Textual analysis. ENG 4U1 Ms. Reid. Quote.
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Okonkwo’s ideas regarding masculinity led to dire consequences such as losing his son and a chi that failed to bring him prosperity. The above quote is also highly indicative of Okonkwo’s tragic flaw: Fear. Okokwo’s life was dominated by fear of failure and weakness. This forced Okonkwo to make poor decisions that led to his demise.
This quote, from the narrator’s recounting, in chapter 1, or how Unoka calmly interacted with someone to whom he owed money, alludes to the highly sophisticated art of rhetoric practiced by the Igbo. This formalness offers insight into the misunderstandings that occur between the Igbo and the Europeans. Whereas the latter value efficiency and directness in their dealings, the Igbo value an adherence to cultural traditions which include certain patterns of dialogue considered inefficient by Western standards.
The metaphor as words as food is highly appropriate, given the almost exclusively agricultural nature of Igbo society. The same amount of value is placed on food and community.