Essay On Symbolism In Things Fall Apart And Poisonwood Bible

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One of the greatest keys to understanding themes in a piece of literature is to look at the different uses of symbolism throughout the novel. Both the novels Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver use symbolism to help better understand the effects of white settlers in Africa as well as the mistakes that are created by arrogance, two themes that apply to both novels. Things Fall Apart uses the symbol of locusts to represent the white settlers and the symbol of fire to represent protagonist Okonkwo's arrogance. Poisonwood Bible uses Nathan’s demonstration garden to represent white settlers and the Poisonwood tree to represent protagonist Nathan’s arrogance. In Things Fall Apart Achebe uses locusts as a symbol for the white settlers and the way the natives were excited and accepted them at first but their opinion of them changed. In chapter seven locusts first come to the village and they “joyfully chanted” because they knew it was a good source of food. When describing the locusts arrival they said “At first, a fairly small…show more content…
In chapter seventeen it says that Okonkwo is commonly referred to as “Roaring Flame.” He has this nickname to represent his liveliness and strong masculinity however the book shows that this more accurately represents his fiery anger. Like fire, Okonkwo is harsh and uncontrollable as fear of being weak like his father leads him to actions like murdering Ikemefuna and beating his wives. These actions lead to problems for Okonkwo like being exiled while the white missionaries have a huge impact on his village. Okonkwo has a realization of the negatives of his “Roaring Flame” personality when he says “Living fire begets cold, impotent ash.” (Pg. 153) He is referring to the bad relationship he has with son Nwoye and the rest of his village due to his stubbornness and arrogance to accept change and to always be
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