POINT - Achebe’s sensory imagery and personification portray the earth and the land as a living and often angry being in Igbo culture to further the idea that people need to revere and respect the earth and nature, and this imagery connects to Okonkwo's angry character.
ILUSTRATION/ WITH PLOT CONTEXT - Achebe vividly describes the land of Mbanta shortly after Okonkwo’s banishment from Umuofia. “All the grass had long been scorched brown and the sands felt like live coals to the feet. Evergreen trees wore a dusty coat of brown.. The birds were silenced in the forests, and the world lay panting under the live vibrating heat…[the earth] was angry, metallic, and thirsty” (Achebe 130).
EXPLANATION – The earth has turned from a lush, productive being to a withering and angry soul who is “panting” and gasping for air. The “scorched brown” color, “silence in the forests” and “vibrating heat” create images of earth as a place that resembles hell more than it does earth. The personified earth is also weary as it wears a “dusty coat of brown” and is “angry” and “thirsty.” Okonkwo and the earth meld into one person through these images; both beings are full of angst and hungry for the lush life that they once knew..