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

How Important Is Symbolism In the African Story 'Veronica' by Adewale Maja-Pearce?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

HOW IMPORTANT IS SYMBOLISM IN THE AFRICAN STORY "VERONICA" BY ADEWALE MAJA-PEARCE? There is no doubt whatsoever that in Adewale Maja-Pearce's story of "Veronica" she uses contrast to show, initially, the ever-increasing gap between the traditions of cultural village life and the materialism of city life. The story highlights how cultures change and traditions move on, but your heart lies where your roots are. You cannot change the love for your birthplace, as it will always flow through your blood, as seen by the "pull" that Okeke feels about his origins. Symbolism plays a very important role in this story. It is, in fact, the symbolism in the story that illustrates fully the initial pain Okeke feels at being parted from Veronica. It exposes the clash of village and city life, the urban/rural divide, and then, finally the return to pain Okeke feels when having to bury Veronica, the only woman who he could see himself loving. This is most palpable when Okeke describes Veronica as having "a certain attractiveness". Therefore, the symbolism in this story is so strong that it can essentially be related to these three areas and the author uses natural or materialistic emblems to convey the clashes of culture and the sensitivity of the moment of Veronica's death. ...read more.

Middle

The piece of paper with his address, given to Veronica is particularly striking for she took it and "tucked it in her bosom". This is particularly representative to the fact that he will always remain close to her heart, just as she will to him. To Veronica, the piece of paper was almost like a parting gift, so precious and valuable. One doubts whether she would ever use it, yet that is not important: it is the act of giving. When Okeke returns as part of a government scheme to work in the rural districts of the country a village/city clash of culture and tradition is perceptible. The fact that he arrives with " a couple of nurses, three male assistants and a suitcase full of medicines" is symbolic because it is representative of the fact that Okeke is now a professional. He now has support and has returned with a certain professional and city status, bringing with him symbols of the way to a better life. However Okeke's changed position and view is also important. He has returned with an urban point and after having trained, now has a sense of hygiene in the city and is comparing it. From looking at it with city standards, he thinks that it has worsened. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Okeke finds her like this, he insists on moving her, but she remains adamant that she wishes to stay here, in peace. "She closed her eyes and turned her face to the wall," a moving gesture showing that she has lost her husband, her child and her will to live. The fact that Okeke decides to bury Veronica by the stream is significant as the first time he left to go to the University they met by the stream; it therefore represents their unique friendship. The stream, like the twig, represents life, and as the water never stops flowing, life never stops either. Similarly, it could be said that as the current moves on, so does life. Water is also a symbol of purity, and even though Veronica died of disease, Okeke buries her by the water to purify her and to free her soul. The stream is ultimately a display of how the cycle of life continues. Therefore the symbolism in "Veronica" is of paramount importance. Without it, the reader would never have been able to fully understand and appreciate the divide of culture and tradition between the city and villages, the changing nature of urban and rural communities in Africa, or the extraordinary relationship shared between Okeke and Veronica. PRIYA PATEL 11G ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Anthropology 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 University Degree Anthropology essays

  1. Why Advertising Plays an Important Part in Modern American Culture.

    in the 1960's is a clear example of this ability. Second, the advertising community enlists cultural icons to represent, evangelize and sell their clients' products or services. From pop-icons to sports legends we can now collectively and vicariously share the same ideals and values with our idols, whether they are

  2. Music Speaks (African Music… a continuation of the Oral Tradition).

    While hardly inclusive, these terms suggest the range of activities once performed by musicians in West African societies. Though the activities of the musician are diverse, varying from one social context to another, certain characteristics may be used to define the social status of the musician.

  1. Compare and contrast the female characters Veronica in Veronica and Guleri in A Stench ...

    In Veronica, the person narrating the story, Okeke can be compared to Adewale Maja-Pearce as they lead similar lives. The author of 'A Stench of Kerosene' is Amrita Pritam and she was brought up in India, which later became Pakistan, then she moved to New Delhi so that she could begin writing in Hindi.

  2. The Stories "A Stench of Kerosene and "Veronica " have the same message to ...

    I have no qualifications, not even a standard six", this specifies that Veronica doesn't have the will to opt for a career as she is brought up in that way. The author tries to show that woman are dominated by men and are not given any rights as it says, "Her father was a brute and her mother was weak".

  1. People are more than just Pots

    Figure 2. Dentated-Stamped Ceramic (Source Ambrose 1997: 528) Irwin notes 'Lapita pottery is a conspicuous element of integration among dispersed communities' (1992:211). Although, it is not the only element common to these dispersed archaeological sites. Kirch suggests 'Lapita material culture was rich and complex' (1996: 60). The two to three thousand year old sites associated with Lapita pottery

  2. Overview of the story Veronica

    Her life was still difficult but again she seemed devoted to her husband and child. Okeke gave her some money and left. A few months later fighting broke out and the village was a no go area.

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