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Defiance and Resistance Essay

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In both works The Crucible and The Bride Price by Arthur Miller and Buchi Emecheta, superstition and hysteria play key roles in destroying the morale of the Puritan and African communities. The setting in which both take place in between pre and post modernization effect the odd behavior demonstrated. In both texts, behavior different from that which is customary and accepted is interpreted as supernatural witchcraft. The fear of the unknown as well as jealousy fashion’s agitation, which in turn provokes individuals to turn on one another going against values and beliefs.

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In the play-write The crucible, Miller demonstrates the theme of the story which was rising over adversity, and standing for the truth even to death. Miller is displaying his interpretation of rise over adversity through John Proctor. John, in the beginning, wanted to keep distant from the trials. He did not want to associate or disregard his personal values by being part of the trials. When Elizabeth was arrested, he was forced to become part of it. He went to court first to set his wife free but after watching the proceedings, he saw that the evil was not only being done to his own wife but many others like his wife.

As a result, he worked even harder to free the other innocent people, getting himself arrested. Despite this drawback, he did not give up. He had the chance to free himself if he testified against the others but he realized that this would be wrong, and even though he wanted to free himself, he would not if it meant bringing trouble upon others. He cleansed himself at the trial, standing for what he knew was right and died a righteous person. Though he stayed away from church, he became more pure than the common Puritans, dying as a martyr like the original apostles.

He learned what truth meant through his suffering. In the novel, The Bride Price, Emecheta displays defiance and resistance through her protagonist, Aku-nna. In the Ibuza culture, it is not proper to marry or even associate one’s self with an “oseu”. As the story builds to a climax, so does Aku-nna’s courage build. Her courage, in turn, builds her defiance. After Aku-nna’s menstruation has become public knowledge, she refuses to eat the chicken that has been slaughtered in her honor. At this point in the story, Aku-nna registers what very well might have been her first defiant thought.

“She was beginning to feel that it was unjust that she was not to be allowed a say in her own life, and she was beginning to hate her mother for being so passive about it all. ” As she stands in front of Okoboshi, the young man who has kidnapped her as a potential bride, Aku-nna loudly and forcefully speaks out in an attempt to save herself. It is out of fear of not only being raped but also of being deprived of ever seeing Chike again that she finds her voice and creates a story so vile that Okoboshi leaves her alone.

The vile story that she creates is a lie, but the lie represents the epitome of her defiance. She tells Okoboshi that she is not a virgin; and, furthermore, she lost her virginity to a descendant of a slave. In so doing, Aku-nna risks everything, possibly even her life. “Her uncle would surely kill her on sight but if she was forced to live with these people for long, she would soon die, for that was the intention behind all the taboos and customs.

Anyone who contravened them was better dead and when you were dead, people would ask: Did we not say so? Nobody goes against the laws of the land and survives”. Although Aku-nna has made her own choice to run away from her arranged marriage and marry Chike against her parents wishes, she cannot let go of the myth that plagues her: “If a girl wishes to live long and see her children’s children, she must accept the husband chosen for her by her people… if the bride price was not paid, she would never survive the birth of her first child” (168).

Though Chike’s father offered to pay Aku-nna’s bride price, her uncle simply refused to accept it, and therefore cursed her to die. In the end of the story, Aku-nna dies in childbirth, and her legend is used to further reinforce the threat of grim results for women who make their own choices. These stories remind its readers of an ugly blemish on human history. It reminds one that man is not perfect, and that we can make mistakes. However, even with these mistakes, we can cleanse ourselves and purify ourselves by making what is wrong right.

As in The Bride Price where Aku-nna stands for what she believes in and what she loves and John Proctor standing for what he valued, both were defiant against their setting or community. The sufferings become to the sufferer like a crucible, and one must pay the price be it a bride price or the price of life. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

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