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Chinua Achebe, "Things Fall Apart" Looking At The First Two Chapters Of The Novel Things Fall Apart, Explain How Achebe Develops Unoka As A Foil For Okonkwo.

633 words - 3 pages

Looking at the first two chapters of the novel Things Fall Apart, explain how Achebe develops Unoka as a foil for Okonkwo.A foil is literally a sheet of bright metal that is placed under a piece of jewellery to increase its brilliance. In literature, by extension, the term is applied to any person or sometimes thing that through strong contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another. The first 44 pages set up two character foils, Unoka for Okonkwo and Ikemefuna for Nwoye. Focusing on the former, it can be said that Unoka acts as a foil for Okonkwo contrasts Okonkwo's hardworking, violent, and fearful nature with Unoka's laziness, in order to bring out the strength of Okonkwo.Okonkwo's hardworking skills are highlighted by Unoka's laziness. Okonkwo had to work extra hard than the other villagers, because unlike a lot of them, his father left nothing for him on the farm, so he had to start from the beginning. In addition to having the third highest title in the village, "he was a wealthy farmer and had two barns full of yams, and had just married his third wife." Titles, yams, and the number of wives measured wealth, in Okonkwo's era and society. Having what he had, and having to start from scratch, was impressive. On the other hand, Unoka did not even try to be one of the recognized men; it seemed to be the least of his worries. "In his day he was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow." Unlike his own son, he did not worry about the weather for the condition of his yams, as Okonkwo did. His reputation did not seem to matter, and if it did, he would rather not try, as it was perhaps too much work. Therefore, though Okonkwo shows determination, it is not until we are introduced to Unoka in which...

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