Okonkwo Essay Things-Fall-Apart

Also offensive is when the narrator compares a native who was helping navigate the boat to a "dog in breeches." There is no end to the ways this is an irritating passage.

Conrad's portrayal of the Africans as savage and uncivilized is part of what prompted Achebe to write his eloquent novel.

But not everyone sees the book as narrated by two distinct voices.

It can also be seen as having a single narrator, whose tone changes and adapts over time.

Booker sees Okonkwo as a visual representation of the standards of success in Ibo life.

He is prosperous, he is one of the egwugwu, no one compared him to his shiftless father; he has everything he wants at first.

His depiction of the highly civilized cultures and traditions of the Igbo nation were a reply to Conrad's ignorant (but well meaning? (For more on this, like the Achebe essay and commentary on it, see the links section below.)Many critics see Things Fall Apart as a book with two narrators, one that adheres to tradition, and another with more modern views.

In his essay, Wright plays off Neil Mc Ewan's idea of the two narrative voices: the traditional/communal which dominates the first 2/3 of the book, and the individual/ modern which takes over the last third He claims that Okonkwo's stubborn resistance and deep need to wipe out his father's memory "…are out of harmony with a society which is renowned for its talent for social compromise and which judges a man according to his own worth , not that of his father." (Wright, 78) Okonkwo resists change so much that he can't even accept it in others.

If the system was complete, then Okonkwo's stubborn, inflexible observation of the rules would not have led to his downfall.

Wright also claims that Okonkwo's death was inevitable because through his inflexibility he was the clog in the wheel of progress.


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