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Chapters 2-3

posted Oct 18, 2011 19:19:08 by
In Chapter 2, Achebe discusses the role superstition in Umuofia. How do these superstitions and traditions influence Okonkwo’s community? How does a superstition become true in the first place? How does superstition relate to Unoka’s “ill-fate” addressed in Chapter 3?
[Last edited Oct 24, 2011 00:49:16]
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3 replies
BRANDK02 said Oct 23, 2011 18:46:45
Superstition is the ultimate deciding force in Umuofia. On the individual level, superstition compels the children to fear spirits of the night, as well as adults to refrain from calling snakes by their name. Superstition is also used to instill fear in the enemy villages. The narrator describes how the mystical agadi-nwayi potion showcased in the center of the village justifies Umuofia's hegemony. At the same time, spirits have the power to defuse conflicts. Umuofia could not go to war without consulting the Oracle in the hills. Superstition initially occurs as an answer to the natural phenomena that developing civilizations want to better understand. A society will often accept a superstitious idea if it provides emotional comfort, social order, or personal benefit. At least in that sense, there is no decipherable difference between superstition and religion. However, it can be argued that the word "superstition" carries relatively negative connotations. Superstition relates to Unoka's fate because his rejection from society and even from his own son was compounded after his idleness was denounced by the Oracle. Moreover, he was exhiled at the end of his life because his cancerous growth was considered insulting in the presence of spirits. As a result of their beliefs, he was sent into the forest to die.
MEAGHAN02 said Oct 24, 2011 03:41:11
These superstitions influence Okonkwo's community because they cause fear that makes chaos. People in the community have to deal with fear that is not needed because of superstition. It provides uneeded information. For an example, they had to try to settle peace before they could go into war against Umuofia, which shows that its impacting the decisions made. A superstition becomes true when something involves fear and someone blames their fear on a happening that may be bad. This superstition relates to Unoka's "ill-fate" in chapter 3 because he is able to blame his flaws and troubles on the superstition, which is acting negatively to him because he isn't even trying to improve at this point. He is tricking himself into thinking that he is only capable of doing poor and having evil follow him, when he could try to be more successful and lucky.
LUKE02 said Oct 24, 2011 11:32:27
Very much like Meaghan and Brandon said, superstition keeps everyone in order and in tact and serves as a limit for their actions. They will not do anything they think could have one little bad result according to their superstitions. For example, like Brandon said, the kids are not allowed to go out at certain times because of their fear for ghosts or spiris or demons etc. Superstitions become true when one person has a moment where he or she feels that superstition has played into their life and that it is hurtful to themselves and they just assume that because they did X things that something occured. Superstition and Unoka have a special tie together. He wasn't the ideal man, considered a failure, and many other negative ideas were thought about him. His ill-fate will be carried out by the end of the book because the people in the community feel superstitcious. If these people didn't feel supersticious than who know, maybe his ill-fate wouldn't be an ill-fate, but a good one.
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