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Parables in Things Fall Apart

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Kelsey McQueen

on 31 March 2014

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Transcript of Parables in Things Fall Apart

tortoise and birds

mother and daughter kite

mosquito and the ear
Use of Parables
Mosquito and Ear
Mother and Daughter Kite
daughter kite stole a duckling
mother duck didn't say anything/ protest

mother kite told daughter to return duckling

mother kite told daughter "there is nothing to fear from someone who shouts"
Tortoise and the Birds
birds preparing for a feast in the sky

Tortoise was hungry and wanted to go

each bird gave him a feather

Tortoise took name of "All of you"

Tortoise ate all of the food

birds took back feathers

told parrot to tell his wife to bring out soft things

parrot told bring out hard things

tortoise crashed and broke shell = why tortoise shell isn't smooth
by Kelsey McQueen
Parables in
Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe

*moral lesson

*to further explain an idea or thought = "explain the unexplainable"

Use of Parable
explains the unexplainable
gave reason as to why tortoises' shells
look the way they do

relation to story
tortoise = colonists
accepted by Igbo at first
began exerting influence and customs

birds = Igbo people
welcoming at first
tried to salvage what was left and get revenge

insight to Igbo culture through explanation
and shows similarities to that of
other cultures
Mosquito asked Ear to marry him

Ear laughed and said would die soon anyway

Mosquito humiliated

every time Mosquito passes Ear, Mosquito flew by to tell her was still alive
Use of Parable
gives explanation to everyday phenomenon
explains why mosquitoes buzz by ears

symbolism in story
mosquito- Igbo or colonists
Igbo- determination to maintain beliefs/dignity
colonists- determination to keep church
ear- Igbo or colonists
Igbo- underestimated colonists
colonists- disapproval of Igbo
marriage proposal
refusal = colonists' refusal to simply coexist alongside Igbo
buzzing by ear = Igbo trying to prove themselves
Use of Parable
daughter kite = Igbo people

mother duck = colonists

Igbo blind-sided by colonist takeover and violence

colonists came in quietly and destroyed
"there is something ominous behind the silence"
parable = culturally significant
Achebe uses cultural tool to show prove point
deeper insight into culture

gives voice to native

all cultures have their complexities
Works Cited

"He began to eat and the birds grumbled angrily" (Achebe 98).

"began to eat"

"On one occasion the missionaries had begun to overstep their bounds. Three converts had gone into the village and boasted openly that all gods were dead and impotent and that they were prepared to defy them by burning all of their shrines" (Achebe 154).

"The birds gathered round to eat what was left and to peck at the bones he had thrown about the floor" (Achebe 98).

"what was left "

"The clan which had turned false on him appeared to be making amends" (Achebe 192).
"'How much longer do you think you will live?' she asked. 'You are already a skeleton.'" (Achebe 75).

"...but many of them believed that the strange faith and the white man's god would not last" (Achebe 143).

"The mosquito went away humiliated, and any time he passed her way he told Ear that he was still alive" (Achebe 75).

"He told them that they worshiped false gods, god of wood and stone... 'We have been sent by this great God to ask you to leave your wicked ways and false gods and turn to Him so that you may be saved when you die" (Achebe 145).

"Never kill a man who says nothing" (Achebe 140).

"'There is something ominous behind the silence'" (Achebe 140).

"'There is nothing to fear from someone who shouts.' Those men of Abame were fools... 'They has been warned of the danger ahead'" (Achebe 140).
Achebe, Chinua.
Things Fall Apart
. New York: Anchor Book,
1959. Print.

Ayeleru, Babatunde. "Where is the Text? Chinua Achebe's Things
Fall Apart." ProQuest 5000. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.

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