An African proverb states "It takes a village to raise a child." How does this statement reflect the care of children in Igbo community in Things Fall Apart?

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the massive differences between traditional societies such as the culture depicted in this novel and our society today is the concept of the extended family. Okonkwo's tribe is based around a group of people who live together, work together, have fun together and do everything in a corporate fashion. Key to this is the concept of the extended family, which does not just refer to blood relations, but also includes the way in which there is such a sense of community in such tribes that any child belonging to the tribe sees any adult as a "parent" who is involved in his or her raising and instructing. This is of course very different from the nuclear families of our day and age where the sense of community is something that has eroded in the face of individualism and materialism.

Therefore, if we look at the novel, we can see that the condition of Ezinma is something that other characters who are not related to her by blood take great interest in. Children are children of the entire tribe, and though of course there is normally a closer relationship between them and their parents, all adults participate in bringing up all children and instructing them in the norms, values and customs of the tribe. Parenting is definitely not a solitary activity.

badoubaye1111 | Student

traditional families are not only incumbent to the father, the mother and the children. it rather touches the whole village. therfore, the children are the children of anybody in the same age of theire mother or theire father and as we know, the people have also the right to educate children whenever need be.

Read the study guide:
Things Fall Apart

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question