Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eng IV--Things Fall Apart essay

Topic choices for a three-page paper on Things Fall Apart

Topic choice and thesis due in class Wednesday 11/5
(and watch election coverage Tuesday evening)
Draft or outline due in class on Friday, 11/7.

Paper due in class and on by class time on Monday, 11/10.

Choose one of the following topics to develop into an essay based on your understanding of the novel Things Fall Apart. In your essay, refer to specific passages and examples from the novel to support your ideas.

•Is Okonkwo a tragic figure? Review what you know from our study of Greek tragedy and assess to what extent those ideas apply to Things Fall Apart in general and Okonkwo in particular.

•How does Achebe’s narrator both endorse and critique the values and practices of Ibo culture? Why does he present some elements of the culture as problematic or flawed and others as sources of strength for the Ibo people?

•How does Okonkwo determine right from wrong? Choose three examples of decisions Okonkwo makes and examine what belief systems, values, laws or traditions he uses to choose a course of action. Evaluate the wisdom or effectiveness of these decisions.

•What kind of leader is Okonkwo? Choose three strong actions which demonstrate his leadership. Identify the values, beliefs, and/or traditions on which he bases each action and evaluate its effectiveness.

•Of his daughter Ezinma, Okonkwo thinks, “She should have been a boy” (p. 64). Why is it necessary to the story that Okonkwo’s favored child be a girl?