WHAT HAPPENNED TO AFRICA? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNdjcFOo Vi8 An interview with Chinua Achebe, professor at Bard College
“THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw12KGSj 53k&feature=related What motivated European enslavement of Africans? Link that lists African Natural resources: http://www.afribiz.info/content/natural-resources- of-africa List 8 valuable natural resources found in Africa.
QUESTIONS FOLLOWING THE INTERVIEW What is the common impression of Africa‟s history shared by most Westerners today? What were the Europeans impressions in the 1600‟s What enabled the Europeans to take over Africans? “I sell you or you sell me” explain.
PRE-COLONIAL AFRICA Achebe was the first African novelist to tell the story of Africa before European colonization Things Fall Apart depicts the clash of European culture with traditional African culture And the results are tragic
THE IBO TRIBE MAP OF NIGERIA This is the culture depicted by Achebe in the novel An Agricultural society Highly organized social structure Lots of story telling Strictly defined gender roles Strong adherence to tradition Respect for elders Ruthless violence is a fact of life
IGBO RELIGION Centered around the belief that humans must live in harmony with the supernatural forces around them Gods and energies (unseen) are an ever- present reality Many laws were intended to cultivate a peaceful relationship with the gods Happy gods=fertile crops
KEY CHARACTERS –OKONKWO Successful, driven, hardworking Emotionally distant Hates father Reveres laws and traditions of clan A tragic figure
ACHEBE‟S USE OF THE “TRAGIC HERO” TRAGIC HERO CLASSICAL DEFINITION A tragic hero is a person of noble birth with heroic or potentially heroic qualities. This person is fated by the Gods or by some supernatural force to doom and destruction or at least to great suffering. But the hero struggles mightily against this fate and this cosmic conflict wins our admiration. (Is this true for us and Okonkwo?) Because the tragic hero simply cannot accept a diminished view of the self and because of some personality flaw, the hero fails in this epic struggle against fate. (What is it that Okonkwo cannot accept about himself?) This tragic drama involves choices (free will) and results in a paradox --- Is it Fate or Free Will which is primarily responsible for the suffering in the heros life (and in our lives in light of our own personal tragedies)?.
MORE ON THE TRAGIC HERO Tragic doom is both public (the State) and private (a family tragedy as well) We are energized by witnessing this eternal drama for it encompasses the fate and "stuff" of all humans from kings and queens to paupers. As for paupers, in his famous editorial for the NY Times, Tragedy and the Common Man, Arthur Miller argues that the common person is also capable of tragic stature in so far as each one of us seeks a true identity and a personal dignity. http://www.csus.edu/indiv/s/santorar/engl190v/trag.he ro.htm
OTHER KEY CHARACTERS Unoka Ikemefuna Okonkwo‟s father (that child from native he hates) tribe, given as Obierika punishment to Okonko‟s best friend, Okonwo‟s clan advisor and helper Ekwefe Nwoye Okonkwo‟s second wife Okonkows oldest son, Enzima joins missionaries in Okonkwo‟s eldest and end favorite daughter
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS http://www.poets.org/vi ewmedia.php/prmMID/ 15527
TERMS AND VOCABULARY IN POEM Gyre Falcon and falconer Anarchy Ceremony of innocence Spiritus mundi Sphinx Rough beast Bethlehem“THE SECOND COMING”
GYRES AND SPIRAL IMAGERYKEY IMAGES IN SECOND COMING
MORE ON YEATS‟ „GYRES Technically, it stands for the alternation between two historical cycles: one characterized by order and growth, the other by chaos and decay. It‟s comparable to the Chinese concepts of Yin and Yang. http://www.shmoop.com/second- coming/gyre-symbol.html For Yeats these were forces at work in the universe shaping the cyclic fate of the world
NOTICE HOW THE SPIRAL OF A FLACON INFALCON AND FALCONER FLIGHT PARALLELS THE GYRE IMAGESKEY IMAGES IN SECOND COMING
ROUGH BEAST BLOOD DIMMED TIDEKEY IMAGES IN “SECOND COMING”
SPIRITUS MUNDI SIGNIFICANCE OF SPIRITUS MUNDI Translation from Latin Yeats believed the poet Spirit of the world or Soul of was a visionary who could the world tap into the „database‟ of The „collective memory of the spiritus mundi the human race‟ Who plays this role in The fertile ground from Things Fall Apart ? (Ch 11 which springs forth Chielo) powerful and universal Draw a picture of this images usually connected concept. to religionKEY IMAGES IN “SECOND COMING”
Matthew 2:1--2: In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.“ Matthew 2:16: When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise menBETHLEHEM
• Written in 1920 after WWI• War that took lives of millions• Poem predicts the breakdown of Western Civilization• Yeats poem foretells of violence to come• Introduces the idea that history occurs in cycles• Chaos takes over and makes way for the emergence of a new era• Yeats won Nobel Prize in 1923HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
ACHEBE‟S USE OF TITLE Given what you now know about Yeat‟s poem, spend some time thinking about why Achebe chose the title “Things Fall Apart” See if you can find three points of comparison—three themes that occur in both works. Discuss the role of religion in both the poem and the novel.