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.