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Things Fall Apart

A Novel Introduction

Clary Carleton

on 12 December 2014

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Transcript of Things Fall Apart

As critical readers of this text we will...
Be aware of different levels of reading
Practice close reading
Annotate text (with post-its!)
Develop new vocabulary and word knowledge
Develop critical and cultural literacy
The United States is not the center of the universe.
Big Ideas
African Storytelling
Tragedy and the Tragic Hero
Religious Freedom
Gender Roles
Human Rights
Open High
World Literature
The last four or five hundred years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature that presented Africa in a very bad light and Africans in very lurid terms. The reason for this had to do with the need to justify the slave trade and slavery. … This continued until the Africans themselves, in the middle of the twentieth century, took into
their own hands the
telling of their story."

Chinua Achebe
Imperialism in Africa
IMPERIALISM: the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies. Also known as COLONIALISM
"Until lions have their own historians,
tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter."
Chinua Achebe

: late 19th century Nigeria; early period of British colonization

Point of View
: Omniscient (all knowing) narrator

: Deceptively simple style of oral African storytelling tradition; repetition pervasive

Fables and Proverbs convey symbolic meanings

: story with a moral, with animals as characters

: short, well-known saying that expresses an obvious truth and often offers advice.

a method used by a writer to indicate or suggest something that is going to happen later in a story.
57 independent countries in Africa with over 1,000 spoken languages.
The country of Nigeria created in 1914 but not independent until 1960
There are more than 250 ethnic groups within Nigeria. The largest are the Fulani/Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo (or Ibo.)
Exploring Another Culture
You are not the center of the universe
Who are YOU anyway, and
where are you from?
or even the planet.
The Ibo People: A Study of Culture
Third most populous ethnic group in Nigeria.
Kinship held society together
Villages of about 5000 people
No single leader, but "titled" males within clans carry out executive, judicial, and legislative functions
Patriarchal family structure
Emphasis on hospitality
Subsistence farming: raising crops for own consumption, esp. yams (the male crop)
Wealthy men have two or three wives who each have their own hut
Effective speaking is a valued art
The Traditional Ibo Religion
Polytheistic religion based on ancestral worship
Will of Gods revealed through oracles
Individual's guardian spirit called "chi." A person's "chi" affected his or her destiny, but the individual could influence the chi
Late 19th century, Christian missionaries began campaigns of conversion
The Kola Nut
The Kola Nut plays a major role in
ceremonial traditions and hospitality.

The nut contains more caffeine that two large
cups of coffee!

The nuts are broken with a knife.
The number that result correspond to the
degree of prosperity bestowed upon the hosts and guests.
Ideas to Consider
the beliefs, customs, practices, and social behavior of a particular nation or people

Social Order/Organization/Power:
Who makes the decisions? How are decisions made? Who is left out of decision making? Why?

relationship by blood or marriage to another or others

a long-established custom or belief, often one that has been handed down from generation to generation

an established and prescribed pattern of observance, for example, in a religion

a belief in or assumption of the superiority of your own social or cultural group

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Full transcript