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All Falls Apart by Chinua Achebe and A Vendetta by Gay De Maupassant both the stories deal with an act of murder. My aim is to compare and contrast the way the act of murder is presented as the stories are set in totally different cultures and traditions.

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Introduction

ALL FALLS APART AND A VENDETTA All Falls Apart by Chinua Achebe and A Vendetta by Gay De Maupassant both the stories deal with an act of murder. My aim is to compare and contrast the way the act of murder is presented as the stories are set in totally different cultures and traditions. In Things Fall Apart, Ikemefuna is sacrificed by an Ibo man and Okonkwo whom Ikemafuna 'calls his father', as 'umuofia has decided to kill him. The Oracle of the Hills and the Caves has pronounced it.' The whole incident points at the Ibo people's deep faith in Animistic religion where sacrifice, magic and respect for ancestors plays a large part _ in other words a way to survive. However superstitious or barbaric the act of murder might seem, it is a part of the religion, an appeasement to God and therefore an accepted religious, social custom. In A Vendetta, Nicholas Ravolati knifed Antoine in. Paulo Saverini's widow takes a Vendetta to avenge her son's death as 'there was no one to take up the vendetta on his behalf.' In spite of her being old, weak, and vulnerable, she one mindedly prepares her dog Frisky to attack to kill the enemy on a stimuli and response principle. ...read more.

Middle

It seems to have no moral values. When the widow's son is killed the law didn't give her any means of justification to avenge his death. Therefore, she took the law in her own hands. In a way the act of murder turns out to be an appeasement to self. She isolates herself from the society and the will to avenge becomes her obsession. 'Now she could not sleep at night, she had no rest, no peace of mind, obstinately determined to find a way. THE ACT OF MURDER At this point it would be interesting to see how the writer takes us to the heart of actual killing in both. THE RELIGION One night 'the mother had a sudden inspiration.' She pondered over it all night and in the morning she went to the church. There she prayed.....humbling before God, seeking help and support, praying that her poor worn-out body might have the strength to avenge her son.' It suggests that the religion in a Vendetta is against the act of murder. The Widow is using the religion to comfort her personal feeling of guilt She is aware that she is going to do something which is socially religiously unjustified. But her obsession to avenge -a sense of natural justice wins. ...read more.

Conclusion

The whole account of the attack and the man's struggle echoes a sense of liveliness. There is no regret on the widow's part, which is quite contradictory to Okonkwo's hidden unwillingness. In fact, 'That night she slept soundly'. In my opinion the widow was sure that she will win in her plan .Even the writer's main concern seems to show how justification is gained as we have a datailed account of Nicholas' struggle to escape. Whereas Okonkwo was aware of his will but he is powerless to rebel against it. He is depicted disheartened depressed (as is shown through his beating Nwoye and he was withdrawn to rear just before the sacrifice) torn apart in his fatherly feeling for Ikemafuna and a strong sense of duty where his sense of duty wins. He seems weak compared to the determined Widow whose personal feeling wins by ignoring and rebelling against the whole society. Her motherly bond for the child proves strong to the weak fatherly feelings. I liked both the stories as they opened up a new sense in me of looking at and appreciating different cultures .Yet it paused a question in my mind. Is the society there for the person or the person for the society? Who is more important for the survival? I think once the person finds its freedom the gods are powerless .It is shown through A Vendetta. 1 1 AMITA PATEL ...read more.

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