Chinua Achebe Symbolism Analysis

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Chinua Achebe uses symbols to convey a deeper meaning, which are represented by a specific implication that is defined by the context which they are used in. Achebe uses yams to symbolize the wealth, the rank of a man's place in society, and masculinity. The numbers of yams that a man grows declares his wealth and where he is ranked in society. If a man cannot harvest yams then he is not a man, because he is incapable of growing a crop that is made for man, and is not able to provide for himself nor his family. Okonkwo is described as fire or flames which lead him to being called, the Roaring Flame, so fire symbolizes destruction and anger. His inability to show emotion other than anger leads to destruction of his family and his own life. Locusts…show more content…
Yams are the most essential crop in Umuofia and are vital to the diets of the people. Yams symbolize the wealthness, the ranking in the Igbo society, and masculinity of a man. Okonkwo is very prideful of his yams because when ¨Okonkwo took eight hundred seed-yams from Nwakibie was the worst year in living memory.¨ He was unsuccessful in growing the yams due to seasonal changes and timing was not letting Okonkwo grow them. Okonkwo did not let that stop from him continuing for he did not want to become like his father who did not grow any yams. In the Igbo society, a man is supposed to grow yams to show his masculinity because he has the ability to provide for his family, and have success in his life. In the beginning of the novel, Okonkwo was afraid that his son, Nwoye, was not going to be successful in becoming a man like him. He even threatened him by saying, ¨I would sooner strangle him with my own hands.¨ Yams are very important in Okonkwo's life, yams determined a man's place in the Igbo society. Okonkwo was the most famous wrestler and his yams gave him a boost in the path of becoming part of the clan. Eventually one mistake lead him to where he began his journey all over again since his ¨gun had exploded and a piece of iron had pierced the boys…show more content…
¨Locusts came once in a generation, reappeared every year for seven years, and then disappeared for another lifetime.¨ A white man appeared out of nowhere to explore the land. The elders warned the Oracle that ¨the strange man would break their clan and spread destruction among them.¨ The Oracle responded by killing the man and tying his horse to a tree. What the elders said became true since the village of Abame was now controlled by the white missionaries, which was the start of their expansion of their religion. The people were too weak and uneducated to fight. The clan was not allowed to do anything unless everyone put a vote on it which did not happen since it was against the law to kill intentionally. The white missionaries were convincing the people with the building of school and church, and being to have more freedom than the Igbo traditions. Locust are so heavy that they break the branches of the tree which symbolizes the rupture of Igbo traditions under the white
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