Personal and Cultural Identity in Things Fall Apart and “I Lost My Talk”

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  • Topic: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Igbo people
  • Pages : 4 (1601 words )
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  • Published : October 24, 2010
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Thursday, January 17

Personal and Cultural Identity in Things Fall Apart and “I Lost My Talk”

Identity can be explained as the state or fact of being a specific person or thing. [definition is good, but needs to be more specific] A specific person or thing can be defined by his/her personality, interests, family, community or culture. [connect your definition to the novel and poem—that’s why previous sentence was inserted] In both Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and in Rita Joe’s “I Lost My Talk”, Okonkwo and the persona, become confused about who they are and lose their respective identities. [Notice I insert the topics of your three body paragraphs here] Okonkwo and the persona have a certain degree of power that is taken away relatively quickly and as a result they lose their sense of identity. Their sense of personal identity is closely associated with their cultural identity and they feel disassociated from their cultures. Both Okonkwo and the persona of the poem demonstrate that people can lose their power quickly and those who lose their power may lose their personal and cultural identity as well. [ Too general – relate to essay – body should be a little more specific One who has much power may lose it quickly.] Both Okonkwo and the persona of the poem are people who have power and lose it quickly. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Okonkwo, the main character, “was well known” and “[h]is fame rested on solid personal achievements” (Achebe 1). When Okonkwo was at the funeral for Ezedu “the oldest man in the village”, he fired his gun and “a piece of iron [from Okonkwo’s gun] pierced the boy’s heart” (Achebe 124). Since Okonkwo kills a member of his own clan, he and his family must flee from Umuofia to his mother village of Mbanta for seven years as a consequence of this crime. Okonkwo loses his power and status in his own community when he is banished Mbanta. When Okonkwo left “someone else rose and filled [his place] in...
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