In order to sculpt a literary monument to the human condition and these universal themes, the author, Achebe, employs a broad variety of literary tools.
Literary devices play a crucial role in enhancing the novel’s main themes and earning its widespread acceptance as a quality piece of literature.
In addition to cultural clash, Achebe explores the theme of masculinity versus femininity, and in doing so, reveals Okonkwo’s fatal character flaw: hyper-masculinity. He trembled with the desire to conquer and subdue” (42).
Okonkwo is motivated by a desire to prove himself superior to his father, who was cowardly and irresponsible and died a poor man with many unpaid debts. Okonkwo gained power and importance in Umuofian society by burning lesser people as fuel. Okonkwo’s inner fire is what allowed him to conquer Umuofian society and rise above the disgrace of his father.
Okonkwo saw within Nwoye the same “effeminate” essence of his the father whom he hates so much.
Although Okonkwo’s fiery personality is what allowed him to succeed in Umuofian society, his destructive nature also led to his eventual suicide.The clash of cultures is undoubtedly one of the most universal themes seen in literature. and China are one example; the Palestinians and Israelis are another—continue their struggles to reconcile dissimilar beliefs through negotiation, and in some cases, armed conflict.This cultural clash can be seen throughout life and history anytime two groups of people hold differing views that cannot coexist. Similarly, the European missionaries and the native Umuofians struggle to coexist peacefully.Part of the novel’s appeal lies in its compelling themes which strike chords that resound throughout time and across linguistic barriers.The clash of cultures, the struggle with change, and fatal character flaws are the main themes which Achebe’s novel probes.Like a fire, Okonkwo is violent, and burns whatever he touches. Throughout the novel, Okonkwo nags on his wives and son, beats his family, and kills three innocent people—not to mention himself, as well.In many cases, he hurts his family for trivial reasons.However, upon further examination the novel reveals itself to be a striking chronicle of human experiences, universal themes, and timeless struggles that appeal to every human, regardless of familiarity with Nigerian culture.Taken as a whole, the novel appears to be much more than the sum of its parts: syntax, diction, figurative language, imagery, repetition, and symbols.by Chinua Achebe, the reader is taken on a literary journey to a Nigerian tribe, the Umuofia, to experience first-hand the struggles of a warrior named Okonkwo.At first glance, the novel appears to be written for a very specific audience: scholars familiar with Nigerian history, traditions, and culture.