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Chapter 9

posted Oct 28, 2011 19:41:24 by
Achebe dedicates a whole chapter to the subject of ogbanje. What does the ogbanje reveal about Ibo society? How does the ogbanje balance against the “throwinging away” of twins? Does Achebe seem to validate the belief in ogbanje? Why do you think he devotes so much of the chapter to this mysterious part of Ibo culture?
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4 replies
NELLIE05 said Oct 30, 2011 22:27:37
The Ogbanje reveals that Ibo society takes bad luck or realistic issues and blames them on traditional superstitions. It also illustrates that these superstitions still exist and are still practiced. However, Achebe does not express whether he agrees or disagrees with ogbanje or throwing the twins away. I believe that Achebe does this to allow his mostly foreign readers to form their own opinion on both of these practices. He does not try to influence the reader with his own opinions. Achebe devotes an entire chapter to both of these practices to suggest the importance these rituals hold in their community and to show how much they influence every day lives in Ibo culture. It also further separates Ibo society from Europe and the west. Ogbangi fall into different categories I believe. Throwing away of twins is just a tradition that has been followed for hundreds of years, whereas Ogbanje is just something to blame bad luck on.
KAT05 said Oct 31, 2011 00:42:44
I agree with Nellie on the topic on what the ogbanje reveals. The idea of the ogbanje probably began after the issue of multiple dying children arose within the Umuofia tribe. The ritual of "throwing away" the twins also most likely arose in the original tribe where several pairs of twins committed horrendous crimes, resulting in their destination upon birth and their unlucky reputation. I disagree with Nellie however on the subject whether or not Achebe validates the belief in ogbanje. Despite Ezinma's iyi-uwa being found, she still came close to death due to a sickness that resulted in a sudden, "wet, burning forehead"(85). The return of Ezinma's childhood troubles persuades the reader that Ekwefi's child problems were not due to a ogbanje, but poor genetics. I believe that Achebe focused so much on this one topic for these traditions blatantly contrasts those of the Europeans, which may be Achebe's tool to foreshadow major future conflict.
GREGG05 said Oct 31, 2011 02:00:30
The idea of the ogbanje indicates that the ancient superstitions were important to the Ibo people.People in the Umuofia tribe do not have any real explanation for the phenomenon of twins. Like most issues in their village the Ibo turn to superstitions for answers. Achebe is by-partial with as he is with most of the African traditions. He is making the reader decide for themselves weather or not this is right or wrong by just stating facts. I think he devotes this chapter to this part of Ibo culture because it highlights the differences between European and Ibo culture. This part of Ibo life is extremely far away from the European way of life. The ogbanje also indicates how the tribe deals with issues. It indicates how every issue is decided by a superstition that over hundreds of years have been infused into their culture.
MAGGIE04 said Oct 31, 2011 03:24:01
The ogbanje reveals that the people in the Ibo society believe in evil spirits and things of a supernatural nature. The Ibo society justifies the majority of their actions on superstitions. Achebe balances out the "throwing away" of the twins because the people of the Ibo society believe the evil forest traps the ogbanje and stops it from returning to the mother. This prevents any other children dying, and families being torn apart. I do not believe that Achebe validates the belief in ogbanje because i think he does not sway the reader into any certain opinion. I believe that he does this because of the wide range of audience reading this, the Europeans, Africans, and Americans. I think he devotes so much of this chapter to this mysterious part of the Ibo culture to enforce the strong beliefs of the Ibo culture. Also, I think he does this to prove how the European culture is so different in comparison and it leaves room for the Europeans and the Westerners to formulate their own opinion.
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