In chapter 2 of Things Fall Apart, what effect does the night have on the people? All I know is that it has something to do with some ghost or something with children.

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cmcqueeney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 2, Achebe tells the reader that, "Darkness held a vague terror for these people, even the bravest among them." Basically, they are afraid of the dark. Everything seems more mysterious, wild, and evil on a dark night. The silence and darkness magnified everything. On dark, silent nights, they would try to make no noise to avoid attracting evil spirits or wild animals. On moonlit nights, things were different. The moon light would cast almost a magical spell on everyone, making them happy, and children were free to roam and play in the fields.

This scene of the dark and silent night serves to magnify the eeriness of the town crier's voice. It heightens the suspense and concern of the characters as they listen to the message that he brings. The people's reaction to the darkness is also an example of the cultural beliefs of this tribe and the way they interact with their environment. The Ibo tribe believed that the world around them was full of signs, symbols, and spirits that held significant meaning for the people within it. The book is full of examples like this that point to their religious belief.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 2, Achebe mentions that the clan members of Umuofia fear the darkness and writes that terror spreads throughout the village at night. The children fear the evil spirits that roam in the night, and the clan members view dangerous animals as even more sinister in the dark. Achebe also illustrates the spiritual and religious beliefs of the villagers by mentioning that the clan members do not call a snake by its name at night and instead refer to it as a "string." Even the bravest clansman fear the night and feel vulnerable in the darkness. That night, Okonkwo hears a town crier with his ogene telling every man to gather in the marketplace the next morning. The ominous atmosphere of the night foreshadows the terrible news the villagers receive the next morning regarding the death of an Umuofian woman, who has been killed in Mbaino. Achebe's vivid description of the night and the villagers' reactions also illustrate the traditional beliefs and practices of the Igbo tribe.