Cruelty In Poisonwood Bible And Things Fall Apart

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With great power comes great responsibility—even if said power was not rightfully earned to begin with. In positions of power, humanity is prone to an overexertion of force to ensure those positions are secured, vying to push them to greater heights that cannot be overtaken. In Poisonwood Bible and Things Fall Apart, these tendencies manifest into ardent displays of cruelty; within itself, cruelty becomes a defense mechanism, a coping method, a disciplinary tool, rash and injust from fear of this superiority being lost. The driving point of this cruelty is that it festers within insecurity and is fed by greed. In the novels it reflects the presence of not only patriarchal dominance, but also religious, cultural, and racial puissance. Ironically,…show more content…
In Poisonwood Bible and Things Fall Apart, the spearheading male characters succumb to doubts of their own validity despite being initially established as the ones with the most power. The urge to exercise this inherent power reflects an instability within the minds of the owners, creating a sort of deterrence so that outsiders don’t examine closer. If they do, they see brokenness, doubt, fear...all things that a man in power should not feel and should not have the right to feel. These perpetrators of cruelty show their weakness through their actions, as their character is not strong enough to be convincing based on values alone, and slowly chip away at them despite having the intentions of doing the opposite. Those on the receiving end, however, are the ones who benefit in the end, as they become aware of one’s true personality and realize that there is more possibility outside of the abuse. They are pushed away to seek different, better things, separated from the causes of their grief. In these cases, it would be inaccurate to claim that cruelty is little more than unjust treatment. Cruelty is not a display of power—it is the abuse of it; the ugly offspring of fear and weakness, spurred by fits of anger and doubt; a revealer of the truly weak and liberator of the wrongly
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