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Andrew Ghobrial 12/23/08 English Essay C "A chronological sequence is only one way of telling a story," is a quote that many novels support; however, there are novels that are not told in chronological order. Telling a story in chronological order is a powerful way to show the meaning of the story. I read throughout this school year a few novels that were told in chronological sequence and a couple that were not, but the stories that were told in chronological order had a greater affect on me than those that were not. An example of a novel that that is told in chronological sequence is Things Fall Apart and a novel that is not narrated in chronological sequence is The House of the Spirits. In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo, the main character, was a great man in his home of Umuofia, a group of nine villages in Nigeria. Okonkwo despised his father and did everything he can to be nothing like the man.
Okonkwo returned to his village after his exile to find it a changed place because of the presence of white men. He and other tribal leaders tried to reclaim their hold on their native land by destroying a local Christian church that has insulted their gods and religion. In return, the leader of the white government took them as prisoners and held them for payoffs for a while, further humiliating and insulting the native leaders. The people of Umuofia finally gathered for what could be a great revolution, and when some messengers of the white government tried to stop their meeting, Okonkwo kills one of them. He realized with despair that the people of Umuofia are not going to fight to protect themselves because they let the other messengers escape and so all was lost for the Ibo tribe. When the local leader of the white government came to Okonkwo's house to take him to court, he found out that Okonkwo hanged himself, ruining his great reputation.
One could see that the novel is not as powerful as Things Fall Apart since it is not narrated in chronological order. At this point, not being told in chronological order, made it difficult for the reader to understand what is going on, as the first chapter begins off by Alba reading Clara's journal after Clara passed away and the next chapter moves on by talking about Clara's childhood. It made it hard for the reader to understand the novel as a novel being told in chronological sequence eases out for the reader what is going on. Also meaning of the story was hard to tell as the way it was told, not in chronological sequence, made it hard for the reader to receive any messages that were trying to be sent by Isabelle Allende. As both novels, one told in chronological order and the other was not, were compared, one could see that telling a story in chronological sequences can make a powerful influence on the reader, as it did on me.
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