Okonkwo Fire Imagery Quotes

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{Achebe clearly uses fire and locust imagery to give the readers a clear sign of the fate of the Ibo people including their tragic hero, Okonkwo. {The fire imagery in the novel evolves to include smoke and ashes, which also has powerful allegorical meaning. WHERE TO PLACE IN ESSAY THOUGH? The fire imagery that pervades throughout the novel is often associated with Okonkwo, and his offspring, during the course of his rises and falls in the novel. However, the fire imagery does not only have an image of destruction; it also has an image of cleansing. In the beginning of the novel, Achebe says that “Okonkwo’s fame had grown like a bush-fire in the harmattan.” This shows that the clans acknowledged Okonkwo's skills without hesitance; yet,…show more content…
All the grass had long been scorched brown, and the sands felt like live coals to the feet. Evergreen trees wore a dusty coat of brown.” The scorching imagery in the aforementioned quote predicts Okonkwo’s impending doom with the missionaries’ successful imposition of Christianity in Umuofia during his absence. Following Nwoye’s departure from Okonkwo’s Mbanta compound to become a Christian, Okonkwo sits in his hut and ponders the state of himself and the state of his son, where he has a temporary reminiscence of an old powerful nickname. Achebe tells us, “Okonkwo was popularly called the “Roaring Flame.” As he looked into the log fire he recalled the name. He was a flaming fire.” The use of past tense when Okonkwo says, “He was a flaming fire.” Points to the fact that his once unstoppable and all-consuming fire, is waning as he now no longer a respected or formidable foe in Umuofia, and has negative implications for his upcoming return to his fatherland. Okonkwo internally admits, “Living fire begets cold, impotent ash.” This quote has a strong image of reduction and internal self-acknowledgement on Okonkwo’s part, as he is rendered negligible in Nwoye’s defiance against Okonkwo and his rigid…show more content…
The fact that the locusts were large enough in number to break mighty tree branches speaks to the missionaries’ breaking of the religious, political, judicial, and social branches of the Ibo society. The Umuofians naively underestimate the danger that the locusts can bestow upon them if they were unheeded, in the same way, the Umuofians underestimate the overwhelming influence the missionaries would have on their people. The description of the locusts as a “vast, hungry swarm” by Achebe speaks to the greedy agenda of the missionaries, hidden under the innocent guise of peacefully spreading Christianity to the primitive people of the Lower
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