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Weather as a Symbol in Things Fall Apart

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by

Niall Green

on 25 May 2014

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Transcript of Weather as a Symbol in Things Fall Apart

- The dependence of Igbo civilization on Weather.
- Weather as a powerful manifestation of the Nature.
- Importance of the Chi and the 'supernatural' in connection to the weather.
Role of weather in 'Things Fall Apart'
On traditions:
- Ceremonies.
- Respecting and Worshiping nature: ex. Earth Goddess.

On the Living Standards:
- The importance of yam.
- The harvest


Seasonal activities
Igbo Civilization
* Traditions are based on weather and the seasons:
- the Feast of the New Yam before the harvest to honor the Earth goddess and ancestral spirits
- the Wrestling Competition (After the feast of New Yam)
- the Week of Peace to respect the gods and oracles so that they are pleased and grant good weather for the crops .
Weather and Traditions in Things Fall Apart
Weather and Seasons in Things Fall Apart
"How does the author use weather as a Symbol in Things Fall Apart?"
Weather as a symbol
- Weather, like the nature with which the Ibo civilization is associated is
overpowering
.(Evidence: pg. 24, bottom)
- Hence, weather symbolizes the nature's
"supernatural control of the original Ibo people"

- Rain and drought symbolise Okonkwo’s emotional and spiritual thoughts.
- Weather as an
enemy to Okonkwo
.
Weather and Living Standards in Things Fall Apart
- Yam is the backbone of the Ibo.
- Evidence: Chapter 3; page 13: A year when the weather is awry sparks off many hardships and even causes one to go to such extreme as to commit suicide.
- Okonkwo's first planting season.
- Drought comparable to fire. -Achebe.
- "Blazing sun" - foreshadowing.

Weather and the Locusts
Effect of weather on the Igbo civilization
- Represents a storm of change.
- The colonizers, Mbanta.
- The locusts were highly seasonal.
- Their arrival in Umuofia foreshadows Okonkwo's downfall.
- Evidence: "At first, a fairly small swarm came... of black cloud drifting towards Umuofia." (pg. 39)
"How does Achebe use Weather as a symbol" in TFA?
In conclusion:
Achebe uses "season and weather" to symbolize the personalities, the tribe itself and the "supernatural world"; using it in a manner that shows the harmony between the tribesmen and the nature, a harmony that will soon completely change inevitably as the white missionaries and the colonial influence sweeps in.
Why is the symbol of Weather and season important?
It provides a contrasts between the traditional Igbo civilization and the new Colonial changes, and hence, serves to stress the struggle between the changes and tradition. Also, it symbolizes the emotions of Okonkwo and the rest of the tribe.
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