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A Paradoxical Vengeance for the Norms - Essay Example

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Author`s Name School Name Literary Analysis A Paradoxical Vengeance for the Norms “Things fall apart” is a classic literary composition authored by Chinua Achebe who depicts his mastery over the knowledge about Nigerian culture. This novel is a unique blend of cultural norms and the religious values which the tribesmen value more than their lives, along with the perfect illustration of the brutal imperialistic designs of the colonizers in that land…
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Download file to see previous pages The paper aims at critically analyzing the social, cultural and religious norms in the context of the life of Okonkwo, focusing on the paradox illustrated in the theme of the novel. Prior to the analysis, it is crucial to shed light on the plot and the theme of the novel. The plot revolves around Okonkwo who is a courageous and a prestigious figure of the tribe. Due to the seniority of his rank in the tribe, which he has earned with immense effort, the village hands over a fifteen year old child to him which was won as a negotiating token with another tribe. Soon after, Ikemefuna gets really close to Okonkwo and he finds his perfect son he had always wanted in Ikemefuna. Since Ikemefuna was from another tribe, the tribesmen order for his killing to please the Gods. Though Okonkwo was advised to stay away from the ritual of killing as he was a father figure to Ikemefuna but to exhibit a strong character he stays in the ceremony. A few weeks later, at a ceremony Okonkwo accidently fires a fellow tribesman which demands him to get exiled from the village as he had committed a sin. Thus, he moves to exile with his three wives and nine children. After completing his exile, when he returns to his village the colonizers had converted many people to Christianity and were brutally converting others. Okonkwo starts a struggle and burns the churches. However, later when the struggle becomes severe and the missionaries plan on taking an action, they find him dead as he had hanged himself. The plot perfectly explains the details of the cultural norms which are tied with the religious values associated with the tribe. The theme is also in perfect blend with the plot; however some of the gaps can still be identified in the plot. For instance, the various cultural events narrated in the novel though seem to have a symbolic significance but are rather scattered around in the novel. Only if these events would have pinned together with the entire rubric and feel of the novel, the flavor would have enhanced. Also, another gap which can be felt is in the lack of any anthropological or sociological touch to the novel, which would have added an element of authenticity to the novel. However, literary speaking the novel is a classic and a ne of its kind. It has elements of uniqueness in the context of the cultural tone it exhibits. Right from the beginning of the novel, a strong sense of cultural identity is endowed upon on the character of Okonkwo as well as on the tribe. The depiction of life of Okonkwo contributes in adding detail to the plot while describing the cultures. Initially his socialization within a tribe incorporates a sense of identity in him which he strongly associates with the norms. He is extremely proud of his identity as it has added a sense of prestige for him within his tribe which he seems to take pleasure in. His cultural identity even precedes his individual personality where he deems emotions and expressions as insignificant entities in his life, which leads him towards killing Ikemefuna whom he considers him as his son. This reflects two prospects of his personality, i.e. firstly he is a highly religious person who is ready to sacrifice everything to protect the cultural norms, and secondly, he wants to portray himself as a courageous man to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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