One of the more unusual cultural aspects that is discussed in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart is the existence of an ogbanje. According to a study of Igbo culture conducted by researcher Bertram I. N. Osuagwu, an ogbanje is “an evil spirt causing people to die suddenly” (Osuagwu 36). Some believe that the ogbanje are deities that enter the world and become human beings, but because of a promise that they made to the spirit world, they die early in their lives (Osuagwu 36). In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo’s wife Ekwefi believes that she has been cursed by an ogbanje because of the abnormally high mortality rate of her children. Early in the novel, Achebe describes the hardship that Ekwefi has endured, stating “Ekwefi had suffered a good …show more content…
Buck’s The Good Earth is frequent prayer to the gods. Throughout the novel, Wang Lung pays respect to the Earth god; he does so in times of both hardship and prosperity. His frequent prayer, along with many of the other traditions he practices, are synonymous with Taoism. The central purpose of Taoism is to “enable people to realize that… the only human actions which ultimately make sense are those which are in accord with the flow of Nature — the Dao” (Bloom 1). Like Wang Lung, followers of Taoism stress the importance of being one with nature, and being connected to the land. Adherence to Taoism also comes with a life of simplicity, as Taoism denounces living a life of excess. Taoists believe that “such desires are bound to cause injury both to oneself and to others” (Bloom 1). One of the most identifiable practices of Taoism is the ritualistic burning of incense. Taoists will burn incense as a means of communication with deities, but also to pay respect to the gods (Taoist Federation 1). Followers of Taoism believe that they will achieve prosperity and happiness through frequent prayer, connection to the Earth, and …show more content…
For Okonkwo, being truly successful means becoming a better man than his father. Throughout Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo is afraid that he will become like his father, who was both lazy and cowardly. Okonkwo, determined to emerge from his father’s shadow, lives his life in order to gain the respect of the other villagers. As a young man, he defeats Amalinze, a great wrestler who had gone undefeated for seven years (Achebe 1). As he grows older, he becomes a wealthy farmer, with two barns full of yams (Achebe 8). In addition, he marries three wives, and takes two titles for his admirable action in the inter-tribal wars (Achebe 8). To an outside observer, Okonkwo is successful in every aspect of his life. Despite these successes, Okonkwo dies a coward, just like his father. Rather than face the white man and the spread of Christianity, Okonkwo chooses to take his own life. According to Obierika, Okonkwo’s friend, “It [was] an abomination for a man to take his own life. It [was] an offense against the Earth, and a man who commits it [cannot] not be buried by his clansmen” (Achebe 207). At the end of his life, Okonkwo committed an offense against the Earth and his village. Although he had achieved material success with his farm and cultural success with his titles, he did not truly achieve his own definition of success, which was becoming a
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The key experience, which should be the main goal, in Taoism is the idea of tao "the way" and developing as a person to become more in touch and in control of one’s own emotions. Emotionally the beliefs in Taoism are strongly rooted in compassion, virtue and meditation to provide different emotions. The three jewels of Taoism are meant to be the virtues of Taoism; compassion, frugality, humility. Compassion is the feeling of great sympathy and sorrow for someone who is stricken by misfortune. Virtue in the other hand being the moral excellence, goodness and righteousness.
In the universe, good and evil intertwine to form the lives of people and the environment around them. Humans have, even from the beginning, thrived off systematic order of things, whether it be tribes coming together to survive the elements, or your new class schedule finally coming in the mail. One predominate thing we tend to prosper from is unified religion. One major religion, Taoism (all though more commonly known as Daoism), emphasizes a now universal theory of the Yin and Yang. This theory has established itself in all sorts of media, from books in the library to the songs heard on the radio.
These three passages selected from the Daodejing are good representative of the three core ideas of Daoism—the Dao, wuwei, and yin and yang. The first passage (1.) writes about the Dao, also known as the Way. The Dao is the source of everything in the universe, the power or force that sustains the natural order of
The Tao is not a thing and it is not seen like a God because it is not worshipped, it is more of a system of guidance. It is best described as “developing oneself so as to live in complete conformity with the teaching of the Tao.” Daoism is a religion of opposites and unity. It is where yin and yang started and the principal of it is it sees the world as filled with complementary forces. Daoism practices include meditation, which is concentration or mindfulness or visualization.
Term Paper: Daoism Daoism, also known as Taoism, is originally a Chinese religious tradition that is centralized in living in harmony with the Tao, meaning “way”, “path”, or “principle”. Taoism is one of the two great philosophical and religious traditions that originated in China. In Taoism, the Tao indicates something that is both the source of, and the force behind, everything that exists. Taoism is practiced to be essentially a nontheistic religion, although some divisional communities worship the founder of the doctrine, Laozi. Daoism, along with Confucianism, branches out of an ancient religion from China that took shape no longer than 1500 B.C.E. (Brood).
In “Things Fall Apart” Achebe gives background information on Okonkwo saying “He was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and had just married his third wife.” (5). This quotation from chapter one demonstrates that Okonkwo’s nobility of prosperity is revealed by his success’ from his early years and forward. The villagers within Okonkwo’s clan love and honor him for his personal achievements, and he
The teachings of Taoism come from two important books, the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu and the Chuang-tzu that shares its name with the author. The Tao Te Ching is the key book of Taoism and is a collection of life advice, poet descriptions and the nature of the universe. It is considered the essential guide to living a spiritual and ethical life. The Chuang-tzu is also important, and it is also a collection of wisdom and some writings of key Taoist ideals (BBC). This reminds me somewhat on Buddhism since the religion is also based around wisdom on life.
Okonkwo and Ezinma, an unexpressed love. In his novel, ‘Things Fall Apart’, Achebe presents to the reader, a story based around the village of Umuofia. Through his narration which is close to an oral tradition, we discover the culture and commodities of that village as well as of some surrounding villages. Superstitions, festivals and traditions, everything is vividly described.
The death of Okonkwo is noticeably similar to that of his father, “they came to the tree from which Okonkwo’s body was dangling… ‘Perhaps your men can help us bring him down and bury him… it is an abomination for a man to take his own life. It is an offense against the Earth’”. (Achebe 207). Okonkwo, like Unoka, dies a shameful death and is not given a proper burial like most clansmen. It is in their deaths that the reader witnesses how a life of excess and deficiency both lead to collapse.
From being nothing in his village he rises to be a great, honorable, successful leader of umuofia. He also has a tragic flaw of being weak, failure and having fear that leads him to fail at things several times because of his fears. All of these failures then lead him to his suicide. Finally, he finds his own tragic fate because of his murder of the missionaries court messenger during his villages meeting. Though Okonkwo's life started out as one of the most successful and leading men of Umuofia but because of his violent and impulsive characteristics, even the most successful and well-respected man can fall from his
In Chinua Achebe novel, Things Fall Apart Nwoye a young man under Okonkwo’s responsibility is affected positively by the introduction of western ideas into the Ibo culture. This being said Nwoye has found a passion for being apart of a religion not known by any local in Igbo called Christianity, to some it was a blessing and to others a disgrace. To Okonkwo he feels that anybody who converts to Christianity is a disgrace to their village. And how surprising is it that his own son converts to a Christian. And in his conversion he tries to escape his strict culture and find out who he is as a person.
Eventually, after numerous hardships, Okonkwo earns his success and obtains several barns and wives. This symbolizes wealth and power which were what Okonkwo had been working for all his life. Moreover, Achebe portrays Okonkwo as a fierce warrior and is also represents him as a model clansman in the society:
The Tao Te Ching is an ancient text written by Lao Tzu. It is considered to be one of the most widely read and deeply cherished books in the world. Because the Tao originates from China, the ideas and lessons are from an Eastern perspective. The East is very different from the West, because of each region's way of thinking. One purpose of the Tao is to help guide those who do not follow it, such as the West.