Achebe the Orator. The Art of Persuasion in Chinua Achebe's by Chinwe Christiana Okechukwu

By Chinwe Christiana Okechukwu

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Sample text

To unmask the egwugwu is to desecrate the house of the people's gods. Every person in this culture has a personal god, chi, including the desecrated ancestral spirit. Achebe's discussion of the importance of chi to an Igbo person, in his essay "Chi in Igbo Cosmology," makes clear the relationship of a person and his or her chi and why it was calamitous for the Christians to have desecrated an egwugwu. " The ancestors who emerge as egwugwu at different occasions live in "spiritland where they recreate a life comparable to their earthly existence" parallel, similar, physical, and contiguous.

This proverb is normally used when one wants to compliment someone or something of note. The association of the orator's name with the eagle also exposes Achebe's grand vision of the Umuofia society at this time. It effectively evokes the image of the comet as associated with the happening in Rome during the time of Julius Caesar. The statement "When beggars die there are no comets seen"32 evokes a similar image, highlighting the scarcity of the eagle which imbues an occasion with awe when the eagle graces human beings with its presence.

Another aspect of Umuofia culture that Achebe uses in his argument is the conduct of the judges in the Umuofia judicial system, who are seen to be well informed, fair, and just. The trial scene in the case of domestic violence has a ceremonious and orderly arrangement befitting the occasion. There is amicable settlement that takes human nature into consideration. Achebe shows the steps taken to maintain the anonymity of the judges, thereby ensuring probity and impartiality and avoiding corruption.

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