Journal of
Philosophy and Culture

OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS AND PHILOSOPHY, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST
  • Abbreviation: J. Philos. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 0855-6660
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPC
  • Start Year: 2004
  • Published Articles: 53

Review

Neonaticide: A philosophical review of the killing of neonate twins in Things Fall Apart

Ferdinard Fosu-Blankson
  • Ferdinard Fosu-Blankson
  • Department of Classics and Philosophy, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 11 December 2021
  •  Accepted: 21 February 2022
  •  Published: 30 March 2022

Abstract

Neonaticide in Things Fall Apart (TFA) had relative stands, mostly intentional yet mostly unwilful. In the shame of committing neonaticide, blame and responsibility is not easily placed between the earth goddess and the parents of the neonate twins. To uphold the common weal of the community, twins born in Umuofia and the other eight Igbo villages were to be destroyed according to the divine command. The interest of this paper is to investigate the rationality in the practice of neonaticide in TFA through the spectrum of the Divine Command Theory. The paper further discusses the babies’ rights, juxtaposing it to the native’s unhesitating act of killing neonate twins. Overlooking the newborns’ rights to life and the Europeans’ deterrent effort of criminalizing neonaticide in these villages, the natives adamantly killed neonates. And, many parents who had twins at childbirth faced or committed neonaticide as a utilitarian act to sustain the purity of the society at the expense of the lives of neonate twins.

Key words: Neonaticide, reincarnation, neonate twins, earth goddess.