Tierra Encantada Charter School discussion

Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1)
This topic is about Things Fall Apart
37 views
Engl. I(6th) > Customs revisited

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Tierra (last edited Sep 11, 2012 06:45PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tierra Encantada | 76 comments Mod
What evidence is there in chapter 4 that customs have changed over time? What customs differ among contemporary cultures? What are the limits of the power of the village rain-maker?


message 2: by Zane (last edited Sep 16, 2012 07:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zane Flannery | 27 comments There are many thing that show how customs change over time. For example, in chapter 4 after Okonkwo beats his youngest wife during the Week of Peace, 3 men were talking about the beating and punishment and the oldest one said "My father told me that he had been told that in the past a man who broke the peace was dragged on the ground through the village until he died. But after a while this custom was stopped because it spoiled the peace which it was meant to preserve." This shows that even customs that would protect other customs could be changed. There are also customs that differ from village to village such as the way to decide the price of marriage. The village rainmaker can try to make rain or sto it but when it is a drought or it is raining nonstop, "...even the village rain maker was not in power to stop it."


message 3: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn (kathycat) | 22 comments Zane wrote: "There are many thing that show how customs change over time. For example, in chapter 4 after Okonkwo beats his youngest wife during the Week of Peace, 3 men were talking about the beating and punis..."

Zane is correct. Not only did the punishments for breaking the peace during the Week of Peace change in their village, other villages had different traditions. Some villages bartered of the bride price of a girl while Umuofia used a varing number of sticks to decide this.


message 4: by Kai (last edited Sep 15, 2012 02:19PM) (new)

Kai | 33 comments Kathryn wrote: "Zane wrote: "There are many thing that show how customs change over time. For example, in chapter 4 after Okonkwo beats his youngest wife during the Week of Peace, 3 men were talking about the beat..."

Zane and Kathryn are both correct. They pretty much hit the mark, but I have something to add. Obierika says that in Abame and Aninta they "haggle and bargain as if they were buying a goat or a cow in the market". Obierika's older brother says that: "In Umonso, they do not bargain at all, not even with broomsticks. The suitor just goes on bringing cowries until his in-laws tell him to stop." I think haggling for a wife is disgraceful because it lowers the importance of a wife to the level of livestock, or of an expensive piece of merchandise.I also think that throwing bags of money in front of someone until they stop you is ridiculous, because the in-law could just let the suitor continue on until the suitor is completely bankrupt.


message 5: by Kristen (new)

Kristen | 24 comments Kai wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Zane wrote: "There are many thing that show how customs change over time. For example, in chapter 4 after Okonkwo beats his youngest wife during the Week of Peace, 3 men were talkin..."

I agree with Kai, Kathryn, and Zane. On page 31 it Achebe states that "in the past a man who broke the peace was dragged on the ground of the village until he died," and "in some clans it is an abomination for a man to die during the Week of Peace". The two customs show how the customs in different places have changed in different ways over time.


message 6: by Isaiah (last edited Sep 16, 2012 05:37PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Isaiah Armijo | 28 comments Kai wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Zane wrote: "There are many thing that show how customs change over time. For example, in chapter 4 after Okonkwo beats his youngest wife during the Week of Peace, 3 men were talkin..."

I have to agree with Kai but I do have my own opinion about this. It is morally wrong to bleed someone dry until they have nothing. Before the in-laws did this wives where a very sought after. They showed wealth and power to the other residents of your village. Yet when Achebe writes " haggle and bargain as if they where buying a goat or a cow in the market". So i wonder what caused this change? please reply. Another Example of how customs change is when Okonkwo beats his wife and nearly kills her. Usually the punishment for breaking this week of peace is death in the evil forest. Yet the elders bend the rules for Okonkwo. This incident had only happen one or two times in the far past. They let him of with just a slap on the wrists, and the orders to sacrifice livestock to Algebra. If the land is very dry not even the rain-maker can bring rain. Because it is against the will of the gods, and not even the rain maker can go against the will of the gods.


message 7: by Molly (new)

Molly Malone | 27 comments Kathryn wrote "Zane is correct. Not only did the punishments for breaking the peace during the Week of Peace change in their village, other villages had different traditions. Some villages bartered of the bride price of a girl while Umuofia used a varing number of sticks to decide this."

Kathryn's statement is correct. Achebe says that "You are not a stranger to Umuofia. You know as well as i do that our forefathers ordained that before we plant any crops in the earth we should observe a week in which a man does not say a harsh word to his neighbor. We live in peace with our fellows to honor our great goddess of the earth without who's blessing our crops will not grow. You have committed a great evil." But this statement is just telling us about their goddess of the earth. The statement thats tells us that their customs have changed over time is on pg 31. "It has not always been so," "he said. "My father told me that he had been told that in the past a man who broke the peace was dragged on the ground through the village until he died. But after a while this custom was stopped because it spoiled the peace which it was meant to preserve." This clearly states that the customs of Umuofia have changed over time. But only the elders of the clan would have know this because no one else was old enough to remember.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I think Zane has a very good quote directly from the book that supports the idea of changing customs:"My father told me that he had been told that in the past a man who broke the peace was dragged on the ground through the village until he died. But after a while this custom was stopped because it spoiled the peace which it was meant to preserve.". So overall consequences for religious crimes have changed and become more appropriate and reasonable. "..In some clans it is an abomination for a man to die during the Week of Peace." and in some cultures like the Obodoani they have a custom in which if a man dies during the Week of Peace he shall be cast into the Evil Forest instead of being buried. The village rainmaker can't stop extremely heavy rains nor can he make it rain in very hot conditions with out risking his health.


Xavier Benni | 26 comments I like the quote both Vanessa and Zane used "My father told me that in the past that the man who broke the peace was dragged on the ground until he died." I like this quote because it shows the exact change in the culture from then and now. The rain-maker holds great respect in the village because he controls the farming through the rain. Farming is the main food source for the village and a great part of the culture so the rain-maker naturally would be held in great honor.


Benhanna | 27 comments Kathryn wrote: "Zane wrote: "There are many thing that show how customs change over time. For example, in chapter 4 after Okonkwo beats his youngest wife during the Week of Peace, 3 men were talking about the beat..."
I think that zane and kathryn are correct with the punishment for braking peace week and how the village rainmaker could not make it rain in the middle of the dry season or stop in the wet season. Besides the differences that Zane and kathryn said. In Umuofia the men with tittles are not allowed to tap Palm trees but in other tribes that are.


message 11: by Saul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Saul Saiz | 17 comments Zane wrote: "There are many thing that show how customs change over time. For example, in chapter 4 after Okonkwo beats his youngest wife during the Week of Peace, 3 men were talking about the beating and punis..."

I agree with zane that there lots of evidendce that prove how customs change over time. Zane said that okonkwo beat his wife on theweak of peaced and that 3 men were
Talki.g about the badest punishments and that one of the man told them"my father told.me that they had told him that I someone in the past broke the peace law they would be pulled all aroun the villige until they died which is true. This one example of how they change over time.. But they stopped it becuse it spoiled the peace which it was called to preseeve. This also shows.how customs.protected other costoms.. The bride price is a ex. of how a custom went from villoge to village.


message 12: by Mona (new)

Mona Chavarria | 29 comments Saul wrote: "Zane wrote: "There are many thing that show how customs change over time. For example, in chapter 4 after Okonkwo beats his youngest wife during the Week of Peace, 3 men were talking about the beat..."

I agree with Saul and Zane. They both said some of the same thins I would of said but I would of also mentioned that in the book it says something like, the rain maker can't make it rain if its really dry and the rain maker can't make it stop if it were to rain really hard.


message 13: by Tristan (new)

Tristan Sena | 26 comments The customs change all the time, one example is in chapter 4 when the oldest man in the village says that the punishment is more mild because his father told him of a man who was dragged across the village until he died but they changed it because that "spoiled the peace which it was meant to preserve"(p.31). Customs vary in each village like the way they decide the price of a bride which differs from village to village. The rainmaker can only make it rain or snow when its the right season trying to stop the rain in the rainy season would be like trying to start rain in dry seasons that it was a "serious danger to his health"(p.34).


message 14: by Samara (new) - added it

Samara | 15 comments Tristan wrote: "The customs change all the time, one example is in chapter 4 when the oldest man in the village says that the punishment is more mild because his father told him of a man who was dragged across th..."

I agree with Tristan were he gives the example of how they change the customs while time passes. Sometimes they change it because they think that the old customs are to harsh so they alter them were they are harsh enough. They do everything possible to try and keep the peace during the week of peace. If one should do anything against the week of peace they were punished depending on what they did.


back to top