The character of Ezinma in Things Fall Apart from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Ezinma: The "Ogbanje" Child in Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" Author(s): Aron Aji And appropriately, her relationships with Ekwefi, Chielo, and Okonkwo are. Once the village beauty, Ekwefi ran away from her first husband to live with Okonkwo. Ezinma is her only surviving child, and the two share a close relationship. Relationships: Okonkwo has three wives (Ekwefi, Ojiugo, and the first wife). Okonkwo has four children (Nwoye, Eznima, Nkechi, and Obiageli).
By the time Ezinma was born, Ekwefi had lost hope, but when Ezinma lived past the age of six, Once the medicine is ready, he forces Ezinma to sit under a blanket with the steaming pot. She struggles, but is held down, Ekwefi tells the story of a clever When Chielo and Ezinma enter the cave mouth, however, Ekwefi vows that Ekwefi is exhausted from the previous night. Chielo had crawled out of the shrine with Ezinma sleeping on her back in the morning and walked back to the village with Okonkwo Obierika's compound is busy with preparations for the uri, cooking yams and cassava, preparing goats She is called the This contest is the same kind in which Okonkwo, years earlier, not only won the wrestling match but also won Ekwefi's heart.
Okonkwo's wives and daughters excitedly prepare the yams for the feast in anticipation of the contest. As his evening meal is served by daughters of each of his wives, Okonkwo acknowledges to himself how especially fond he is of his daughter Ezinma.
As if to offset his soft feelings, however, he scolds her twice while she sits waiting for him to eat.
Ezinma: The "Ogbanje" Child in Achebe's "Things
Analysis Chapter 4 repeatedly illustrates Okonkwo's volatility — his readiness to explode into violence at slight provocations. His feelings often differ from what he says or does.
Although the people of the village respect him and his accomplishments, he does not quite fit in with his peers, some of whom disagree with his treatment of less successful men. Okonkwo does not even enjoy the leisurely ceremonial feast as others do. His impatience with the festivities is so great that he erupts.
Ezinma: The "Ogbanje" Child in Achebe's "Things
He falsely accuses one of his wives, beats her, and then makes an apparent attempt to shoot her. Further evidence of his violent nature is revealed when he moves his feet in response to the drums of the wrestling dance and trembles "with the desire to conquer and subdue. His stubborn and often irrational behavior is beginning to set him apart from the rest of the village. He even comes into Ekwefi's hut the night Ezinma falls ill and tends to his daughter himself?
On the night when Chielo takes Ezinma on a spiritual journey to theOracle's cave, Okonkwo disobeys the cannot find his wife priestess and, like his wife, secretly follows his daughter. When he and daughter after several searches, he admits that he "had become gravely worried" one another at the mouth of the cave, And when the couple finally find takes Ekwefi in his arms, the only act of uninhibited love he allows himself Okonkwo the novel.
On the one hand, we seeOkonkwo as feminine stubbornly suppressing both the women around him and what he views The traits?
A stern romance, husband, lack he of physical responds strength, failures in authority to Obierika's disapprovingly story of the old married couple who "had one mind" He dismisses as "awoman's tale" the folktale about the Ear and the Mosquito, which celebrates the primacy of women son Nwoye's lack of interest in warfare and stories of And he attributes his heroism to the too many hours Nwoye has spent listening to his mother's stories.
On the other hand, Achebe shows us that Okonkwo himself is not immune to emotional excesses, as evident in his abuse of his wives over trivial disagreements. Similarly, he seeks refuge in his "motherland" when he commits a "female" crime by mistakenly killing a boy during Ezeudu's funeral Above all, the child who pleases him the most of is not his son but his daughter Ezinma.
These ironic juxtapositions Okonkwo's manliness and the circumstances of his life ultimately betray the fallacy of an exclusively masculine ethos. If Ezinma is a source of comfort for Okonkwo throughout his troubled life, it is because she subdues his manhood, balancing the masculine and the feminine attributes to make him a full person.
Grappling with her own tentative nature and the anxiety of others, she not only displays a unique personality but serves to reveal the psychological depth of those characters with whom she interacts?
Okonkwo, Ekwefi, and Chielo. However, just at the peak of her prominence at the end of Part One, Achebe pushes Ezinma into the exile and the cultural upheaval in background and focuses instead on Okonkwo's Umuofia after the arrival of Christian missionaries. The author allows us glimpses of Ezinma on only a few occasions, as if to suggest that his undermining of the ogbanje child is deliberate and significant.
In traditional Umuofia, prior to the arrival of the Europeans, the ogbanje child has been the tangible evidence of the intertwined Igbo cosmos, unifying the human and the the Judeo replace Chukwu with spiritual in one earthly body. The missionaries and priestesses with Christian God, personal chis with Christ, the medicine-men Christian ministers.
Things Fall Apart
As a result the unity of the Igbo cosmos is threatened by the Christian theology, which prescribes a strictly mediated communion between the human the and context In this the divine. Yet for Achebe this reminder is ultimately crucial.
He places a great deal of faith in the power of the past to heal thewounds of the present. Ezinma is a vivid expression of his faith. Amid pervasive change, she stands out as a symbol of hope, renewal, and continuity for both Okonkwo and Umuofia. After all, the ogbanje's cycle of births and attests deaths as much to cosmic unity as it does to the human determination to survive even in the gravest adversity.
During his exile inMbanta, Okonkwo views Ezinma as his most permanent link to his native village. He may lose Nwoye to Christianity, but he can count on Ezinma as a kindred spirit. She shares his bitterness about being away she goes about violently the family's last harvest in Mbanta, from home. During on cassava the the small tubers, crop "poor soil" of exile On uprooting blaming Okonkwo's request she agrees to turn down her many suitors in Mbanta in order to marry in Umuofia enabling Ezinma will be her father's offering to Umuofia, him "to return with a flourish and regain the seven wasted years" Regarding Umuofia's uncertain destiny, the ogbanje child again bears the promise the arrival of the Christian mission, of continuity and renewal.
With the Umuofia residents become like "living dead" themselves, on the one hand suffering the clash of the alien with the traditional, and on the other trusting their determination to tran scend the chaotic present with a renewed sense of cultural identity.
In this context the pattern of the ogbanje child becomes the pattern of the life and history of Nigeria?