultures have played a role in how ethnic groups, or society's develop. Culture can be represented in different ways with food, clothes, ceremonies, or holidays.

Conclusion: In the book Things Fall Apart Okonkwo faces many struggles involving Religion, Culture, and gender separation. These problems play a major role in the book and are what influence Okonkwo throughout it. Okonkwo's religious beliefs affect how he makes his decisions involving the Christians, His views on gender are what influence him on how he treats his wives, and his culture is what influences how his pride is affected in the book. Not only is Okonkwo influenced by these burdens, but his kids are too. His children grow up and start to resent their father, and move on to different ideas and views that their father Okonkwo wouldn't like. In the end of the book, these problems are what ultimately lead Okonkwo into suicide, he is to prideful to be captured by the Christians, and he is to much of a man to be caught. The book was based on these controversial issues, and is what leads the great plot.

Created By
Sebastian Brown

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.