Analysis of the Sacrificial Egg

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In “The Sacrificial Egg”, the author, Chinua Achebe “presents the conflict between an African civilization called Igbo and Westernization, specifically European.” (Joaquin, 2003) The protagonist, whose name is Julius Obi, is a product of European and African culture-- he is a Western educated Igbo. The story begins in the empty market named Nkwo. Since Umuru people think the god of smallpox is staying at the market, they are afraid to come. Julius Obi thinks such folklore is a kind of superstition. He is careless of the warning sign that traditional native people tell him, and he has a frightening experience.

Before the Westerns came, Nkwo was a quiet, clean and small market. The Westerns carry the business and dirt to the market. The smallpox and fear come following one after the other. The story shows the differences between viewpoints of the colonials and traditional Africans. Because of the difference, conflict happens.

Being Western educated, Julius believes from what he has learned that the smallpox is a kind of disease. But native people think it is carried by Kitikpa, a god of smallpox. His girl friend’s mother, Ma, warns him to stay at home as long as possible, because Kitikpa is in the street.

“Chinua Achebe is one of Africa's most influential and widely published writers.” (NYS Writers Institute, 1998) “He was born November 16, 1930, in Ogidi, in eastern Nigeria, the son of a mission-school teacher, one of the early converts to Christianity in his community.” (Hastings, 2001) His name in full is Albert Chinualumogu Achebe. He was educated in Western missionary schools and obtained an arts degree at the University College in Ibadan. As the “author of one of the enduring works of modern African literature, Achebe sees post colonial cultures taking shape story by story.”(Bacon, 2000) He uses English in writing African fiction, in order to make Europeans understand African culture and tradition more directly and truthfully. He also writes to...
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