Things Fall Apart and the Case Against Imperialism

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12 AP English Burnett Things Fall Apart Socratic Seminar Points of Discussion 1. Achebe begins the novel with an elaborate description of the central character Okonkwo. What do we learn about the values of Umuofians through this characterization? 2. Discuss Okonkwo as an Igbo heroic character: how does he work to achieve greatness as defined by his culture? How does he differ from Western heroes? What are Okonkwo’s strengths and weaknesses? 3. Describe Unoka, Okonkwo’s father. What are Okonkwo’s feelings toward Unoka, and why? How does the example of his father shape Okonkwo’s character and actions? Would Unoka be viewed differently in a different culture? 4. What do the early…show more content…
18. Why is Okonkwo disappointed with his son Nwoye? What values does Okonkwo associate with manliness? How does Nwoye relate to these values? Compare Okonkwo’s attitude toward Nwoye to Okonkwo’s attitude toward his daughter Ezinma (presented in Ch. 8). 19. How are white men first introduced into the story? Why might Africans suppose that they have no toes? What sorts of attitudes do the Africans express about white men? 20. The egwugwu ceremony of the Igbo is dramatized in Ch. 10. Who are the egwugwu and what are the functions of the ceremony? Compare the Igbo system of judgment in domestic affairs with that of the U.S. 21. What are these internal conflicts that erode the unity and integrity of the village? What part does Okonkwo play in the dissension? How does Okonkwo jeopardize his own authority within his community? 22. Part I presents Igbo life and culture before the coming of the white man and colonialism. In what way(s) can Things Fall Apart be considered a "response" to depictions of Africans in Western literature--or other images of Africa as portrayed in the Western media, film, books, etc., that you are familiar with? How does Achebe’s novel "correct" such European depictions of Africa and Africans, and offer you an Afrocentric (Africa-centered), rather than a Eurocentric (or Western-centered), perspective? 23. Even as Achebe works to educate his readers about African culture and to combat
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