Showing posts from February, 2006

A Contrast between Snowball and Napoleon in George Orwell's "Animal Farm"

A Contrast between Snowball and Napoleon

Snowball offers a striking contrast to Napoleon. While Napoleon is secretive, Snowball is frank and open-hearted. While Napoleon is prone to be reticent, Snowball is an eloquent orator. While Napoleon insists on the importance of agricultural production, Snowball wishes to pay greater attention to the development of scientific technology as represented by his plan to build a windmill on the farm to generate electricity. While Napoleon wants animals to keep themselves in a state of armed readiness to defend the farm against a possible attack, Snowball believes that pigeons should be sent to other farms to excite the animals on those farms to rise in revolt against their human masters. This contrast between the two leaders is based on historical facts. Napoleon, as already pointed out, represents Stalin, and Snowball, on the other hand, represents Trotsky who came into conflict with Stalin and who was driven away by Stalin into exile. Stalin and T…

The Symbolic Meaning of the Killing of the Marlin in Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea"

The Symbolic Meaning of the Killing of the Marlin

On a symbolic level, the killing of the giant marlin means attaining one’s goal in life, a goal that may be very distant and the way to which is fraught with many hardship, obstacles, and dangers. The journey towards the goal causes the way farer, much distress and much pain. However, the quest is a noble one, and the seeker after the prize is fired by a mighty purpose. The lacerated hands symbolize the rebuffs that a man suffers in the course of his efforts to attain his ambition, while the prolonged resistance of the marlin shows that gaining a high objective is not an easy task. The old man wins a victory over the marlin by means of “resolution” (will power and persistence) and “tricks” (technique and strategy), and these are the means that any man must adopt in order to attain any high objective.

The Importance of the Boy in Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea"

The Importance of the Boy in Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”

1. As a companion and an assistant to the old man.
Santiago’s remembering the boy many times in the course of his voyage emphasizes two facts:
a. Santiago value the boy’s company as a source of comport to him in his loneliness. When the boy is not with him, he misses him greatly and repeatedly thinks of him, and each time thinks of him feelingly.
b. Santiago values the boy because of the assistance he could have rendered in the fight against the marlin, if the boy had been with him. The boy could have served Santiago in many ways; in massaging his cramped hand and in wetting the coils, etc.

2. As a symbol of the old man’s past youth
The boy in the story also symbolizes Santiago’s youthful strength (just as the lions do). The boy is a constant reminder to Santiago of his own youthful days, of his courage and bravery in those days. That is the reason why thoughts of the boy occur to him again and again. Subconsciously, Santi…

Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea": "A Man can be destroyed but not defeated".

“But man is not made for defeat,” he said.
“A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

The quotation above deals with Santiago’s fierce fight with the sharks. The sharks prove an enemy more formidable than the marlin. However Santiago does not lose heart or experience a feeling of helplessness or despair. In fact, Santiago’s basic heroism comes out here to an even greatest extent than in the account of his struggle with the marlin. In his struggle with the marlin, he proved victorious while in his fight with the sharks he suffers a defeat. However, it is a defeat which is in no way less than a victory. In other words, Santiago remains undefeated in spite of his defeat. It also gives the readers a keener awareness of the fact that Hemingway regards moral as well as mental stamina as the most important value in life. Though Santiago has grown old and his physical stamina has declined yet his moral stamina remains strong. That is why his utterance after he has killed the first sharks which …

A Brief Note on the Structures of Chinua Achebe's Thing Fall Apart

A Brief Note on the Structure
Superficially, the novel is divided into three parts, the first thirteen chapters centered in Umnofia (name of a village), being part one, the next six, exiled in Mbaino (a number of villages), are part two, the final six, accompose a turn to death, part three. These twenty five chapters are upon close analysis, divided into four groups of six chapters each with one pivotal chapter 13 in which Okonkwo accidentally kills Ezeldo’s son, Ikemefuna, and must flee. The plan is carefully worked out and merits closer analysis.
The first six chapters which might be called the coming of Ikemefuna, they themselves break into two three chapter units. The first deals primarily with Okonkwo, his strength and weaknesses, and the circumstances of the arrival of the sacrificial boy. The second three chapters deal with the Ikemefuna agricultural year and the festival and games that climax it. Over all, the first six chapters portray the people of Ikemefuna through the actio…

Narrative Technique in Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"

Narrative Technique in Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"

Chinua Achebe is probably the most widely read of contemporary African writers. His first novel, Things Fall Apart published in 1958 brought forth glory and fame. Then it was followed by his other novels such as No Longer Ease (1960), Arrow of Good (1964) and A Man of the People (1966). His father was an evangelist and church teacher, although many of his relatives adhered to the Ibo religion and customs. Thus, he grew up `at the crossroads of cultivars'. To quote in his own words Achebe took up the theme of how Christianity influenced and enveloped gradually the tradition of Ibo religion and culture in Things Fall Apart. The title of the novel borrowed from Yeats' The Second Coming is appropriate to the novel's record of the destruction of a civilization. Yeats' poem, The Second Coming, foresees the end of the Christian era while Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart records the end of the non-Ch…

The Portrayal of Pre-Colonial Africa in Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"

Chinua Achebe's Portrayal of Pre-Colonial Africa
by Edgar Rife

The concept of balance in Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, is an important theme throughout the book. Achebe introduces this idea with an excerpt from William Butler Yeats's poem, "The Second Coming." The notion of balance is stressed here as important, because if balance does not exist, order is lost. This novel is a complex portrait of African tribal society prior to European colonization. By employing masterful techniques of description, linguistic comparison and strong proverbial context, a chance is given to the reader to realize the rich traditions and customs that generated stability in that society. There are many structures of balance that the Ibo culture seems to depend upon. All of which contribute to the demise of the main character, Okonkwo, the Ibo religion, and ultimately, the Ibos' autonomy. This unraveling of affairs is spearheaded by a tremendous imbalance between notably masculi…

Negative Sides of Igbo's Tradition in Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"


This essay discusses the negative sides of Igbo’s tradition depicted in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart. Nigeria is rich with its traditions and each is fruitful with its own laws. This certain traditon along with its aspects of live is abudantly found in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. This novel talks about Igbo’s tribe and their tradition. The Igbo has a very rich and interesting tradition which definitely carries a high moral values as well as lessons. However, this essay searches the Igbo's tradition from the view points of its negative sides with no means to insult the traditions but on the contrary to widely open our horizon of thinking as well as to enrich the tradition itself. This essay focusses on the ways on Igbo's life, such as; their belief, marriage, and social and political structures.

4.1 Unfair Treatment to the Twins
In general, Igbo people are proud of having many children and big families. They are like common peop…