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Chapters 12-13

posted Nov 01, 2011 19:02:50 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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4 replies
GREGG05 said Nov 01, 2011 20:47:16
When Obierka thinks about how his society treats people he thinks about how Okonkwo was sent away for seven years for an accident, and how he had to throw away his wife's twins. When thinking about the twins he came to the conclusion that the clan viewed them as "an offense to the land and must be destroyed" (125). He came to the conclusion that the clan punished things based on if they offended the land and not if they were right or wrong. Achebe would end Part 1 with this idea because he wants the audience to know that some Africans inwardly questioned their clan without european influence. The American inability to relax bothers me because sometimes I feel as if we live in an extremely stressful environment.
KAT05 said Nov 01, 2011 23:17:27
At the end of Part 1, Obierika contemplates his society. He wonders why should a person have to suffer for something the did not commit on purpose. Some examples Obierika considered were the seven year shunning of Okonkwo and his family as well as the twins that Obierika's wife had to throw into the forest. Obierika concludes that the villagers follow the unfair traditions in fear that the great goddess would let her wrath loose "on all the land and not just on the offender" (125). I agree with Gregg as to why Achebe might end Part 1 with this section for it illustrates that not all Ibo civilians agreed completely with their own culture. Another instance of secret rebellion is Nwoye and how he enjoys his mother's folktales opposed to Okonkwo's masculine war fables. I too dislike a certain aspect of my own culture. I know in high school many high schoolers participate in activities just because they think it will make their college application appear superior to other students. I believe that as long as you keep up your grades and are involved in activities that you are passionate about it would be the college's pleasure to accept you into their program.
NELLIE05 said Nov 01, 2011 23:45:49
At the end of Part 1, Obierika reveals his beliefs that slightly contrast that of the Ibo society. Obierika does not comprehend why Okonkwo and his family has to flee from the village and be shunned for seven years when the crime he committed was a mere accident. Obierika questions, "Why should a man suffer so grievously for an offense he had committed inadvertently?"(125). Obierika also questions the tradition or belief that twins should be thrown away when brought into the world. He does not understand why the innocent babies should be punished when they have committed no crime. Obierika concludes that although he does not agree with some of the customs of Ibo society, if the clan does not preform punishment, then the entire society will be punished, not just the "criminal". So Obierika can understand why the rest of his society agrees and does not question these customs. I believe that Achebe includes this at the end of Part 1 to foreshadow the coming of the missionaries and the arrival of new ideas. I confound to the American belief that everyone has the chance for success. Some people who are raised in the wrong environment and injected with corrupt morals, do not have an equal chance of success with a studious, well off child.
MAGGIE04 said Nov 02, 2011 02:53:20
At the end of part 1, Obierka reflects on the recent events and contemplates his society. Obierka considers the unfairness of the recent events. Okonkwo's gun accidentally went off at a respected member of the society's funeral. "Okonkwo's gun had had exploded and a piece of iron had pierced the boy's heart" (124). Because of this, Okonkwo was forced to run away with his family and their compound was burned. Obierka comes to realize that the consequence was not fair to Okonkwo. Just because he had an accident, doesn't mean he and his family should be punished for his family. He comes to the conclusion that even if a legitimate crime has not been committed, a person will be punished regardless. Obierka also considers the problems of the throwing away of the twins. Obierka thinks of his wife's twin children who had been thrown away. "What crime had they committed? The Earth had decreed that they were an offense on the land and must be destroyed" (125). Obierka realizes how corrupt the customs of the Ibo society are, and he comes to realize that he does not agree with all of the Ibo society's actions. I think Achebe ends the chapter with this contemplation to both provoke the reader to think about the problems and corrupt beliefs in their own society, and to truly see how some of the customs and beliefs of the Ibo society are not just. In American society, a person can be at the wrong place at the wrong time and be falsely accused of a crime they did not commit.
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