Symbolism In Things Fall Apart And The Poisonwood Bible

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Throughout “Things Fall Apart” and “The Poisonwood Bible” symbolism is shown with objects, characters, and places. The use of symbolism helps the reader to understand theme and what the author is portraying. In both books Kingsolver and Achebe use items to show the meaning of something or to get a point across. Both books use many items with symbolism attached to them with a couple from “Things Fall Apart” being the drums and The Mother of the Spirits. Also the garden and the parrot from “The Poisonwood Bible”. Achebe uses the symbol of drums to show the culture and life that the Umuofia experience before Europeans arrive. The drums act as a metaphor to a heartbeat that beats with everyone in the village. The symbol is present during the cultural gatherings and celebrations of the village, “ drums are still beating, persistent and unchanging. Their sound is no longer a separate thing from the living village”. When Achebe said the drums were persistent and unchanging this represented the unity of the all the villagers. The Mother of the Spirits is the mother of the egwugwu and is also worshipped by the Umuofia. In many was The mother of the Spirits is a representation of how the Umuofia should act. When Enoch unmasked one of the egwugwu it was taken as the equivalent to murdering a god. The Mother of the Spirits only weeps and mourns at the death of her son but does not get revenge. The Umuofia will follow The Mother of the Spirits by doing the same and not seeking

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