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Proverbial Features of Chinua Achebes Things Fall Apart - Essay Example

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This paper “Proverbial Features of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart” looks at Chinua Achebe’s use of proverbs in “Things Fall Apart” as a dominant functional feature rather than a stylistic one. The use of proverbs in oral and written stories reflects the universal lessons collected by the humans. …
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Proverbial Features of Chinua Achebes Things Fall Apart
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Download file to see previous pages It is noteworthy how most Igbo proverbs constituted of various animal and plant behaviors. This suggests the strong bond between the Igbo people and their environment. Some writers also use particular figures of speech or patterns to indicate the writer’s distinct style. Some use poetry, Bible passages, famous quotes, iconic figures or codes, while others include controversial events. Thus, it is safe to assume that Achebe’s use of Igbo proverbs is to establish himself and his style in the African literature. However, all of these deduce the functional abilities of proverbs into a wordy adornment and fail to recognize their dynamism. Achebe’s work illustrates the ability of proverbs to blend and direct the plot’s sub-events. This clearly shows that proverbs were dominantly used as a functional feature than a stylistic accessory to the story’s plot.
Several functional uses of proverbs were present in Things Fall Apart. The most explicit of these is its use as a “kind of figurative, analogical element” (JanMohamed 37). The sequence starts with the proverb, which is signaled by phrases like “As the elders said,” then the narration prior to the mentioned proverb: “As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings. Okonkwo had clearly washed his hands and so he ate with kings and elders” (Achebe 5). In these excerpts, the Igbo proverb introduces the implicative event or transition in Okonkwo’s life. The proverb indicates a status change (e.g., from poor to a titled noble), which Okonkwo had undergone. The narration that followed after the proverb meant to clarify to whose character it applies. This proverb-narration sequence is deemed simpler; adding the characters in the proverbs may alter or confuse the proverbs’ meaning. This particular use of the proverb does not just provide the writer the freedom to lessen elaboration but also creates a deep mark, highlights, and emphasizes the implication of a less-detailed event.
Emenyonu indicated that this use of proverbs provides “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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