Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Describe the week of peace in Things Fall Apart.

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The Week of Peace appears in Chapter Four of this great post-colonial classic that features the clash of two radically different civilisations. We are told that the Week of Peace comes at the "end of the carefree season between harvest and planting." This is a religious festival which is intensely important in the tribe's view of the world as it becomes evident when Okonkwo breaks the Week fo Peace by beating his wife. Even though he had cause to do so from his perspective, as Ezeani has to explain to Okonkwo, this doesn't matter, because the Week of Peace is sacred. Note what he says to Okonkwo:

"You know as well as I do that our forefathers ordained that before we plant any crops in the earth we should observe a week in which a man does not say a harsh word to his neighbour. We live in peace with our fellows to honour our great goddess of the earth without whose blessing our crops will not grow."

Therefore, by breaking the Week of Peace, Okonkwo will have angered the earth goddess, who in turn might not give them a good harvest, threatening the whole tribe.

The Week of Peace is therefore an important festival for the Ibo tribe as it comes between the end of the harvest and the beginning of the planting and it is a time of peace to solicit the earth goddess's blessing on next year's harvest. Normally people would visit their neighbours and drink palm wine together, however this year they all talk about Okonkwo's actions.

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