Poisonwood Bible Analysis

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Through the use of symbolism the authors of both Things Fall Apart and The Poisonwood Bible make the characters in both books more complex because not only do we read the discriptions the author has given us but also we see the use of symbolism that connects parts and objects in the book that we can recognize to give us a better idea of the characters. Chinua Achebe uses fire for Okonkwo to show his unstable personality. In The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver uses the Poisonwood Tree to show Nathan's ignorance and inability to learn from cultures other than his. Both Chinua Achebe and Barbara Kingsolver use symbols to add to the character and to the story In Things Fall Apart Okonkwo is associated with fire at different parts of the book.…show more content…
The fire represents that he is a little dangerous and on edge and that he can snap at any moment. He ends up beating two of his wives because of his anger. He is known around the village as the “Roaring Flame” which shows that everyone knows he has some problems but that he has also built a reputation as a strong masculine figure around the village. Okonkwo just like a fire can get out of control so the author puts them together to show the resemblance and give us a better idea of Okonkwo. The fields that the men in the village own symbolizes his worth. In this society from the book if you are a man with a large field and lots of crops then you are successful and a good man. Men are defined in this society by how well they can provide for their family and how much they can provide for their family. Okonkwo's father was lazy and didn't work very hard so Okonkwo works very hard to provide for his family and have a nice field to show everyone that he is not his father and that he is a successful hard working man. Okonkwo you can say is obsessed with radiating masculinity and strength and this is the reason that his…show more content…
Nathan sets the Parrot free but despite being free Methuselah still stick around and relies on humans for food. Methuselah is eventually killed and that represents The Republic of Congo because when they became free they lacked the ability to establish a effective government and develop a country that would be successful and eventually would fall into the hands of another western country. Mama Tataba warns Nathan about The Poisonwood Tree and she says not to touch it and that it is dangerous. Nathan ends up touching the tree and he ends up with swelling arms and hands. This represents Nathan's ignorance and how he wont bother trying to learn their culture because he thinks that Christianity and his ways are the best ways. Nathan is so obsessed with his religion and spreading the word that he ends up weakening relationships with his family and some people in the village. The Congolese people in the novel teach Nathan and his family the word Bangala which means “good” but if pronounced incorrectly it can mean poisonwood. Nathan teaches the village about Jesus often saying Bangala which leads to some of the villagers thinking he is dangerous. This word represents the cultural differences between people and even though Nathan means to preach with good intention this slight mispronunciation of this word can become more dangerous. Yet another symbol for Nathan's cultural ignorance is how Mama

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