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The Sacrificial Egg

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Chinua Achebe’s short story “The sacrificial Egg” illustrates the life of a young African native Julius Obi, and the arising conflicts between two cultures. This short story takes place in a very small village in Africa, called Umuru in the mid 1900’s. This young African Native, although no native of Umuru finds himself trapped between his own culture, beliefs and the westernized culture. Although Julius has embraced the western culture, after certain events he eventually finds himself coming back to his own beliefs. Achebe, uses these two very different cultures to demonstrate the clash it produces in this young men’s life and, how no matter how hard he has embraced the western culture he was always going to go back to his own beliefs.

The small African village in this story has being taken over by the western culture. Westernization is shown in the beginning of the story. “Julius Obi sat gazing at his typewriter.” “There was an empty basket on the giant weighing machine.” In these two quotes the typewriter and the weighing machine, odd objects for the African native of this village show perfectly how this town has being westernized. “Julius Obi was not a native of Umuru. He had come like countless others from some bush village island. Having passed his Standard Six in a mission school he had come to Umuru to work as a clerk in the offices of the powerful European trading company …”This quote shows how Julius has himself being westernized. Westernization wasn’t welcomed by many of the Umuru natives. The natives had long prayed for their town to prosper and grow. “The strangers who came to Umuru came for the trade and money, not in search of duties to perform…” This shows that people who now came to town, came strictly for business and money, which tells the reader how the town isn’t what it used to be. “And as if it did not suffice, the young sons and daughters of Umuru soil, encouraged by schools and churches were behaving no better than the strangers. They neglected all their old tasks and kept only the revelries.” This show how even the young ones of this village have being westernized to the point, where they completely neglect their own traditions and beliefs.

The small African village located on the bank of the river Niger has a story of its own, that only the old and wise are able to describe. In its own time this village was a market, called Umuru. During one particular day called the Nkwo day, a deity would cast a spell which called men and women from the four corners of the world to come buy and sell products. “It was said that she appeared in the form of an old woman in the center of the market just before cock-crow and waved her magic fan in the four directions of the earth-in front of her, behind her, to the right and to the left- to draw to market men and women from distant places.” This quote comes to show how these traditions and beliefs were once born in this village. It also shows that these traditions go far back to ancient myths. “The market, tough still called Nkwo, had long spilled over into Eke, Oye and Afo with the coming of civilization and the growth of the town into a big palm oil port.” This quote in particular shows that even if this market has being westernized, people who live there still believe in their traditions.

There are two characters in particular who have both learned to accept westernization without putting their own beliefs aside. One of them is Ma, the mother of Julius’s bride to be. Although Ma has been westernized trough the conversion of religion she still

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