Week 7 discussion forum: second half of novel



  • Understand the general nature, purposes, and techniques of literature with a sense of its relationship to life and culture.
  • Recognize a representative selection of literary works by major writers (including notable stylistic devices and features) representing a diversity of prominent historical and cultural traditions and issues.
  • Understand the biographical, historical, and cultural contexts of a representative selection of works by major writers.
  • Identify the relationships among the literary works studied and the philosophical, religious,  political, social, and economic milieus of the cultures and subcultures within and among which they were written.
  • Think, write, and speak about literary texts critically and effectively.

Primary Post

Choose TWO of the following prompts to address in this week’s DF. Indicate the number of your prompt in your post. The length of each post should be 250 words minimum. Research is necessary for this week’s DF. Consult and cite at least one reputable source in your posts.Your source may provide cultural or historic information, or it may share a scholar’s view on a facet of the novel. Some resources have been provided in this week’s reading and viewing materials.

  • 1. Many scholars claim that much of the novel’s success lies in its objective tone. They claim the narrator does not favor either the European or Igbo people. Did you find the narration objective or subjective? If subjective, who is favored? If objective, how are the portraits balanced or fair? Support your view with references to the text.
  • 2. In Part II, Okonkwo is exiled to his motherland. How is Mbanta different from Umuofia? What is significant about his return to his motherland? How does this change affect Okonkwo’s identity?
  • 3. Compare the philosophy of Mr. Brown’s missions to that of Rev. James Smith’s. What conclusions can you draw about the two men’s methods for bringing Christianity to the Igbo? How accurate is the depiction of European missionaries? Consider that Achebe’s father was a missionary and Achebe had direct experience with Christians interacting with the Igbo.
  • 4. After reading “The Second Coming” by Yeats, see what parallels can you draw between the poem and the novel. How do Yeats and Achebe account for the decline of society or culture? Yeats pointed out that societies don’t fall due solely to external pressures; some tensions and pressures must exist within the society first. What tensions existed within the Igbo society before the missionaries arrived? How do values within the culture clash with those of the newly arrived Europeans?
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