Books and Movies Reviews

Things Fall Apart

In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the idea of the religion or mythology according to the ancient Africans was a major theme in the book. In historical context I am going to look at what they really believed and why Achebe mentioned some of the customs that pertained to their gods.
Africans believed that “death does not end it” in other words when you die you are not finished yet. This is shown in their belief in spiritism, which is a view that unseen personal beings influence the lives of men and are mostly spirits of men who held titles or high esteem in the village(McVeigh 25).
There were also two other beliefs that they held to be true. One was a belief in dynamism, which was a conviction that a mysterious impersonal power was at work in the universe(McVeigh 25). The other dealt with monotheism, meaning, only one true God is supreme and the creator of all things. (Mc Veigh 25) This last thought left the Africans open to Christianity (or so it would seem) but in the book we see what they really meant by one true God. The Igbo called their one God Chukwu. To them Chukwu made the entire world and all the other gods. They make sacrifices to the little gods, but turn to him when all else fails. To them this is "approaching a great man through his servants" (Achebe 179-181).
The Africans hold many things to resemble or represent their religion. They believe in an Oracle, who cannot ever be seen and his priestess who consults the gods and spirits and tells the Africans what to do. Each individual has a chi or personal god, which can be inherently good or bad. “Near the barn was a small house, the `medicine house’ or shrine where Okonkwo kept the wooden symbols of his personal god (chi) and of his ancestral spirits. He worshipped them with sacrifices of kola nut, food, palm-wine, and also offered prayers to them on behalf of himself, his three wives and eight children; (Achebe 14).
There are two types of crim…

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