Compare and contrast the poems "Vultures" and "Night of the Scorpion", analysing how they communicate a sense of their cultural background.
Ashleigh Rothwell 10WX Poetry Coursework Vultures and Night of the Scorpion. Task Compare and contrast the poems "Vultures" and "Night of the Scorpion", analysing how they communicate a sense of their cultural background. Vultures I feel that the title "vultures" denotes a sense of scavenging as I view vultures as scavenging birds. As the title is vultures it must be set in a hot country as this is the traditional habitat of this species. My view of vultures is that they are ugly, unpleasant, greedy and savage. The setting is in Nigeria which is a part of Africa where many of these birds are found. At a glance it looks as though it is free verse but as you study it more carefully it actually has four verses each with a different part to play. All the observations; "greyness", "drizzle", "sun-break" and "nestled close" are all found in the first verse. This verse sets the scene for the reader. In the second verse the author is commenting on the observations he has made. He mentions the "charnel house" which is a place where the bones of dead people are placed. This is particularly appropriate because when the vultures have finished with the corpse then all that remains are the bones; picked clean and left to bake in the midday sun. The author also comments on the unusual way that vultures can in one minute be evil with their prey and the next be loving and nestling close
IB A1 English Chinua Achebe's novel of life in colonial-era Nigeria, "Things Fall Apart" By Jimmy Jackson Chinua Achebe's novel of life in colonial-era Nigeria, Things Fall Apart, contains the character Okonkwo as the protagonist. Okonkwo represents the idea of a successful person; an admired hero even. Characteristics such as bravery, strength, and a desire to succeed are what everyone admires about Okonkwo. His fear of becoming like his father gave him this desire to succeed, and consistently motivated him to progress through life. However, Okonkwo personifies the idea of not just a hero, but a tragic hero. Fear is Okonkwo's main motivation throughout the book. Achebe says, "He was possessed by the fear of his father's contemptible life and shameful death" (Things Fall Apart 18). He was motivated to work hard and succeed by this fear. Even as a young boy, Okonkwo began to work hard at farming as an attempt to become successful and earn respectability. Okonkwo says, "I began to fend for myself at an age when most people still suck at their mothers' breasts. If you give me some yam seeds I shall not fail you." (Things Fall Apart 21). Okonkwo's strong successful tone gives readers the idea that he began to work and persist at an early age. His persistence is exemplified by the fact that the first year of cultivation was ruined by early coming of rains. "[Okonkwo] is
Chinua Achebe's main concern in "Things Fall Apart" is to portray the effect white men have on traditional Ibo society. Discuss how effectively this has been achieved throughout the novel.
Word count: 1782 words James Gilmore English Literature Chinua Achebe's main concern in "Things Fall Apart" is to portray the effect white men have on traditional Ibo society. Discuss how effectively this has been achieved throughout the novel. In Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe tries to dispel the myth of savage African tribal culture. He does this by creating a complex and sympathetic portrait of a traditional village culture in Africa. Achebe is trying not only to inform the outside world about Ibo cultural traditions, but also to remind his own people of their past and to assert that it had contained much value. All too many Africans ( such as the Christian converts in the second half of the novel) were ready to accept the European judgment that Africa had no history or culture worth considering. Achebe fiercely resents the stereotype of Africa as an undifferentiated "primitive" land, the "heart of darkness," as Conrad calls it. Throughout the novel he shows how African cultures vary among themselves and how they change over time. He shows the reader a well established civilized society with it's own customs and beliefs. One of Achebe's main goals throughout the novel is to show how the colonizing white men erode and destroy a civilization. This post colonialist novel is written through the eyes of the people being colonized. An example of a contrasting post
Examine Achebe's narrative techniques in the novel "Things Fall Apart" - how far do you find it an attractive feature of the book?
Examine Achebe's narrative techniques in the novel - how far do you find it an attractive feature of the book? The language of the novel is simple but dignified. When the characters speak, they use an elevated diction, which is meant to convey the sense of Ibo speech. Achebe has fabricated his novel sound like it is a narration of an Ibo character and has achieved this through the application of short sentences as well as typical Ibo proverbs and images. His short sentences are used straight away and he wastes no time for the reader to become aquainted with the Ibo language and sentence structure. His first sentence has a mere 11 words and goes as follows 'Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond'. Within these short sentences, Achebe explains an incredible amount of information required to understand the text. Within the first paragraph, we are supplied with an outline of the character of Okonkwo as well as an introduction to the wrestling - an indispensable part of Ibo culture. Achebe desires to make his novel sound 'African' and achieves this in a number of different ways. This allows us insight into the Ibo world and helps us to relate to the novel more. The simple sentences and their basic structure help the book sound like the tone of voice of that of an Ibo man himself. The words are also simplistic and he has made little effort to make
Third Essay Assignment The American University in Cairo Fall 2001 SEMR-200-05 Dr. Clarissa Burt Mufaddal Saifuddin 900 99 2112 "Specifically" Universal No longer is an individual part of a society that is bounded by a tribal fence - where all its inhabitants share the same culture, norms and identity that are inherited unchanged by generation after generation. Values are more difficult to blindly accept since an individual's outlook is no longer confined to the fences of his tribe, and not all the aspects of his specific culture remain consistent with the universal domain he now confronts. In other words - in light of the 21st century individuals are constantly faced with decisions that ask them to either side with tradition or globalization. Girls at War and Other Short Stories by Nigeria's ebullient Achebe, An Egyptian Childhood, by Egyptian thinker Taha Hussein and Un Chien Andalou by surrealist artists Luis Bunel and Salvador Dali are texts that contain culturally specific material but also have a universal appeal. How these texts work as art for a culturally specific audience and how they work for a world audience is largely based on the outlook of the author and reader, in addition to where their outlooks unionize. Nevertheless, one can still attempt to interpret the degree to which these texts are culturally specific or universally appealing through one's own
Compare the way people are presented in 'Vultures' (page ten) with the ways people are presented in one other poem. 'Vultures' (page 10) and 'Two scavengers in a truck, two beautiful people in a Mercedes' (page 8). 'Two scavengers' and 'Vultures', both focus on the height of the people they use in their poems to presents their ideas. In 'two scavengers', 'standing on the back stoop one on each side hanging on and looking down' seems to contradict the couples roles in society. The reader would expect the garbage men to be presented with a lower status in society. Usually when poets try to show the difference between two people, the person who is seen to have more influences in society, is generally in higher position. This is not the case in 'two scavengers', the poet shows the garbage men higher than, 'the two beautiful people in a Mercedes'. This is a use of irony because the poet has written one thing when he wants to convey the opposite idea. In 'Vultures', the birds are seen to be higher than the body. '...a vulture perching high on broken bone of a dead tree', this is an example of a metaphor. 'Vultures' and 'two scavengers' present the people that feature in the poems, in very different ways. 'Vultures' focuses on the presentation of the, 'Commandant at Belsen camp'. The poet, Chinua Achebe contrasts his job as the Commandant; a person who authorises the murders
To what extent do you feel that Achebe intends the reader to be sympathetic towards Okonkwo? 'Things Fall Apart' is written in the postcolonial period, but is set before and during the process of colonization. Achebe therefore wants to educate the reader about the civilization that was destroyed. Hence Okonkwo to a great extent represents that civilization; it would be reasonable to suppose that, ultimately, Achebe wants us to sympathise with Okonkwo. I believe that Achebe is trying to give an explanation of what it is like to live in an African society. The story is about a man named Okonkwo who is a member of the Ibo tribe. Achebe is telling the story of Okonkwo from his childhood till his death. Before I read this book I did not have a very good idea of how people lived in Africa, and the ideas I did have about life in traditional African societies turned out to be untrue. Achebe did a very good job of illustrating a traditional African society, and by reading this book I now have a much better idea of what life is like in a non-western society. I think that this was Achebe's goal in writing this book, to educate people about some of the struggles people have and life in traditional African societies. The title 'Things Fall Apart' is a good choice of title for this book because the book presents the destruction of the main protagonist, and of his culture. Throughout
Opening Worlds 'Dead Man's Path' by Chinua Achebe A story about the clash of two sets of values This story by Chinua Achebe presents the conflict between world-views and value systems. Dead Man's Path is set in Nigeria in 1949. It is on the subject of a man named Michael Obi who is the new, enthusiastic and wholehearted headmaster of an underprivileged and disadvantaged school. This story explores the effects of European customs and beliefs on traditional African culture. Michael Obi is the new headmaster of Ndume Central School. The Mission authorities selected him for the job as they wanted a "young and energetic man" to administer it. Michael is a married twenty-six year old man. His wife, named Nancy, is slightly egotistical but nevertheless very kind and considerate towards her husband: "For a few minutes she became sceptical about the new school, but it was only for a few minutes. Her little personal misfortune could blind her to her husband's happy prospects." Michael is a very passionate person with many ideas that could help transform the school. He believes in the modernisation and transformation of old beliefs. He seems to have been 'infected' by European customs. The word 'infected' is used, as it may have been thought of a bad thing then, in African culture, to believe in modern methods: "In their two years of married life she had become completely infected
Do you agree that Achebe shows an "awareness of the human qualities common to all men of all times and places" or do you find the novel only uniquely African and of its time?
Achebe's style has been described as one of "remarkable economy and subtle irony... uniquely and richly African .. revealing Achebe's keen awareness of the human qualities common to all men of all times and places". Do you agree that Achebe shows an "awareness of the human qualities common to all men of all times and places" or do you find the novel only uniquely African and of its time? "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe is a twentieth-century African tragedy written about the destruction of the African Igbo tribe by 'white men' from the west. The novel focuses on Africa's gradual invasion by white Westerners and the effects of colonisation on specific individuals and groups within the society. The novel has many distinct African features that define the pre-colonial culture of the Igbo tribe. The very beginning of the novel describes an African festival, in which drums and flutes are being used whilst the spectators look on in awe, "The drums beat and the flutes sang and the spectators held their breath." Achebe's use of sensory language, such as the sounds of the instruments, gives the audience a greater sense of shared experience of what it was like to be part of the Igbo tribe. Achebe's style of writing throughout the novel allows the audience to imagine being in the position of characters such as Okonkwo who had their common, traditional beliefs and rituals
How does Achebe's style of writing convey Ibo culture and tradition in chapter five of "Things Fall Apart"?
James Gilmore English literature How does Achebe's style of writing convey Ibo culture and tradition in chapter five of "Things Fall Apart"? This chapter, like the one before it, builds on the increasingly violent nature of Okonkwo, and his repressed emotions that result in hurting those he loves. Beating up his wife for damaging a banana tree is an extreme reaction that does not go unnoticed by others in the village. For the most part the beating is condoned and everything returns to normal by the next day. Domestic violence appears to be a normal occurrence. Fortunately, it is known that Okonkwo, though a great wrestler, is a not a hunter, and hence his aim is terrible. The mention of guns is a first and foreshadows the arrival of Westerners who came after the gun was introduced to Ibo traders. A particular superstition to note in this scene, is when Okonkwo's first wife calls out to Ekwefi. She answers with a question "Is that me?" Ritual had it that no one replied straightaway to his or her name, since it could be an evil spirit calling. This is another reminder that the Ibo culture is a very superstitious and spiritual one. Achebe is a very gifted, descriptive writer who makes good use of metaphors and similes, for example, "It was like the pulsation of it's heart". These help to build imagery and establish a firm overall picture in the readers mind. He also uses