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Okeke and Veronica had been friends since they were little. Although they grew up together in the same “native” village, veronica’s family is poorer than Okeke’s, as the following quotation shows: “Her family had been even poorer than mine. ” This suggests that both of them are trapped by the power of poverty but Veronica’s family is considerably worse of than his. Veronica loves and cares for her family very much. This is one of the reasons why she didn’t leave for the city for Okeke.
She did not wish to leave behind her family as the following quotation shows: “‘I can’t just leave my family. ‘ ‘Why not? ‘ ‘They are my family, that’s enough. ‘” This line expresses how Veronica feels about her family, choosing them over a chance of a lifetime, which Okeke had offered her. She led her life taking orders from her brutal father and from an early age, he beats her, as the following quotation shows: “Night after night I lay awake listening to Veronica’s screams. ” Veronica is very weak, just like her mother, and could not stand up to the power of her father.
If Veronica had been a male, her father would not have beaten her. Despite this, she still cares for him and the rest of her family deeply, as she says: “I just can’t leave my family. ” Veronica’s family was always very important to her. When Okeke came back after ten years and found Veronica with a child and husband, Veronica says to him: “God has blessed us with a son, is that enough? ” This line is an example of how important family is to Veronica. It expresses Veronica’s feelings towards her own family.
She could have left her old life behind her and made fresh break in the city, but still, she treasures what she already has and is thankful for that. Veronica’s parents expected her to take on the role of housekeeper because they think that she is the eldest child of the family so she has the responsibility to do things around the house, as the following quotation shows: ” … since she was the eldest child a lot of responsibility of bringing up the other children had fallen on her. ” This reflects the attitudes in that culture and the tradition of being an eldest child.
However, Okeke was luckier because his parents had a different attitude and wanted him to be successful in his life. They encouraged him to go to a secondary school and then, when he got the scholarship to a university, they let him go to the city to finish his school and be successful. “When I was twelve I started at the secondary school in the town a few mile away… I had won a scholarship to the University… ” This suggests that the life of Okeke is strikingly different to the life of veronica.
Okeke, being a male gets to be a successful person, while, Veronica, as a female is expected to stay at home, taking care of her family. Education was one of the key issues in this story. One of the reasons why Veronica decides not to go to the city is due to her lack of education. She feels that the city has nothing to offer her and that her only place is the village, as she says: “What will I do when I get there, I have no qualifications not even a standard six. ” This suggests that she is aware that she needs qualifications to succeed in the city and without them, she sees no point in going.
If we look at Okeke, he has all the opportunity to complete school and have the perfect job for himself. He is a smart and bright person, and these qualities bring him success. This is shown in the following quotation: “I passed my exams and in due course I was ready to set up a practice of my own… while I had been a student I lacked the time, and afterwards, I lacked the inclination. ” This suggests that even though he could already see the brightness of his success, still, he has no time for himself and his family that’s why he brought his parents to the city too.