Cruelty In The Poisonwood Bible And Things Fall Apart

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A theme most commonly used in literature. It has a way of bringing change either to a character or environment that no other theme can achieve, most likely for the worst. We see cruelty everywhere in life and pieces of literature it can sometimes be hard to see when it 's right in front of our face. I had a hard time figuring this out while reading The Poisonwood Bible and Things Fall Apart. It wasn 't hard for me to see what they were doing was wrong, but more of why they were. What made them so cruel? Why 'd they have to treat people the way they did? Nathan price in, The Poisonwood Bible, develops this theme of cruelty through his arrogance and stubbornness. Okonkwo from, Things fall apart, was the same. When we focus on them in the books…show more content…
Things fall apart, it’s in the name. Everything falls apart. And it is because of the arrogance of Okonkwo. He is a very interesting character because not only did he know he was being cruel to everyone around him but that he still decided to do it. We can see this with his “son” ikemefuna on page 28, it says, “ Even Okonkwo himself became very fond of the boy -- inwardly of course. Okonkwo never showed any emotion openly, unless it be the emotion of anger. To show affection was a sign of weakness, the only thing worth demonstrating was strength. He therefore treated Ikemefuna as he treated everybody else--with a heavy hand. But there was no doubt he liked the boy. Sometimes when he went to big village meetings or communal ancestral feasts he allowed Ikemefuna to accompany him, like a son, carrying his stool and his goatskin bag. And, indeed, Ikemefuna called him father.” (Achebe 28). He loved him but still showed him his heavy hand because he didn 't want to come off as weak. Because of his arrogance he had become cruel to the boy he loved and in the end killed him out of misery. If we look at this scene we can see that he 's having an inward battle with himself, being strong was his main priority over anything else, even his own family. Even if he cared for them, he was conceited and cared about the opinions of others and what 'd they think of him. This ultimately led to his downfall when a cultural collision was evident and he couldn 't face it. His…show more content…
There are many other times these characters had shown cruelty within their books. Honestly we could go on and on about it, but I thought these were significant enough to show the cruelty of these men. Nathan price was stubborn, and Okonkwo was afraid. It 's what drove them to be how they were to the community around them and their own families. We can see these traits a lot within people in our own lives. Maybe it made them cruel also? Maybe not. What we can infer from the characters in these books is that something happened in their past that made them what they were. Decisions shape people. And their decisions shaped

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