Symbolism In Things Fall Apart And The Poisonwood Bible

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Symbolism plays a major role in the two novels Things Fall Apart and The Poisonwood Bible. The most significant symbols in Things Fall Apart is fire and the locusts. A couple of symbols in The Poisonwood Bible are the parrot, Methuselah, the garden, and the Poisonwood tree. These symbols not only reflect various parts of their respective books, but also provide deeper meaning to the novel. The novel Things Fall Apart has deeper literary meaning than what is on the surface. It has multiple significant symbols that portray deeper thinking. To start, the fire that Okonkwo references many times in the novel reflects his overall attitude. This fire alludes to his dangerous anger and intensity. Yet it is very ironic that Okonkwo actually states that the problem with the fire is its mass destructiveness. This is ironic, because Okonkwo is mentally and physically destructive to everyone around him. He is mentally destructive, because he holds in his feelings for Ikemefuna and Ezinma. Instead he is cold and masculine to them. He is physically destructive, because he killed Ikemefuna and Ogbuefi Ezeudu’s son. Okonkwo lets his rage rule over him until finally it subdues him just as fire is eventually turned to ash. The fire as a symbol attributes to one of the themes of the work which is that suppressing one’s feelings doesn’t allow them to change or makes it harder to change. Just like Okonkwo resisted change with the white settlers, people in today’s world are still holding on to
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