Things Fall Apart Questions and Answers
by Chinua Achebe

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In Things Fall Apart, what is the punishment system in the Igbo tribe? 

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Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The society of the Igbo people in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart has a very antiquated form of justice and punishment. They act according to historic traditions but tend to follow a reciprocity system. In the story, a man of the Igbo tribe is killed by another tribe, so a young boy from that tribe is taken, kept with Igbo society for a period of time, and then killed as a ritual sacrifice for the man who was murdered. There is a great deal of pomp and circumstance involved in this, because the tribe follows these traditions strictly.

The majority of traditions present in the Igbo society are very straightforward—following themes like an eye for an eye or retribution. Because these are very rudimentary ways to enact justice, they are common in societies with less technological development and without larger governmental structures, because it acts as a method of self-policing....

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