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"Things Fall Apart": An Indepth Analysis Of Ezinma And Her Connection To Her Father, Okonkwo

1438 words - 6 pages

Ninth grade represents a pivotal point in a student's academic career. Students no longer have the liberty to give simple answers; now they have to think. Answers in high school are not so easily available. Characters become more difficult to define, and even a patch of grass has some ambiguous meaning. A prime example comes from Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart. Ezinma is considered to be a minor character by many, and by word count, she is mentioned less than other, more important, characters. However, she is an extremely important part of Achebe's novel. She develops more than any character in the story, although many critics dismiss Achebe's characterization of this amazing young ...view middle of the document...

Ekwefi then became defiant and called her next children Onwuma-"Death may please itself." And he did."Is it any wonder that Ekwefi had lost all hope of having a child? Is it any wonder that she distanced herself from each of her offspring? Ekwefi is trying to keep herself from getting hurt again. When Ezinma is born, she is ailing, but determined to live. At first Ekwefi treats her as she has the pervious nine children, but when Ezinma reaches her fourth, fifth and sixth birthdays, Ekwefi's love returns to her. She becomes determined to keep Ezinma alive, and Ezinma shows an equal determination to live.Ezinma has bouts of health that make her seem untouchable by the Death that claims her bothers and sisters; at other times her health takes an unexpected dip and she clings to life by a thread. After one such time Okonkwo goes to a medicine man named Okagbue, famous for his knowledge of ogbanje children. Okagbue goes to Ezinma when she is nine and just recovering from a serious illness. After much talk, the medicine man manages to find and destory Ezinma's iyi-uwa; a pebble wrapped in cloth that allowed the ogbanje to die and return to torment their mothers again.Because she is so afraid of her daughter dying, Ekwefi spoils her only child. Ezinma calls her mother by her first name, and spends much more time with her than the other girls of the village. Ekwefi is even willing to stand up to Okonkwo for her daughter. One night when Ezinma is ill, Ekwefi creeps into Okonkwo's obi to enlist his help. Okonkwo says, "Of his three wives Ekwefi was the only one who would have the audacity to bang on his door."Ezinma's relationship with Ekwefi is more a companionship of equals. Ezinma often decides what foods her mother should prepare. Ekwefi love gives her the courage to directly disobey her husband and give Ezinma eggs. Children are not given such delicacies as eggs because the elders fear that it will tempt the children to steal. When Okonkwo finds out that his daughter has been eating eggs, he threatens to beat Ekwefi if he sees her giving Ezinma anymore. Of course, Ekwefi could never deny her daughter, and their bond is strengthen by their secret egg-eating.Ezinma also has a close relationship with her father. In fact, one could go as far as to say she is the only one who truly understands Okonkwo. After killing Ikemefuna, Okonkwo spends two days of drinking away his troubles with little success. On the third day, Ezinma brings him a meal and chides him for not eating. Instead of being angry, he just eats his fish, absent-mindedly, and remarks to himself on how she should have been a boy.Ezinma's close relationship with her father starts at birth. She has her...

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