21 point out how the action of this novel grows out

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21. Point out how the action of this novel grows out of its setting and compare and/or contrast this development to the relationship between setting and action in some other work with which you are familiar. 22. Support the thesis that this is an anti-imperialist novel. 23. What is there about this novel that gives it a universality? Consider a comment made by the author in which he says that both a white college student from Boston and James Baldwin, a noted African-American writer, told him that the protagonist reminded the two of their fathers. 24. Why do you suppose that this work is considered a classic of world literature?
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Things Fall Apart Notes This novel vividly presents a picture of life in the Ibo society in Nigeria at the end of the nineteenth century. Chinua Achebe, one of the best known African writers of modern times, traces the life of one Ibo man, Okonkwo. The Ibo people pass down their history from generation to generation through proverbs, fables, legends, and myths. Expertly, Achebe weaves these stories into the telling of Okonkwo’s tragic story. Achebe illustrates how the arrival of white missionaries to the villages of the Ibo people disrupts the ancient traditions and inflicts humiliations on the Ibo people. It is this clash of cultures and values, between the Christian colonizers and the traditional culture of the Ibo people with the subsequent deterioration of the traditional culture, that is at the heart of this novel. Curiously, Achebe’s anti-colonialist novel, published in 1959, was written in English, the language of the imperialist. You may want to consider why Achebe chose to do this. All references come from the Anchor edition of Things Fall Apart, published 1994. The instances in this book of violence, male domination, and sexuality are all depicted briefly and in ways that integrate these topics into the narrative appropriately.
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T-1 Things Fall Apart Study Guide Teacher’s Copy PART ONE Chapter One Vocabulary improvident – rash, careless kite – bird of prey impending – upcoming plaintive – sad prowess – strength harmattan – a hot, dry wind 1. List four physical characteristics that separate Okonkwo’s appearance from that of the other men in his village. He is tall, has a wide nose, breathes very heavily, and walks with a spring to his step. 2. How did Okonkwo bring honor to his village as a young man? What other achievements make him an important man? As a young man, he won a wrestling match with the champion, Amalinze the Cat. Later he becomes a wealthy farmer, has three wives, takes two titles, and proves himself in tribal wars. We see at this point that courage and proving oneself relates to the importance of masculine identity. 3. Why does Okonkwo have no patience with his own father, Unoka? What good qualities does Unoka have that his son fails to appreciate?
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