By Chinwe Christiana Okechukwu
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Additional info for Achebe the Orator. The Art of Persuasion in Chinua Achebe's Novels
When he commits manslaughter, he not only has to flee the society for seven years, but his house and property are also burned to cleanse the land of the pollution his crime has produced. This big offense attracts a big punishment. Desecrating an egwugwu is construed as the murder of the spirit of the ancestors. This is even greater than manslaughter or murder. So when the men of Umuofia burn the church, they are doing exactly what they would have done to one of their own who has committed the same offense.
The white men, like the Roman mob in Julius Caesar, give vent to their anger and lust for blood. They destroy the village and its people. He seems to say that they are equally revolting. 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.
The Umuofia men, in the usual Umuofia magnanimity, extend to the priest an invitation to live among them and even allow him the option of practicing his own religion. This is in keeping with their philosophy of accommodation and harmonious coexistence articulated in their proverb: "Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch too. 2). In delineating the ethics in and the system of the white man's administration, Achebe succeeds in sustaining the argument that human beings are basically the same everywhere.
Achebe the Orator. The Art of Persuasion in Chinua Achebe's Novels by Chinwe Christiana Okechukwu