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Chapters 2-3

posted Oct 18, 2011 19:20:39 by
In Chapter 3, Nwakibie explains to Okonkwo that he refuses to assist many young men with sharecropping. He uses the following proverb as justification for his actions: “Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching”(22). What does this proverb say about the elders’ perspective of the younger generation? How does this proverb relate to American culture?
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5 replies
KAR04 said Oct 23, 2011 21:12:28
The proverb with Eneke the bird represents compensation. The bird had to fly better in order to survive the man's improved shooting skills. Nwakibie feels obligated to refuse assisting young men with sharecropping because many of them would not work hard enough for the yam to grow. If he gave yams to everyone, it would be a waste and he therefore reserves his yams for people he thinks are worthy. Nwakibie's actions demonstrates that the elder people perceive younger people to be lazy and incompetent. This relates to American culture because some adults believe that because there is more technology accessible to young people, everything comes easier and they do not work as hard.
TOMM04 said Oct 23, 2011 23:07:54
This proverb represents how Nwakibie wants only the best to sharecrop with him. Because the bird can fly all of the time, it would be harder to kill than a lazy bird that perches all day. If he decided to sharecrop with the lazy person, the yam seeds would be a waste because the young man wouldn't do anything and nothing would be grown. If the person was a bird, he would be shot. If Nwakibie gave seed-yams to a hard-working man, he would farm well and he would be successful. The hard-working man is the bird who can fly all day because he will survive and thrive throughout his life. The elders still value hard work unlike the priveleged younger generation who expect everything to come easy. In American culture, the lazy will rely on technology to get them through, but people who work hard and still utilize new technology will be successful.
MOLLY04 said Oct 24, 2011 00:06:58
This proverb illustrates how the elders feel that the lazy people of the younger generation will be less successful because they represent the perched birds who will be shot by men. Because the perched birds are sitting around doing nothing, they are more likely to be shot. This illustrates the idea that the lazy people of the younger generation will be unsuccessful because they aren't strong or willing enough to work hard to achieve success. This relates to American society because the older generation believes that the younger generations rely too much on technology instead of achieving things independently. Like Kara and Thomas said, the elders still value hard work while the younger generation seems to expect everything to come easier without hard work.
SCOT04 said Oct 24, 2011 01:43:58
Chinua Achebe uses proverbs to illustrate the connections between man and nature as the individual continues to grow during his/her life. Nwakibie appears to be an honest man who is willing to be generous if he truly believes that his recipient of his wealth will work hard to appreciate his gift. This proverb states that the older generation believes that they are better than the youth because they were much harder working and accepting of others generosity. Just like in American culture, the older generation always believes that they "had it better" just because they are not adjusted to the way that society has rapidly changed over the years. The elders in this novel believe that the younger generation will not cherish their gifts simply because they appear lazy and idle. In every society it is rare to find someone who is both humble and hardworking. Nwakibie believes that he may only give his riches away to those who will make use of it while still being humble. Molly mentioned earlier that the older generation believes that the youth relies on technology "too much." I believe that technology is invented so that jobs can be made more efficient. In a modern example, our generation does not have to do as much work because we have evolved as a society in which jobs take less skill to complete. It is easier to appear lazy if a computer can do a million things that the previous generation had to do manually. As technology continues to grow, society will ultimately rely on it as a means to do their jobs for them. I believe that our generation is simply more efficient, not lazy as the older generation calls us.
BRENDAN04 said Oct 26, 2011 21:44:16
Nwakibie uses this proverb to tell Okonkwo how he will only give crops to those who will work hard for them. The proverb demonstrates that the elders believe that the younger generation is lazy and wants to perch because they are tired from flying. However, Eneke says those who perch will be shot by the humans that do not miss anymore. The younger generation perching to rest and being shot represents how the lazy people will pay for it with a bad crop yield or even no crops. The ones that work hard and learn how to fly without perching will be rewarded with a plentiful harvest and great riches. In American culture today, this proverb is still relevant because our parents and grandparents believe that the technology available to us is making us more lazy and less willing to work hard. Yet, there are still individuals that use the technology to benefit them and push them to work even harder. In today's society, those are the birds that have learned to fly without perching.
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