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GCSE: Chinua Achebe: Vultures

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  1. Refugee mother and her child by Chinua Achebe - Explain what the poem is about and how the poet conveys the emotions he feels.

    The softness continued until the beginning of line 5 where Achebe used hard-sounding words such as 'diarrhoea' and 'blown'. The fact that the child will die is hinted repeatedly. From line 7 to line 14 of the second stanza, he seemed to be admiring the mother's love for her child in even those circumstances. At the end, his tone was sad and regretful. In the last three lines: "...like putting flowers on a tiny grave." There was alliteration in line 5 of the second stanza: "behind blown empty bellies" The poet used the work "ghost" as a metaphor in lines 8 and 9 of the second stanza.

    • Word count: 854
  2. Explain how 'What Were They Like' and 'Vultures' make the reader - Think carefully about the nature of evil

    The vultures show love to one another but they are also evil as the poet describes how they devour the human corpse. The Commandant at Belsen shows love for his son but again, he also shows devout evil by exterminating millions of other people's children at the camp. In 'What Were They Like' evil is shown in a different light, evil is shown in the sense that all of the goodness has been taken away and now there is nothing left.

    • Word count: 462
  3. To what extent do you feel that Achebe intends the reader to be sympathetic towards Okonkwo?

    Throughout the novel Achebe manipulates our sympathies for Okonkwo. The book is chronologically organized, and even though Achebe is writing about his roots, I feel that he and the book remain unbiased. From the first chapter of the novel Achebe is very keen for his readers to develop an understanding of the main character Okonkwo. Achebe informs the reader of Okonkwo's background and in particular the role his Father has played in his life. Okonkwo, did not like the way his father lived. Unoka is depicted as a alcoholic and a complete failure by his fellow villagers: "Unoka the grown-up was a failure - people laughed at him because

    • Word count: 2583
  4. Both “On my first Sonne” and “refugee mother and child” deal with the death of a child. Compare and contrast the 2 poems, exploring their themes and ideas, the poet’s use of language and your own reaction to them.

    To have so soone scap'd worlds, and fleshes rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age? Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say here both lye BEN JONSON his best piece of poetrie. For whose sake, hence - forth, all his vowes be such. As what he loves may never like too much. Ben Jonson Refugee Mother and Child No Madonna and Child could touch that picture of a mother's tenderness for a son she soon would have to forget. The air was heavy with odours of diarrhoea of unwashed children with washed-out ribs and dried-up bottoms struggling in laboured steps behind blown empty bellies.

    • Word count: 531
  5. Giving Things Fall Apart a Rhythm: Achebe’s Method and Purpose of Manipulating his Novel’s Pacing

    The section is peppered with long and heavily detailed stories, fables, memories, and other winding narratives. In doing this, Achebe acclimates his reader to the slow, consistent pace of Igbo existence, its unchanging traditions, and the resulting tranquility (with the exception of a few minor and inconsequential conflicts) born of these cultural features. Part I establishes the "beat" of traditional life in Umuofia. For instance, chapter five opens with a lengthy description of The Feast of the New Yam. This detailed description is sustained for almost two pages before it is finally linked to the novel's plot, although it is unnecessary to do so.

    • Word count: 1683
  6. The poem "Refugee Mother and Child" by Chinua Achebe deals with the sadness of death.

    odors smells ceased stopped ghost smile : shows how fake is the smile because of her sadness hair left on his skull :shows how sick the boy is 7 The symbol for death singing her eyes: the mother is trying to avoid sadness while she watches her son dying remembering the happy memories she spent with her son Chinua Achebe?s Mother in a Refugee Camp, paints the pathetic picture of a mother holding her dying son in her hands for the last time, portraying both the inevitability of death and the pain of those whose loved ones have died yet they live on in a harsh light.

    • Word count: 921

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