Symbols In Things Fall Apart And The Poisonwood Bible

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Symbols have the important function of conveying a deeper meaning than the one that lies on the surface. The author uses imagery and selective word choice to draw the reader in and invites the reader to ponder the story to find the hidden meaning, to enrich the mind and heart of the reader, and often to cause the reader to view something differently than was initially felt before reading the story. Within Things Fall Apart and The Poisonwood Bible there are some very significant symbols that heavily enrich both stories and bring a much greater meaning upon the reader. First, we shall begin with the symbols found within Things Fall Apart, commencing with the symbol of folktales.

Folktales are significant because they are an important way that many stories with the purpose of entertainment, but of much more significance, that important lessons are passed on. In the culture of Umuofia these important lessons are most often passed from mother to child. To Okonkwo these folktales are considered effeminate while war stories are considered masculine. His eldest son, Nwoye, much prefers these “effeminate” folktales than the “masculine” war stories. These folktales are an integral part in helping one understand the beliefs and culture of the African people, and also in understanding the story as a whole. The next symbol I found is yams.

Yams are a significant symbol of true masculinity and a symbol of a man’s ability to provide for his family, and are grown
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