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The Pregnant Virgin
In the renowned composition, The Pregnant Virgin that was authored by the Traditional, the main characters in the story are the king, his beautiful 21-year-old daughter, and Mr. Spider. The King's name is Gbeyor, and his daughter's name is Gbeofia. Also, Mr. Spider is a poor man from the village who works as a local wine brewer. After Gbeofia reaches 21 years old, he approaches his father with a proposal to let her get married. Nevertheless, Gbeyor refuses to allow her beautiful daughter to get married to the local men in their village (Traditional p. 1). This is because he perceives the local menfolk to be poor and not worthy to marry her daughter. Instead, Gbeyor desires to wed off her daughter to a wealthy man from a different community. However, soon after the news of Gbeofia's intent to get marriage becomes known, the local men start visiting Gbeyor's home with gifts to seek approval to marry Gbeofia. At the time, they are aware that Gbeyor cannot approve them to marry his daughter but they try their luck all the same. Among the visitors to Gbeyor's home is Mr. Spider who is a poor man that is well known in the village. Gbeyor chases away Mr. Spider from his home during Mr. Spider's first visit to his homestead. Mr. Spider, just like other men in the village, desires to marry Gbeyor's daughter, Gbeofia. After being chased away harshly by the Gbeyor, Mr. Spider does not lose hope of marrying Gbeofia. Instead, he employs craftiness and wisdom to trick Gbeofia into marriage.
In the short story, Mr. Spider demonstrates his character trait of craftiness. The term crafty is used to characterize the clever way of attaining personal objectives, through indirect or deceitful techniques. The aspect of craftiness in Mr. Spider can be portrayed in the story in his decision to trick Gbeofia using the pawpaw fruit. Mr. Spider knows about Gbeofia's fondness for the pawpaw fruit. As such, he decides to use craftiness to trick Gbeofia into marriage. One day, as Gbeofia and her mother visit the area near Mr. Spider's home to gather pawpaw, he offers to climb up the pawpaw trees on behalf of the two women (Traditional p. 1). Mr. Spider them decides to fall intentionally from the tree. This is so as to feign an accident with the aim of exploiting the emotions of the two unaware women. This occurrence is followed by Mr. Spider being taken to the king's home where he further continues to deceit the Gbeofia and her mother about his state. Ultimately, Mr. Spider's craftiness is marked in the part where he tricks Gbeofia to lay on top of him naked in the pretense that it would aid his condition (Traditional p. 1). It is also in this instance, when Mr. Spider impregnates Gbeofia and as such qualifies to marry her. Additionally, Mr. Spider can be characterized as a wise person. His wisdom can be manifested in his decision to find a solution for marrying Gbeofia after the king refuses to accept his gift of local gin. The king also chases Mr. Spider from the palace since he is a poor man. Nevertheless, instead of suffering because of being refused by the king, he uses wisdom to find a solution that eventually secures him a chance to become Gbeofia's suitor.
In the story, culture is incorporated into the aspects of marriage and wealth in the African settings. The two facets are highly valued in the African society, and it is the moral value of parents to find a perfect marriage partner for their children. Among the qualities being considered when determining a perfect nuptial partner is wealth or materials possessions. For example, a wealthy suitor is regarded capable of taking care of a bride upon marriage. In the composition of the short story, there are no distinctive vocabularies that have been employed. The author has adopted simple language that can easily be understood by the targeted audience. Also, the fairy tale is not a reinterpretation of a classic story that was authored and published in the past. Instead, it is a unique composition authored and published for the first time by the author Traditional. As such, it can be stated that there are no any cultural changes that could have affected the composition of the short story. Additionally, there are two cultural things that the reader can expect to learn from the story. First, is the importance of humor in storytelling. The theme of humor is well manifested in the story through various characters, such as Mr. Spider. For example, Mr. Spider pretends to cry in agony and later asks Gbeofia's mother to help him with his condition by asking Gbeofia to lay on top of him naked. This is humorous because, in the real sense, such a medical intervention cannot work. The audience will also be expected to learn about the cultural importance of identifying a moral lesson in a literary material. This is because, from the outcome of the short story, the audience can learn that wisdom is power. Despite having a poor financial background, Mr. Spider manages to use wisdom to marry the King's daughter. Consequently, through his marriage, Mr. Spider can manage to secure riches from the King. This is also because Gbeofia is Gbeyor's only child.
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