Rituals in Things Fall Apart

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 630 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Words: 630|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Kola Nut Ceremony
  2. The Feast of the New Yam
  3. Other Important Rituals
  4. Conclusion

Rituals play a significant role in Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart. Set in pre-colonial Nigeria, the novel explores the traditional customs and practices of the Igbo people, focusing on the impact of rituals on individual lives and society as a whole.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Rituals in the novel serve various functions, including maintaining social order, honoring ancestors, and preserving cultural identity. Through the portrayal of rituals, Achebe highlights the complexity and richness of Igbo culture, while also exploring the tensions and conflicts that arise when traditional beliefs clash with colonial influences. This essay will analyze the role of rituals in Things Fall Apart, examining how they shape the characters' identities and influence the trajectory of the narrative.

The Kola Nut Ceremony

One of the central rituals in Things Fall Apart is the kola nut ceremony, which is performed to welcome guests and establish goodwill. The offering and breaking of the kola nut symbolize hospitality and unity among the Igbo people. This ritual is a vital part of social interactions and demonstrates the importance of communal harmony in Igbo society.

For example, when Okonkwo visits his friend Obierika, the kola nut ceremony is performed to show respect and strengthen their friendship. The ritual also serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of individuals within the community, reinforcing the bonds that hold society together. Through the depiction of the kola nut ceremony, Achebe underscores the significance of rituals in fostering social cohesion and maintaining cultural traditions.

The Feast of the New Yam

Another important ritual in Things Fall Apart is the annual Feast of the New Yam, which marks the beginning of the harvest season. The festival is a time of celebration and thanksgiving, as the community gathers to offer prayers and sacrifices to the gods for a bountiful harvest.

The Feast of the New Yam is a communal event that brings together people from different villages, emphasizing the interconnectedness of the Igbo people and their shared cultural heritage. The ritual reinforces the importance of agriculture in Igbo society and highlights the reverence for the land and natural resources. By portraying the Feast of the New Yam, Achebe showcases the deep-rooted traditions and spiritual beliefs that shape the Igbo people's worldview.

Other Important Rituals

In addition to the kola nut ceremony and the Feast of the New Yam, other rituals in Things Fall Apart play a crucial role in shaping the characters' identities and experiences. For example, the ritual of the Oracle of the Hills and Caves is central to the novel's plot, as it dictates Okonkwo's fate and drives the narrative forward.

The ritual of the Oracle underscores the supernatural beliefs of the Igbo people and the influence of fate on individual lives. Similarly, the ritual of the Egwugwu, or masked spirits, highlights the complex religious and judicial practices of the Igbo society. These rituals not only provide insight into the characters' motivations and actions but also reveal the intricate social and cultural dynamics at play in the novel.


Rituals are a central aspect of Igbo culture in Things Fall Apart, serving as a lens through which to explore the complexities of tradition, belief, and social order. Through the depiction of rituals such as the kola nut ceremony, the Feast of the New Yam, and the Oracle of the Hills and Caves, Achebe reveals the interplay between individual agency and communal expectations in shaping the characters' lives.

The rituals in the novel not only highlight the richness and depth of Igbo culture but also illuminate the tensions and conflicts that arise when traditional practices are challenged by external forces. Ultimately, the portrayal of rituals in Things Fall Apart underscores the resilience and adaptability of the Igbo people in the face of change and adversity.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.


Image of Dr. Oliver Johnson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Rituals in Things Fall Apart. (2024, March 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Rituals in Things Fall Apart.” GradesFixer, 15 Mar. 2024,
Rituals in Things Fall Apart. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Rituals in Things Fall Apart [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 15 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now