(H) English 10
20 May 2014
Not All Decisions Are Equal
From world leaders to the homeless, everyone has to make decisions. Acting on these decisions and making the right choice can have huge impacts on the rest of a person's life. Even though decisions made by men like President Obama have a much greater impact in comparison to decisions made by common people, all of them still carry consequences. Every choice an individual makes has ramifications. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and The Headstrong Historian by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche exemplify how actions carry consequences.
The consequences of actions demonstrate themselves through Things Fall Apart and The Headstrong Historian's plots. Okonkwo takes various measures to make himself appear strong, which have major effects on the plot. Frightened of being thought inadequate, Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna: "Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak" (Achebe 61). The actions taken by Okonkwo in this section are all to reinforce his tough guy image. These actions however cause him to lose someone he thought of as a son. Similarly, the actions taken by Nwamgba cause her to lose her son; albeit in a different way. Nwamgba wants her son, Anikwewa, to learn English so he can protect himself and his family in the increasingly prominent white society. Nwamgba desires the best for her son, and she thinks sending him to school will give him a fighting chance in the new social order. This decision however holds unforeseen consequences: "He told her that he was going to Lagos […] She screamed - How can you leave me? Who will bury me when I die? - She knew that he would go" (Adichie). The action of sending Anikwewa to school carries consequences of him leaving, which drastically affects the plot of the story. The peaceful life of Nwamgba is destroyed by this seemingly innocent action of sending her son to school.The sections from both works show how the actions of an individual can have huge impacts and far reaching plot effects. Both examples show the departure of one character that has a large impact on the decision makers' life. The differences come at a different element, the removal of the characters. Okonkwo kills his adopted son because he does not want to appear weak, he does what is best for himself and the actions and consequences show this. Nwamgba sends her son off to school not knowing that it will lead to him leaving, but the...