FAMILY AND SOCIETY: A CASE STUDY OF THINGS FALL APART AND PURPLE HIBISCUS IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
Background of the study
Many societies have beliefs rooted deep in ancient religion. Some beliefs include polygamy, polytheism, and patriarchy, or rule by men. One such culture is that of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Polytheism and polygamy are custom in the clan, and the role of each family member is much defined. The men are overly domineering. The women and children are treated poorly and often beaten. Life in Achebe’s Umuofia would seem very different to someone living in modern day America (Wehrs, David, 2011: 10).
Although some cultural variance exists, the primary role of a family in society is to foster an environment where children learn skills, morals and values. Families provide initial socialization for children that shape their self-worth, attitudes, values and behaviors. Families create structure and stability in the lives of family members.Families provide individuals with an important support system, not just during childhood but throughout life, and they provide society with a structure for passing along a culture’s values from one generation to the next. Both of these roles are crucial for a culture to maintain consistency as decades and centuries go by.One of the more tragic events in a child’s life happens when parents fail to provide the structure of support. The role of the family in society is also significant, because the family is the transmitting unit of the values of a culture for the next generation. When people learn the right ways to behave and handle themselves at home, then they are more likely to contribute effectively to society and have a content, productive life. Families that do not transmit those values do a disservice to society (Weiss, Brian, 2010: 23).
However, family and its role in a community is being challenged and explored. This institution contains expanding ideals of structure and purpose according to experts and others. The family organization, like any other, has issues and consequences. These consequences can be positive and negative, large and small. Communities and nations are affected by contemporary families though moral and economic debates. In turn, the political community is also affected by families. Many subtopics found in politics such as marriage, abortion, violence, and economics are viewed as separate issues (Twyning, John. 2009: 13).