Like the Ibo religion, Anglicanism also had a social aspect to it. While Anglicanism wasn't as ingrained into the daily lives of its followers as much as it was for the Ibo people, it was part of their lives. Good Christians went to church every Sunday and frequently participated in church events. They thought about their actions in accordance to what God said and they had customs that were assigned to specific holidays. Because in England the head of the church was also the head of the country, these two were closely related. There were certain things that were wrong to do in society because they were wrong religiously. One of these was suicide. Both for the Anglicans and the Ibo, suicide was considered a horrible thing to do according to their religion. "It is an abomination for a man to take his own life. It is an offense against the Earth, and a man who commits it will not be buried by a clansman. His body is evil, and only strangers may touch him" (Achebe, 207). There is a true paradox when it comes to women in religion in both the Ibo and Anglican churches. In Ibo society, women are not allowed to participate in religious activities. Even though this is true, the most important figure in their religion is a woman, the Priestess of Agbala. She gives prophesies from the God and everyone trusts and believes her. The same thing occurs in Anglicanism. Usually women can't partake in religious activities, yet they are allowed into the higher positions. "Unlike the Roman Church, the Church of England allows women to become priests" (Encarta, 3).
Over the years many wars have been waged and may people killed over the issue of religion. If they would just analyze their religions, they might find that they are very similar. The Ibo and Christians in Things Fall Apart are so worried about keeping their own religions separate from each other that they are blind to the similarities. The Christians would never have accepted that fact that their religion might be vaguely similar to this primitive, seemingly polytheistic religion. Yet they were similar in many ways and the conversion of the Ibo people might have gone more smoothly if the Christians had noticed this fact. The roots of most religions are quite similar. If a western Christian religion and a tribal religion of the Lower Niger could have similarities, imagine the similarities between other, closer religions.
Sure, he does follow the order to kill Ikemefuma-even when he is given a loophole to escape through, pointed out by Obierika-but he also disrupts the Week of Peace and Achebe writes that " Okonkwo was not the man to stop beating somebody half-way through, not even for fear of a goddess" (Things Fall Apart, 30).
"If things fall apart is first a story of the disintegration of a traditional African society, it is also the personal tragedy of a single individual , whose life falls apart in the midst of that same process." (Booker, 69)
Gikanki suggest that the beginning of Things Fall Apart is an "imaginary response to the problems of genealogy and cultural identity that have haunted igbo culture " (Gikanki, 29) The book sets up Okonkwo as surrogate founding father, with the story about throwing the Cat in a wrestling tournament, and other aspects of Okonkwo's history as the same as those of the Umofian nation.
In order to understand how religion affects a child, it is important to view the various situations through a variety of religious perspectives and approaches....
In Things fall Apart, Chinua Achebe tackles the subject of colonialism fairly and firmly. From the novel, it is visibly clear how colonialism affected people and how it succeeded in pulling the people in different directions. Colonialism succeeded in destroying family relationships, friendships and also made tribes fight against themselves. Even though the novel is a fictional book, there is the clear truth on how colonialism has affected people to the level where the life of the affected becomes destroyed and results into his own death.
In most cases this longing to return to family values is a thinly veiled reference to religion, specifically Christianity, and the belief that the United States of America was established upon the tenets of Christian dogma and has somehow fallen away from its beliefs.
In the turbulent time setting, Okonkwo is doomed to lose the traditions he cherishes as his society slowly falls apart.
About Naipal referring to Africans as monkeys and brutes: "He doesn't pull his punches, does he?" (Achebe, Home and Exile 89)
"We don't all have to be run over by a car before we know that it is dangerous to stand in the middle of the road." (Jussawalla, 68)
"I think what makes the ethos, climate, atmosphere in Things Fall apart appear more is that we are not familiar with it." (Jussawalla, 71)
" don't the environment and the character balance each other all the way?" (Jussawalla, 70)
"There's always that possibility of things having a funny side." (Jussawalla, 73)
"I'm so certain that self-righteousness is the worst possible thing that could happen to us." (Jussawalla, 73)
Both novels are narrated for most of the book in a voice that gets taken over by an outside voice at the end (the District Commisioner in Things Fall Apart and the Captain in Lord of the Flies.
The Anglican missionaries of Okonkwo's land thought that the Ibo religion was polytheistic, when in actuality it was a diffused monotheism. Monotheism, the belief in only one God, is a central part of Christianity. Because the Ibo have some minor gods, the Christians labeled them as adherents to polytheism, the belief in many gods. "Ibo religion is not polytheism because in polytheism there are many gods in a pantheon struggling for supremacy, in which gods of equal importance But as a diffused monotheism it is the belief in and worship of one Supreme Being who is holy" (Iwuagwu, 26). The Ibo believe in one supreme God, Chukwu, who made earth and heaven. "As to religion, the natives believe that there is one Creator of all things. They believe that he governs events, especially our deaths and captivity" (Equiano, 10). The creation story is essential to Ibo religion just as the Genesis story is central to Judeo-Christianity. He also made all the other little gods that the Ibo believe in. These minor gods were just messengers for the one supreme God. The Anglican religion is basically Catholicism except that the head of the Anglican Church is the English monarch instead of the Pope. The Anglicans did not worship minor gods like the Ibo did, but they did worship others like Jesus and Mary. The minor gods were just messengers of the Supreme God, just like the saints and prophets were messengers. The Ibo feared Chukwu, while Mr. Brown said that the Anglicans did not have to fear their God. "You are afraid of Chukwu. In my religion Chukwu is a loving Father and need not be feared by those who do His will.' 'But we must fear Him when we are not doing His will,' said Akunna. 'And who is to tell His will? It is too great to be know'" (Achebe, 181). Mr. Brown says that they don't have to fear God, yet numerous times in chapter 19 of the Book of Leviticus in the Bible, it says that you should fear God. How can people know exactly what the will of God is? It seems that the Ibo understand this supreme power better than the Anglicans because they know that they can't understand it. Since it is hard for them to understand such an abstract idea, they use material objects to bring them closer to Chukwu.
Not only do I get the opportunity to learn about different religious practices such as Tiwah among the Ngaju but how to anthropologically examine snake handlers in the Appalachians....