Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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"Ona" is as Much a Love Story as it is a Tale of Ritualized Beliefs and Cultural Behavior Patterns Often stories in a particular culture take into account, and capitalize on symbols of that particular culture for thematic effectiveness. Many indigenous stories thus contain generalized patterns of beliefs that serve as the backdrop which enables readers to relate to the stories and the content thereof. Buchi Emecheta's "Ona" is a powerful love story that centers around ritualized beliefs and cultural behavior patterns of one African tribe. The story is legendary in nature, alluding to its cultural import. It is about Abagdi, a very wealthy local chief, who is love with Ona, one of his mistresses. Agbadi is head over heals for Ona despite the fact that he has many wives. Agbadi is particularly crazy about Ona because, unlike the other women, she is not submissive as she was the daughter chief Obi Umunna.

The cultural theme in the story is that man enjoys hunting, taming and conquering even in matters of love; Agbadi finds a special thrill in trying to win the unconquerable love of Ona. Ona is a woman ahead of her time, unwilling to be controlled, even by the strong and powerful Agbadi, not only because of her individual desires, but because of her respect for the cultural norms of her society.

From the onset of the story we learn that Agbadi proposes marriage to Ona. Since Ona's father, Chief Obi Umunna, had no sons, he raised Ona to be very assertive and assume what is considered boylike traits. Thus, like a man, her father raised her never "to stoop to any man" (629). Does this mean that women and men are not considered equals in this society? Evidently, it seems the only reason Ona was thought...