Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Culture Clash

We've begun Achebe's novel "Things Fall Apart." Okonkwo and his world are beginning to take shape for us.  What is interesting for me as an instructor is to watch my students' reactions to a culture that is so vastly different from ours.  We had a great discussion yesterday about gender roles in our society and in the Ibo tribe.  Maybe it's not such a bad thing that parents monitor their children's activities and are involved in their lives...And the support system around us needs to be strong - neighbors, friends, grandparents - in order to thrive and find our place in this world.

Okonkwo rules his family with an iron fist and no one is sheltered from his wrath.  His wives carry out the daily chores as do his children and Okonkwo tends his large farm, making sure the staple crop of yams thrives.  Whether you believe he is run by his vices (abusive, selfish, arrogant, short-tempered, macho, cold-hearted) or his virtues (respected, successful, confident, manly, unemotional) there is no doubt his is an impressive figure.

Don't forget to keep up with the reading schedule and take note of those proverbs.

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