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By Chinwe Christiana Okechukwu

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Extra info for Achebe the Orator. The Art of Persuasion in Chinua Achebe's Novels

Sample text

After all, in this culture, "Age was respected ... but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings" (6; ch. 1). Okonkwo is determined to wash his hands and to eat with kings. Okonkwo should not be castigated for the means he uses to achieve greatness. Okonkwo has to use all at his disposal to meet with the society's demand. He uses his strength, his wives', and his children's. Achebe also tells us that he is a success: "Okonkwo had clearly washed his hands and so he ate with kings and elders" (8; ch.

Achebe locates Okonkwo's deficiencies in his background and in the allowances given them by the culture. He seems to be saying that given the kind of background Okonkwo has had, he is bound to be different from other villagers, emotionally and psychologically. He compares both Okonkwo and his father with others in the village. He portrays a character, Obierika, Okonkwo's best friend, who does not possess Okonkwo's vices but does not have his virtues either, at least not in the degree to which Okonkwo possesses them.

Since "I-experience" has taken precedence over "weexperience," there is no longer trust among the people. Nobody is sure of other people's reactions. There is no longer a normal cause of action as the reader saw in the time of Ogbuefi Ezeugo. Earlier in Part One of the novel when the town is still homogenous, there are none of these signs of lack of oneness. It is assumed that the people would go to war had the offending village not complied with Umuofia's demands. Umuofians do not need to be rallied.

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Achebe the Orator. The Art of Persuasion in Chinua Achebe's Novels by Chinwe Christiana Okechukwu

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