How does Achebe's style of writing convey Ibo culture and tradition in chapter five of "Things Fall Apart"?

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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.

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   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 direct speech and dialogue to show the relationships between the Ibo people. This is used with great effect in chapter five, to show the close and relaxed relationship between Ezinma and Ekwefi. This briefly also shows Okonkwo’s fondness of Ezinma as she appears not to be fearful of him and engages in idle conversation with Okonkwo. ...

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