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Chapters 12-13

posted Nov 01, 2011 19:02:26 by
At the end of Part I, Obierika contemplates his society. What issues does he consider? What conclusion does he reach? Why might Achebe end Part I with this contemplation? Are there any traditions or belief in American culture that confound you? Why?
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6 replies
ZACH03 said Nov 01, 2011 21:28:23
Obierika considers the punishment that Okonkwo recieved for his mistake. He asks himself my a man should have such a harsh punishment when it was inadvertant, but is unable to come up with an answer. He then considers the twins his wife had that they had thrown away in the jars. He asks himself what they had done wrong. He remembers how the Earth had decided that they must die for the sake of the community, so they did. I believe Achebe ended part one with the contemplation to foreshadow the changes that mat occur in part two. Obierika's contemplations lead to him questioning aspects of Ibo culture; this hints at the changing and challenging of ideas. I am confounded by the death sentence in the United States. In 2009, 112 people recieved the death sentence. To me, this does not make any sense as I feel that someone should be sentenced to death only as a last resort.
COLIN03 said Nov 01, 2011 23:23:49
Although 112 people were given the death sentence in the US, 10,762,956 crimes were committed in 2009. That's only 0.0001% of criminals who received the death sentence. 15,399 murders were committed, only 1/3 of 1% of murderers received the death penalty for the horrendous crime they committed. Obierika laments over the fact that the twins and Okonkwo were punished for either nothing at all, or for an accident. Those who receive the death sentence are those who willingly act out manslaughter, receiving a consequence fit to their actions. The Achebe decides to conclude Part I with Obierika's contemplation because it foreshadows a change and revolt against the Ibo society because he feels that the punishments given to the twins and Okonkwo are unjust. American culture confounds me because there are so many cultures and morals combined together that don't agree with each other. Every one person thinks that he/she is right in their opinion, though it may not agree with another person's, theirs is still right because they believe it to be.
CIARA03 said Nov 01, 2011 23:55:40
At the end of part 1 Obierika began to do what most people do at some point in their life, which is to question their society and why they believe what they believe. I agree with Zach because I think Achebe included this to foreshadow that the people of their clan will begin to question their own beliefs when they are encountered by European missionaries. It foreshadows that their beliefs will clash and there will be questioning on both sides. I agree with Colin that the death sentence is used very rarely and justified when used. Abortion confounds me because unless it is in the case of rape, I find it sick that people would choose to kill their own child before it is even born.
EM03 said Nov 02, 2011 01:55:43
When Okonkwu contemplates his society he realizes there are many injustices such as being banished from his village for an accident. He also thinks and regrets the killing and deaths of two of his sons because he wonders what crime they had committed. He begins to realize some wrongdoings that the clan patcipates in such as Obanje and the killing of innocent men. I think Adiche ends part 1 with this relazation because part 2 signifys a turning point in the novel. Okonkwu is starting to question the ideas and values of the society that he grew up in and now that he is banished for 7 years he might be able to start a new life and follow the morals he believes in. One belief that confuses me is why so many people jump right into marriage so hastily, but tend to get divorced quickly. People should wait a little longer and make sure that they are marrying the right one and then make the big step in there life to spend the rest of there lives with that person.
MAT03 said Nov 02, 2011 03:33:30
Achebe uses Obierka as a way to add insightful questioning of the Ibo society. Obierka questions why his good friend Okonkwo had to be exiled and have his property and animals destroyed all because of an accident that occurred at a ceremony. Although Obierka disagrees with the extremity of Okonkwo's punishment, he can see why he is being punished. Soon after his contemplations about Okonkwo's punishment, he realizes that the throwing away of twins is an even worse punishment for the twins compared to Okonkwo's compensation. The twins committed no sort of crime or disjustice yet are murdered anyways and deprived of their future. Obierka's questioning of his culture foreshadows a change of the Ibo society after part 1 to a more secular and westernized culture due to colinization. The percent of marriages that end in divorce also somewhat confounds me.50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri. During a marriage ceremony the bride and groom present an oath to remain married until death do them part.It confounds me just how many people end up breaking this oath. It has gotten to the point, based off the statistics above, that after a couple gets married and says their oath it would be accurate to tell them that "you will probably get divorced".
[Last edited Nov 02, 2011 03:34:11]
TEREN03 said Nov 03, 2011 20:38:18
Obierka represents a minority of individuals who see the shortcomings of Ibo society's traditions. He considers the question of whether or not the punishment which Okonkwo received was appropriate. It had been an accident, after all. Obierka decides that it was not in fact an appropriate action. Achebe chose this contemplation as the end of the chapter because it was a foreshadowing of the change to come.
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