Do things fall apart?
We discussed the answer to this question in class, but, of course, there were varied opinions:
*We sometimes feel as though our lives were falling apart, but it is only because we don't see the big picture of how our lives are shaped.
*Yes. Things deteriorate, but it is for a good reason. If we wait long enough, we will see that this hardship is purposeful in our lives.
*No. Things don't really fall apart; they just change and morph into something different.
*Analogy: Our lives are like a vase that gets broken; the pieces can be used to create something else. Even the edges of the broken glass can be beautiful when seen in a certain light.
We also discussed the meanings behind each chapter using the following questions:
1. Summarize the events of the chapter.
2. What are you having difficulty understanding?
3. Why would the author tell this story? What does he want us to understand in regard to the context of the story itself AND in regard to the truth of humanity?
1. During a flashback to Okonkwo's father, the reader learns that Unoka (O's father), went to the Oracle several years ago to ask why his crops didn't grow. The oracle simply told him that his laziness was not going to produce good crops. Instead of being wealthy and respected in the community, Unoka became ill eventually with a swollen stomach. Because this was an abomination to the "earth gods", he was not even given a proper burial. Okonkwo had to fend for himself when he was young if he wanted to earn respect, so he askedNwakibie for help getting started on his yam crop. After the drought and the torrential rain of that season, the ground did not produce yams for Okonkwo, even though he worked hard. After that difficult year of working hard for nothing, Okonkwo saw that he could survive any situation due to his "inflexible will".
2. I am having trouble with the theme of the story. Unoka did not work hard, but Okonkwo did. Both had terrible crops at some point in their lives. Is this teaching us that it doesn't matter how hard we work?
3. It is possible that the chapter is telling us that hard times come to both those who work hard and those who don't. But the spirit of the hard worker is strong enough to deal with failure, while the spirit of the lazy man dies when faced with hardship.
Tomorrow: Chapter 5 due. Write the answers to the above questions in your binders under the TFA section.
As you know, we chose non-fiction books to read from the LMC today as well; I will give you the ORB assignment tomorrow as well.