- Sep 2016
He never stopped regretting that Ezinma was a girl.
I feel like gender is a big reason why there are cracks in the Igbo culture. Men are still superior in white European culture in the time this took place, but it wasn’t even close to the abuse that the women faced in the Igbo culture. I’m surprised that Ezinma and other young women in the culture didn’t take to Christianity like Nwoye so they could escape future abusive relationships. The picture attached doesn’t really relate to this annotation but it’s a picture of Ezinma that someone drew that I think is really pretty.
Although Nwoye had been attracted to the new faith from the very first day, he kept it secret.
The cracks in the Igbo culture can be seen in these passages where Nwoye is attracted to Christianity and what the missionaries are doing. In the Igbo culture, there’s either little explanation for why bad things happen, or very arbitrary reasons that don’t bring much closure. Christianity brings explanations, which is why Nwoye is so intrigued. It gives him an explanation and closure for why Ikemefuna died and what happened to him afterwards.
As soon as the six men were locked up, court messengers went into Umuofia to tell the people that their leaders would not be released unless they paid a fine of two hundred and fifty bags of cowries. "Unless you pay the fine immediately," said their headman, "we will take your leaders to Umuru before the big white man, and hang them."
And suddenly, the parallels to colonization are extremely prevalent. Just as they capture the leaders of the tribe with ransom for retribution, so did the Spanish with the Aztec leader, Montezuma II: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Montezuma-II
It is when violence arises that the charade is thrown aside and the true nature of both the colonizers and the colonized arises.
The interpreter spoke to the white man and he immediately gave his answer. "All the gods you have named are not gods at all. They are gods of deceit who tell you to kill your fellows and destroy innocent children. There is only one true God and He has the earth, the sky, you and me and all of us."
While I can't help but see the parallels between the Ibo & Christian religion and that the only real difference preached here is that of "just don't murder people", this passage does wrap up quite well some of the "cracks" in Ibo culture, why the missionaries were so successful.
The interpreter/missionary responds to why the Christian religion's God is better simply with a variation of "he doesn't tell you to kill your friends or family". Both of these are practiced by the Ibo culture, as seen with the ruthless murder of Ikemefuna, and with the murder of twin children.
Looking at Nwoye, to whom Ikemefuna was like a brother to, it is immediately obvious why this religion is more appealing, as the cracks are much more evident in his life. For those in the culture for whom the cracks are not as evident, such as the higher up class members, this takes longer.