• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Novel as a Medium of Global Expression - Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Novel as a Medium of Global Expression It is difficult to contain novels such as Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart "within territorial boundaries." Novels such as these have specific settings making it seem like they are contained by geography. Nevertheless, the readers are able to relate to characters in any novel in various ways. The Stone Angel and Things Fall Apart, for instance, both contain a life story of tragic heroes that appeals to a diversified group of readers. Laurence's Hagar is a proud and stubborn old woman who lives in a quiet Canadian prairie town of Manawaka in isolation. Through the course of recounting the past, Hagar is able to find self-identity. Okonkwo, in Achebe's novel, is also portrayed as a proud man who clings to the traditional values of his clan so much that it leads to his ruin. Readers are able to relate to these characters through unifying themes such as the influences of characters and time on an individual. A novel's themes not only help focus on specific issues in the setting of the novel, but they allow readers to view these issues from a wider scope that is, to be compared and contrasted to the rest of the world - making the novel a form of "global expression." The main characters in The Stone Angel and Things Fall Apart, Hagar and Okonkwo, both share similar characteristics in that both arrogant and isolated because they take excessive pride in the old ways of life in the family and clan. ...read more.

Middle

He rules his household "with a heavy hand" and his family remains in "perpetual fear of his fiery temper." He believes being cold will make him stronger than the others. While this does make Okonkwo appear powerful it prevents others from truly understanding him. He does not express his affections for Ikemefuna even though the child treats him like a real father and in many ways, possess all the qualities Okonkwo desires in a son. This is critical because it creates a misunderstanding between Nwoye and himself. After the killing of Ikemefuna, Okonkwo clearly feels guilty and depressed but he does not share his grief with Nwoye, who loved Ikemefuna just as much. "Something" has "given way" inside Nwoye as a result of this: he begins to question the correctness of his clan's ways. Is putting in "earthenware pots and [throwing them] away in the forest" justifiable? The lack of explanations leads Nwoye to reevaluate the clan's traditions and makes the Christian faith more appealing than ever in his eyes. In this scenario, Okonkwo loses two sons. It is unfortunately that he does not realise his stubborn ways at this time of his life for if he has, he may have been saved at the end. Readers may find it easy to relate to characters that experience changes due to time. In The Stone Angel, they are able to move into the future with Hagar after she discovers her self-identity. ...read more.

Conclusion

His naming his next child "Nwofia - 'Begotten in the Wilderness'" evidently demonstrate he has not changed - but the rest of the world has. He has lost the chance to lead his clan against the new faith and the take over of the European government. Okonkwo becomes so "deeply grieved" for the breaking of the clan that he tries with all his might to fight back. Okonkwo should be admired for his courage in resisting the Europeans invading his country but because of his insistence to be violent and not weak like his father, he dies a tragic death in fighting. Novels serve as windows into other worlds and sometimes readers use them to escape from their surroundings and problems. This is effective at times but readers will find that even if they read books written by those on the other side of the globe, they are able to study and relate to characters such as Hagar and Okonkwo and see the world in a different light. While Margaret Laurence focuses more on discovery of self-identity through the breaking down of isolation in a small town, Chinua Achebe concentrates on painting a bigger portrait of the world for his readers to see. He writes the story of Okonkwo and the villages to remind his fellow Africans that their culture is "falling apart" and additionally, to portray a clash between two cultures that brings sadness, violence, and change. The Stone Angel and Things Fall Apart truly demonstrate that not all changes are bad and that often, the difficulties are the result of both deliberate and unintended misunderstandings. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Jane Austen essays

  1. The various portrayals of heroines in Jane Austen's novels as well as investigate, who ...

    Thus in the midst of the spoof of fictions that invariably shows us innocent maidens in distress, Jane Austen gives us innocent maiden in distress. For example Catherine is bullied by the Thorpes to go with them rather than keep her promise to walk with Miss Tilney.

  2. In the novel The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence Hagar Shipley's personality traits are ...

    "How pleased Doris would be, if I went back, to say she'd known all along she couldn't trust me out of her sight for a moment. How she'd sigh and sidle up to Marvin with her commentary. And then she'd- Of course.

  1. In "The Stone Angel," Margaret Laurence writes a gripping story seen though the eyes ...

    She has been afraid of being unrespectable, afraid of needing too much and giving too much and her pride is both unsettling and inspirational. Hagar inherited this strong pride from her father, Jason Currie, along with other poor qualities.

  2. What Is The Influence Of Influences From The Peers & Family Of The Protagonist?

    After Gregor's transformation, everything suddenly changes. His family believes that he is useless, and he cannot do anything for them. They way they feel for him also changes, as if Gregor has let them down. "His father clenched a fist with a menacing expression as if he meant to beat Gregor back into his room."

  1. The Things They Carried

    Due to the fact of the immense raw weight that each man was required to carry each day for their own survival purposes, a soldier could carry very little in terms of weight that could reserve for their personal belongings.

  2. The Overnight Visit.

    "You must have been your aunt's favourite niece? If she left you this lovely house" Anne asked. "I never met my aunt. So you can imagine how surprised I was when I found out I had been given an enormous house, and my very own wood" "Does the wood have a name?"

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work