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Chapter 9

posted Oct 28, 2011 19:40:26 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
JAMESF01 said Oct 30, 2011 17:38:07
The belief in ogbanje reveals that Ibo society does retain many traditions that do not make much sentence. The ogbanje is similar to the throwing away of twins, because both discriminate agaisnt children for no obvious reason. Achebe takes a neutral stance on the subject of ogbanje, he allows the reader to make their own decision about the custom. He devotes an entire chapter to this subject, because it shows the uniqueness of Ibo society and also shows how different their culture is from ours. The ogbanje chapter is used to make the reader realize Ibo society is a unique culture of its own.
CADYL01 said Oct 30, 2011 18:06:42
I think Achebe describes the ogbanje rituals with neutrality, allowing the reader to form his or her own opinions. I believe he does this because ogbanje are so foreign to many of his readers. By describing the rituals in a neutral stance, I think he is allowing the reader to understand more of Ibo culture.
The ogbanje reveal how superstitious the Ibo are. Ekwefi loses nine of her ten children to the power of ogbanje. Although losing nine children is horrific, and creating a supernatural explanation for the loss might help, I find it interesting that after only her second child the medicine man blamed it on ogbanje. I think the speed in which the Ibo blame it on supernatural events illustrates how deep the superstitions are engrained in their society. Additionally, like James I think the ogbanje balance the the throwing away of twins because they both blame children for events they cannot control. They take these "evil" children, both twins and ogbanje, and throw them into the forest to prevent their souls from reaching peace.
KALI01 said Oct 31, 2011 00:22:57
The ogbanje ritual is obviously very superstitious, an important ideal in the Ibo society. To us, this superstition may seem very strange, but Achebe does a good job of letting the reader see into the culture of their beliefs without directly saying it is evil, as James said, letting the reader make their own decision about the custom. The ognaje is similar to the throwing away of the twins, but it is different because here they are getting rid of the evil spirits with the children that have died so they will not return verse just killing the twins. Devoting an entire chapter to just the description of the ogbanje allows the reader to see the importance of superstition in the Ibo society and just to demonstrate an example of one of their customs, possibly a flaw in their beliefs.
SAR01 said Oct 31, 2011 01:44:10
The ogbanje reveals about Ibo society that traditions and ancient beliefs are always present. No matter how far-fetched these beliefs are, they are accounted for. This ogbanje balances against the "throwing away" or twins because they both deal with children being responsible for what happens to them, for example, being a twin or dying at a young age. I think that Achebe seems to expand in detail the belief in the ogbanje because it allows the readers to truly compose their own opinions about this belief. Achebe doesn't particularly validate the belief in the ogbanje for the reason not to persuade any readers to his way of thinking. I think Achebe devotes so much of the chapter to this because it shows the importance and value these Ibo people have to past generation's beliefs and traditions, and to further explain their culture.
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