Similarities Between Frederick Douglass And Things Fall Apart

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In the Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass and Things Fall Apart the protagonists, Frederick Douglass and Okonkwo, share commonalities regardless of the obvious difference in writing styles and genres of the books. Fredrick Douglass was a slave who escaped to freedom and wrote an autobiography, while Okonkwo is a clan leader in Umuofia in a fictitious novel. Their life experiences provided the motivation to achieve their aspirations as well as established the notion of manhood. The motivation of both of these men to improve their future began at a young age and further developed through their maturation. Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery, and he future was quite bleak. It entailed many beatings, working until exhaustion, and oppression. …show more content…

Gradually Fredrick Douglass began to regain his power from the white man and assert his “manhood” from the moment he “seized Covey hard by the throat” (Douglass, 62). His subservience to his slave masters was “solely because [they] had the power to compel [him]” (Douglass, 85) to obey. He uses catharsis, through song such as “A Parody”, to address the actions of the slaveholders. Douglass’s idea of manhood is the literal word itself. Manhood is being treated as a human of mankind. Okonkwo, however, equates manhood to brute force and anger. Anything else was considered to be characteristic of a woman. It is this idea of manliness that pushes Nwoye into the hands of the missionaries. Okonkwo “wanted Nwoye to grow into a tough young man” and although Nwoye at times acted as if he was annoyed with the tasks the women would ask of him, “nothing pleased Nwoye now more than to be sent for by his mother or another of his father's wives” (Achebe, 36). Due to the outcome of his fierce and warrior-like actions resulting the life that he desired, Okonkwo contributes these qualities to that of man because these are the traits that distinguish him from his father. So, in both books the importance of manhood is displayed, but the main characters have a different point of view to what manhood actually

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