What Devices has Chinua Achebe employed to make us empathise with Igbo cluture???

Essay by ruskipaulHigh School, 12th gradeB, May 2004

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Chinua Achebe integrates many devices in his writing to make readers sympathise with the culture in 'Things Fall Apart'. He uses strategies such as showing snapshots of the Ibo culture and colouring the reader's senses with aural, visual and olfactory language. He also uses humour and irony, imagery and metaphors as well as showing the effects white people have on the Nigerian people.

Chinua Achebe uses snapshots of the Ibo culture to express what the people value and their way of life. He does this by not changing some words such as obi, egwugwu, chi, ogene and kwenu which are some of the many words he used in Nigerian language. By accumulating some of these words Chinua Achebe portrays the language and teaches the readers the culture of the people. He also portrays a photographic view of the people's values using their morals, stories, proverbs and song lyrics.

"If I hold her hand

She says, 'don't touch!'

If I hold her foot

She says, 'Don't touch!'

But when I hold her waist beads

She pretends not to know."

(Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, page104)

The author uses this simple song to show that the Ibo people even had popular groups, like bands to make the reader understand and empathise with their culture. It portrays what the young female's value in their society, and this song shows their reluctance, then their readiness in love and possession. It gives a visual image of the Nigerian values and code of life.

Chinua Achebe uses visual, aural and olfactory language to colour our senses and portray the climate, the images and the way the Ibo people react to certain scenarios.

"The birds were silenced in the forests, and the world lay panting under live, vibrating heat. And then came the...