Religions and superstitions
Karl Marx once commented that 'religion is the opium of the people'. Do you agree with him? In the case of Umuofia, do you think their native religion stunts their development? Is the 'new' religion seen as a way of bringing development to Umuofia?
Apart from religion, superstitions play an important part in the Ibo culture. Do you have your own sets of superstitions which you find difficult to discard?
The following points can help you as you write your reflective post on the role of religion and superstition in the novel and in your life:
• Analyse how superstitions and religions play in the life described in the novel.
• Do superstitious beliefs and religion affect the development of a country? How?
• How does one's beliefs affect the nation in terms of politics and culture?
Through the story, Chinua Achebe describe that the superstitions and religions have a big impact in their life. The readers can see that how the Igbo people relate their superstitions belief in their daily life basis. For example, they worshipped the goddess of the earth and avoid from committing any sins for fear that a catastrophe that might sweep all the entire generations.
For religions, the Christian missionaries play much roles in changing the mentality and the culture of the local people. the missionaries tried to introduce the new religion and help the local people to leave their cruel beliefs such as the scarification of the baby.
I believe that superstitious beliefs and religion do affect the development of a country. This is because a country depends on the people’s state of mind in order to run their country. Based on the novel Things Fall Apart, the Igbo people did not aware about the outside of their country until the British came and colonised their country. For example, the Igbo thought that the bicycle was a metal horse. So, from the example, without knowing and too much stick on the superstitious beliefs and religion, we are not going to learn something new that is outside our beliefs.
After all this modernization that has taken place, beliefs persist in our societies. How they affect the nation in terms of politics and culture? It is all depend on the one’s mentality. Based in the novel, it is so obvious that Okonkwo can fight alone in order to retain the old traditions before it would be vanished entirely by the British.