Things Fall Apart

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3/4/2013
B Pd.
Every society has a unique manner of handling certain aspects of life. In both Things Fall Apart and Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight, children are lost in different ways: physically and emotionally. Sometimes the problem is a death of a baby, while other times what is lost is a connection rather than a heartbeat. While some characters struggle to deal with these unpleasant events, others are able to move past them gracefully. Okonkwo and his family look at the loss of children more objectively while the Fullers let the bereavement change their entire lives. In both books characters must deal with the grief of losing a child, but in Things Fall Apart characters are much less affected emotionally than the family in Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. With most other men in his tribe, a lack of emotion portrays superiority. Okonkwo first shows his strength when he acts unfazed by the killing of his adopted son. Ikemefuna was secretly adored by his father figure, yet Okonkwo would never admit it to the boy. In fact he even killed Ikemefuna so not to show a lack of discipline and objectivity. This proves that the loss of a child is not a life altering occurrence in his culture. Along with Ikemefuna’s death, Ekwefi, one of Okonkwo’s wives, has to deal with the loss of many babies due to miscarriage. She is hurt by these incidents but believes it is the curse of the Coming Back Babies. Ekwefi even names them each symbolically for their impending deaths. In spite of everything, she does not seem horribly affected by the calamities which occur. After her third child dies, she does become a bit resentful as she watches her husband’s other wives have strong child after child, but that is mere jealously rather than grief. Achebe says “by the time Onwumbiko died, Ekwefi had become a very bitter woman.” Her reaction is fair, but she does not let the deaths define her. Probably the most ground shaking loss is when Nwoye leaves his clan to join the Christian...
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