The Effects/Purposes of the Proverbs

30 Sep

In “Things Fall Apart”, Achebe uses proverbs of the Ibo people throughout the novel. The effect or the purpose of the proverb is to compare someone or one of the characters with what is being said in the proverb using a metaphor. Moreover, it also gives us some idea or information about the Ibo culture, the character’s traits and what the characters have to do in order to live in the Ibo society. For example, on pg 6, the text explains what Okonkwo had accomplished and how he is successful from an early age, “As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.” (p. 6). The “child” is implied to Okonkwo. The “washed his hands” is being implied to hard work that Okonkwo does when he harvest crops. The message that the proverb is trying to convey is that if Okonkwo works hard and is competent, he will be successful in his life. On p. 20, the text also mentions about Okonkwo’s achievements and his chi, “But the Ibo people have a proverb that when a man says yes his chi says yes also.” (p. 20). The proverb is referring to Okonkwo and his chi. The proverb suggest that if Okonkwo have respect for his chi and agrees what the chi says, the chi will grant his wish and he will succeed in life.

Advertisements

One Response to “The Effects/Purposes of the Proverbs”

  1. Jenna L. Edment October 1, 2010 at 8:07 AM #

    i agree when you say that the proverbs in the novel is used to compare someone or one of the characters with what is being said. i thought that this was also a very good example when you wrote “But the Ibo people have a proverb that when a man says yes his chi says yes also.” (p. 20). because it shows that even the Ibo people know that they have proverbs and use them intensionally. The proverbs show to be a very strong part of Ibo culture in the novel and the Ibo people take them very seriously.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: