Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Essay assignment: Things Fall Apart

Topic choices for a three- or four-page paper on Things Fall Apart (approx. 1000-1200 words)

Topic choice and thesis due in class Friday 11/6
Draft due in class Monday or Tuesday (day 1) depending on section, 11/9 or 11/10.
Paper due in class and on turnitin.com by class time day 2 (Tuesday or Wednesday 11/10 or 11/11).

Other assignments:
Day 3--Read "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings," p. 577 in anthology
Day 4--Read "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World," (handout); vocab quiz, lessons 11 & 12.
Monday, November 16/Tuesday 17th--begin reading Much Ado About Nothing, Act I
Friday, November 20--Cumulative Vocabulary Review Quiz, lessons 1 through 12. (Rescheduled)

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. This is an interpretive essay based on your reading of the novel; no outside sources should be used.

•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?