Amos Tutuola’s Character Presentation Is As Varied As In A Novel

Tutuola’s substantial and credible character presentation:

In spite of their simplicity, Tutuola’s principal characters are substantial and credible. The Palmwine Drinkard, is clearly established in the reader’s mind as a shrewd, witty, easy-going Yoruba. Because of his inordinate appetite for palm wine and his magical powers he looks like a larger than life figure. All along we follow his quest with interest and empathy for his struggling through. But his wife doesn’t as much as marginally come off. She makes no impact on the reader. The little revealed of her is from the episode of the complete gentleman when she is described as: “… very beautiful as an angel but no man could convince her for marriage.” Up to the Drinkard’s announcement of his marriage to her, little more about her was known. Not as much as a word was said to have come from her. Neither was any kind of regret expressed for her mistake. She has therefore failed to express neither a view nor an emotion to prove her existence.

Simbi, who for Collins is “a more substantial and credible character,” [P.29] comes off well because of the good deal of light shown on her throughout the romance. Many of her qualities are boldly outlined. She is the daughter of a wealthy woman. She is an only child and has been brought up in luxury. She is also a lovely girl with a fine singing voice. But Simbi grows weary of her pleasant life and longs to experience. “….the Poverty and the “Punishment.” She prays to know the meaning of poverty and punishment and her dangerous prayer is quickly answered. At first she is a fun-lover. Being the only issue of her wealthy mother who brought her up in luxury, she was not working at all, except to eat and to bathe and then to wear several kinds of the costliest garments. She spends most of her time singing in the village where she is reputed to be the most beautiful and the most merry making girl.” with her fine singing voice to match.

As she and her two friends Rali and Sala, are inseparably linked: “they would not be happy without seeing each other in a moment.”[SSDJ P7] So on losing her friends, she is shattered emotionally. Now turned gloomy and pessimistic, she longs for a different life through which she will experience poverty and punishment. Her quest for these bring in her sobering changes. In the end she learns an important lesson – never to disobey her parents. She not only profits personally from the experience but also ensures that the message is spread out to all and sundry. She now goes from house to house “warning all the children that it was a great mistake to a girl who did not obey her parents” [S.S.D.J.p.136

Of all Simbi's friends only Bako has real individuality. She comes off as a comical and paranoid figure-living the experiences of her twin partner, however far off she may be. As she says: "If she steals something at home thus I too will steal something." [ S.S.D.J.p.48]

The Satyr, though apparently monstrous, emerges as a compelling figure. When seen in the darkness with his “goggling” eyes illuminating the area, and his great and horrible voice looming out, his victims are frightened out of their wits. Most of his statements such as this one portraying an unscrupulous and blood thirsty being could be seen in: “I believe that two ladies shall come back to this jungle and I shall kill both of them at all costs, at any day I meet them. It is certain they are my meat” [SSDJp80]

Ajaiyi in Ajaiyi and His Inherited Poverty comes off well simply because of his moral development. His original quest to annul his poverty by whatever means makes itself available leads to his resolute stance at the devil’s abode against acquiring wealth through devilish intrigues such as sacrificing his sister and shortening his lifespan. One would have thought, regardless of his strong attachment to his sister, his original determination to acquire wealth could have led him to move towards that end without any scruples. When first introduced to him, we are given the impression that we are encountering yet another of Tutuola’s super-humans for he is said to have lived another life “about two hundred years ago when he first came to this world through another father and mother By that time I was a boy and not a girl, by that time I was the poorest farmer and not as a story teller, by that time I was the most wicked gentile and the strongest worshipper of all the false Gods and not a Christian, by that time I was the poorest among the people of my village and not the richest…… [A.H.I.P. p11]

Though portrayed as a “wicked gentile and the strongest worshipper of all the false god’s “Ajaiyi throughout the romance projects an image to the contrary. In his transactions with his pawn brokers and his relationship with his treacherous friend, Ade, he remains patient, benevolent and forgiving. Even when Ade proves treacherous, he still remains devoted to him by “trying all my best to see that he was released by the King”, when detained, and even when dead he sits down near his body, driving away flies from it and “weeping bitterly for the death of my friend” [A.H.I.P. Pp65-6]

Unfortunately, so much could not be said for the development of Aina’s individuality. Only in the episode of the Kola Tree are we obliged just a cursory glimpse of her. She presents there the picture of an accommodating, merciful and tender-hearted person. Once she has shown her offender the dangers of her deeds she is content on having the matter resolved. She ends the conflict pleading:. It will be a great pity if this daughter is killed with a vengeance in respect of my kola-nut tree which was cut down when her mother Babi insisted to take the head of her broken pitcher back ten years ago. Her mother did that so that I might not get the kola nuts to sell again. So now, I believe if we continue to pay bad for bad, bad shall never finish on earth! Therefore, I forgive Babi what she had done to my Kola-nut tree! [A.H.I.P. p82]

Yet another credible character is the Witch Mother. At first she appears pleasant and benevolent. Despite Ajaiyi and his friends’ breaking into her house uninvited and starting to run about pursued by the mysterious lumps of iron, she does not react irascibly. She rather helps in stopping them. But later on she is shown off for the vicious person she really is. She is, by her own confession, the most wicked witch. She takes the life of even her own prodigy to sacrifice to her fellow witches. In the end she escapes the Spirits’ intrigue through sheer cunning.

In Tutuola, man is at odds with hostile elements, the jungle, vicious monsters and supernatural beings. In these situations man always emerges as capable and able to confront or even circumvent the menaces of those inimical forces. The Drinkard, Simbi and Ajaiyi all triumph over the wild monsters and spirits of the impenetrable jungle that their quests lead them to. These triumphs are marked off by noble deeds of moral dimension. The Drinkard settles the cosmic quarrel between the Sky God and the Earth Goddess, thus ending the famine which tormented his town. Simbi saves her town “from the ravages of Dogo” the heartless slave-raider and warns others from disobeying their parents’ advice; Ajaiyi, on running into wealth, uses his money to build churches in his and his benefactors’ villages and dedicates himself to spreading virtue and the message of God abroad. All the heroes grow spiritually as well. In the end Drinkard understands the meaning of life and death. Simbi emerges with a vivid experience of the agony of poverty and punishment and the ills of defying parental advice, Ajaiyi comes off with a strong conviction that money is the root of all evils. These profound knowledge acquired equip them to live better lives thereafter. In effect the journey through all the varying territories are processes of spiritual purification.

Didactic and moral values of Tutuola’s romances:

Tutuola’s romances show strong didactic values as well. Various episodes bear lessons for the reader. In The Palm Wine Drinkard, the episode of the “Complete Gentleman” demonstrates the folly of disobeying parents, for it leads the lady to harrowing experiences with the skulls. The deceptiveness of appearances alluded to in “all that glitters is not gold” is vividly exemplified by the gradual degeneration of the beauty’ of the Complete Gentleman. How dangerous it is to disobey parental advice is discerned in Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle.. This is because:”the dog which will lose will not pay heed to the call of its master” Simbi, realizing her mistake in the course of the book, admits. “If I were not a silly person I should have obeyed my mother’s and other person’s warning” .

Ajaiyi and his Inherited Poverty has the greater number of episodes bearing moral lessons of all of Tutuola’s works. At the Creator’s abode the virtues of honesty are extolled through the demonstration of the direful fate awaiting the dishonest after death. Ajaiyi also learns through his visit that the pursuit of wealth is the root of all evils in the world. He therefore avoids selling his soul to the devil though he has to be in the burden of this talking lump.

Ajaiyi and his sister learn after their capture by the kidnapper how useful it is to ask questions whenever one is in doubt. Their trouble could have been avoided if only they had asked their father the meaning of “Remember the Day after Tomorrow.” The reprehensibility of jealousy is shown when Babi’s jealously forcing Aina to cut her productive kola-nut-tree nearly led to the decapitation of her (Babi’s) daughter’s head. This is only forestalled by Aina’s realization that “if we continue to pay bad for bad, bad shall never finish on earth” and she thus forgives her.

Why You Should Present Your Website Like a Magazine

In the cut-throat world of website promotion some webmasters appear to have taken to pleasing search engines rather than human users. What gets forgotten is that search engines ‘read’ your website much like a human reader would, so if your website is person-friendly then it will be SEO-friendly too.

The same approach applies to off-page link-building, which is when a link to your website is posted elsewhere in order to make your website look more popular. This practice can be manipulated in order to please search engines, but ‘bad’ links pointing to your site can cause search engine penalties, as can a low-quality website.

A good way to think of your website is like a glossy magazine that people will really want to read. In order words; interesting, well considered and interestingly laid out. Websites that retain the interest of web users may be rewarded with higher rankings, as search engines can detect whether web users ‘bounce’ off your page after arriving on it and rank the sites accordingly. So how can you make your website a must-read publication, both for web users and search engines?

The Headline

‘Title tags’ are your headline, that’s what encourages people to peruse your website and pick it up off the Google shelf. When your webpage appears in the results of Google and other search engines the title tag will represent the link to your site, and will be in the largest font too. The tag needs to accurately describe what the page contains so both search engines and users can quickly determine what your site is about. When some webmasters became aware of the concept of keywords they went a little ‘keyword crazy’ and thought that the more search-related keyterms their website contained the better. In light of new algorithm updates this simply isn’t the case as non-sensical keyword-stuffing will be detected.

The Content

Until recently, it was recommended that you optimised your website by utilising keyterms throughout your site’s content and in any articles submitted to externally owned websites and article directories. Algorithms are constantly being developed and updated, subsequently there has been a shift in the way they search and catalogue sites in their results. The focus is now on ‘semantic’ searching so ensuring your site’s content is engaging and interesting is essential.

Length of Content

A very short article in a magazine would be useless for readers wanting to learn more about a subject, and the same goes for a very sparse website. Your site’s content is not just a chance to present yourself but more industry-relevant text could help to inform search engines that your site is ‘useful’ to users.

The best thing you can do is approach your site as a web user. What do you expect from the websites you have bookmarked? What keeps you coming back time again? Make a list and think how you could implement these factors into your own site. You could soon be reaping the benefits.

Secrets for Giving a Non-Sleep Inducing Presentation

The presentation is starting. A few minutes into the presentation, we often find ourselves either thinking of a million other things, or are bored out of our minds. Why don’t people realize that it doesn’t matter how amazing the information is that they are putting forth, none of it will matter if it does not “engage” and “touch” their audience – leaving them wanting to hear more? Knowing that many of us have had to sit through presentations like this, let’s now turn it around. You find that you are going to be presenting to a group. How can you reach the part of your audience’s “cognitive” thinking to ensure that their minds and “ears” are open?

Here are just a few of my presentation secrets that will keep your audience hanging on every word.

During any presentation – large or small, you need to make sure that you speak like a person – not like a textbook. To begin, you need to not speak to your audience as if you are Sheldon from the “Big Bang Theory”. This is not to in any way imply that your audience is “stupid”, but rather, it’s a reminder that you need to speak to them in “real” terms. Do not try too hard, or use too many irrelevant words of pictures. I often look to Steve Jobs, and how he did his presentations. Standing on that stage, he believed in his product, and spoke to his audience in a simple yet effective manner. His slides were kept to a minimum, but were VERY IMPACTFUL. He knew that he did not need a lot of fancy PowerPoint to impress his audience. When preparing and giving a presentation, keep it simple.

Your first impression could be compared to being your business card, in effect, and it will determine in an instant, whether a person will listen to you, or not.

If you don’t make them want to listen right at the start, they probably won’t. Establish your credibility – gaining their respect early on. It’s been found that most people remember mostly what you say first. State your really important information right at the beginning. Be clear and concise. The rest of your presentation should then explain your reasoning and your key points further.

Your presentation, as well as your initial introduction are extremely important, and should not be taken lightly – EVER!

You are not lecturing students in a classroom. Think back to when you were last sitting in a classroom listening to someone. Did you like those “teachers” who just stood there and spewed out information, or do you remember the ones most who were engaging and included the group in the conversation? Exactly. Aim for that two-way communication in every presentation that you make. Always make an extreme effort to CONNECT with your audience. Once you’ve got them, you’ve got them.

Also try this when preparing your next slide presentation. With regard to what you are showing on each particular slide, image that you are passing this slide as you are driving by quickly. Did it get your attention? Were you able to get it’s message quickly? If you do not understand it, you should probably re-work it.

Standing in one place for the entire presentation is another poison to your presentation. While you shouldn’t be pacing around nervously either, practice being comfortable moving around the stage, or front of a room, knowing when to pause when making an important statement, etc. Practice ahead of time until it becomes second nature.

One of the last secrets I want to mention is: know your audience, and adapt yourself accordingly. Keep them and their interests in mind at all times. If you hone in on what gets them to pay attention, the rest will be a breeze. Don’t ramble on about your accomplishments, or your company’s accomplishments. Make it about them – how you can solve THEIR PROBLEMS.

It’s always gonna be about them – your clients – your audience. Having said this, you do still HAVE THE POWER to control the conversations – to get their attention by paying attention to the points I mentioned above, while making it seem as if it’s all about them. The power comes when you actually “reach” people with your “message”, leaving them wanting more.

There is no excuse for a lousy presentation. Put the time and effort in, and the rewards will easily follow. And, if you find yourself needing help with your presentation endeavors, just ask!

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