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

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…

Free Tempest Essays: Treacheries and Rebellions

Treacheries and Rebellions is The Tempest

The Tempest consists of “a series of rebellion, treacheries, mutinies and conspiracies against authority” but the overall view of the dramatic action is much more complex. Many other aspects and themes such as illusion and the supernatural (magic) also play a very important part in shaping the plot. Power struggle is evident from the beginning, way back when Prospero’s brother, Antonio, seized his status as Duke of Milan and banished him to a barren place and left for dead. “In scene 2.1, pg 141, Sebastian remarks, “I remember/You did supplant your brother Prospero.” And Antonio replies, “True;/ And look how well my garment sit upon me,”. Antonio betrayed Prospero, and yet he feels no remorse for his treacherous act: ‘I feel not/ This deity in my bosom”, his conscience is not bothered by what he did to Prospero. Another sibling conspiracy in the play came in Act II when Sebastian is encouraged by Antonio to kill his brother, Alonso, which would put him next in line for the throne but first, they attempted to kill Gonzalo, the Alonso’s faithful advisor. Scene 2.1, pg “Draw together,/and when I rear my hand do you the like/TO fall it (the sword) on Gonzalo.” Their evil plot is interrupted and plans ruined as Ariel wakes the sleeping party (Alonso and Gonzalo). But perhaps the most prominent resistance against authority comes from Caliban, the slave of Prospero who feels that the island is rightfully his, “The island’s mine by Sycorax my mother,”. He goes on to state that Prospero “tak’st from me.” In order to regain or gain his rulership, Caliban plots with Trinculo and Stephano to kill Prospero and take over the island. Act 3, scene I, pg 160 “Why, as I told thee, ‘tis a custom with him I’ th’ afternoon to sleep. There thou mayst brain him Having fisrt seized his books; or with a log Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake Or cut his weasand with thy knife.”

An important factor in authority struggle is the illusion of authority, who is ultimately in charge? Illusion of authority becomes evident from the start when the boatswain speaks to the king in the storm; “What cares these roarers for the name of king?…if you can command there elements to silence, and work the peace of the present, we will not hand a rope more—use your authority.

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