LITR 5831 Seminar in World / Multicultural Literature:
Tragedy & Africa

Discussion-Leader Presentation

Monday, 7 March 2016

Readings: begin Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1957) discussion leader: Jeanette Smith

 Discussion Questions for Part I Things Fall Apart  

1 Things Fall Apart is taught in high schools and colleges across the United States. If someone has read only one novel written by an African, that novel is usually Things Fall Apart. How many of you read it before? For which courses, with what lessons, themes, emphases?


2. What about African people qualifies as “traditional”? 8 What attractions (50) and risks (69) to tradition? What ranges to women’s status in traditional societies? Traditional culture as gendered culture? 13,20,23,64,73,75,88 109-10


3. Tragedy shows individuals as both good and bad—in fact, an individual's most impressive characteristic may be what brings his or her downfall. If Okonkwo is a mixed character, what are his virtues? 4,8,13,63,86 His flaws?13,26,28,29,31,38,61


4. How may the Oedipal Complex appear in Things Fall Apart, particularly in the relationship of Okonkwo and his son Nwoye? 53 Electra Complex? 44 Is the Oedipal Complex unique to the western culture of modernization, or common to the West and Africa?



5. What connections might be made between Things Fall Apart and the previous texts read in this class? 11,12,26,30,36,42,67