How Does Achebe Show Respect In Igbo Culture

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In Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, he clearly reveals to us that, although age was respected in Igbo culture, so were achievements. At a young age of 18, Okonkwo defeated Amalinze who at the time was the greatest wrestler in the nine villages and beyond. Amalinze was unbeaten for seven years, and defeating him meant honor for your village. Achebe deeply stimulates fear and toughness as “whenever [Okonkwo] was angry and could not get his words out quickly enough, he would use his fists” (4). Okonkwo was tough and fierce, which led to him obtaining two titles, as well as showing incredible bravery in two inter-tribal wars. Achebe states that the elders would say “if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings” (4). This further showed how, although the Igbo culture valued people in places of power, they also valued achievements no matter how young the person is. Okonkwo had not only washed his hands, but his feet too. His fame had spread like “a bush-fire in the harmattan’ (3), and he had become well respected among the Ibo people for his personal achievements.…show more content…
Unoka was considered a failure, because “he was poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat” (5). While Okoye was not a failure because he had “a large barn full of yams and had three wives” (6). Igbo culture stretches the importance of providing for your family, as your wealth bases your social status. Although both were musicians, their social status were polar opposites. Achebe forces the reader to perceive Okonkwo as a success: “he was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and had just married his third wife” (8). At a young age, he has what many dream of and was “clearly cut out for great things”

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