Things really are falling apart

so since I epically suck at the portion of this course that is worth the biggest percentage, I thought it would be appropriate to assure that the portion that is worth the least is always done on time and such, therefore I am doing my final mandatory blog post.

So this is not my first time at the rodeo of Things Fall Apart. It isn’t my second time but ladies and gentlemen of have read this book thrice (only to be beaten by The Stranger– 6 times) and so i feel like in the grand scheme of things I get what is going on — Atleast compared to Heart of Darkness which was just a freaking shitshow if i ever read one, i understood Les Liaisons Dangereuse more which was in french and written in the 18th century. but i digress.

So when I first read this novel I read it has a companion piece to this book called The Poisonwood Bible which is about a missionary family coming to the Congo and how everyone, but the crazy dad, go ‘native’ in some shape or other. My teacher (shout out to Ms.Clark) who i love hates HOD and so we didn’t to the classic pairing. I think that was very beneficial because I didn’t go into it pre-disposed to thinking that TFA was just a response to HOD. I was able to look at it as a stand alone novel.

I don’t think this is an amazing novel. better than HOD and much better than the majority of the pages i had to look at this year but this ain’t no amazing work of literary genius like some stuff. Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice read and somewhat thought provoking but kinda just meh. Like I just feel that there is no point to this novel. I KNOW THERE IS but by the end of the novel I don’t feel like I know any of the characters that well and therefore i don’t care about any of the characters and therefore i don’t give a crap. It is sorta like Kingdom of this World in that regard. You barely know Okonkwo so when he hangs himself you aren’t left spinning. This is a weak example but when i read The Titan’s Cure (when I was like 11) I cried at the end of the book when Zoe was killed. The cathartic release was just so amazing and the tension that was built up through the novel and the connection created by the author was so intense that all I could do was cry (same thing in the film Atonement)

This is ofcourse a book of symbols. The most prominent, in my opinion, is the use of snakes throughout this book. If you read PWB you see the importance of snakes there too so that may be why I notice it. in TFA, Snakes represent the society itself, the African culture. It is one of their gods and therefore once that random guy kills it, the whole society falls apart. I also picked up throughout the novel this time all the times they reference hanging- oooooo foreshadowing ooooo

Apparently this book was written to show that Africans aren’t one dimensional characters but full fledge human beings but this novel does nothing to propel this. All the characters are flat and most are vicious and kinda dicks. If you want to read a book where this is actually done read Book of Negroes or better yet The Color Purple

I am done.

Now for my little tirade of sass.

Things really fell apart in the reading list this term (see my pun). i don’t think it it necessarily anyways fault, it is just how the cookie crumple. Although there were some highlights this term (Austen, Freud, Wollstonecraft) in general the readings this term (and mostly last term) seemed to continually get less and less interesting in my opinion. Now I will admit freely that I am not the brightest bulb in this bunch – in fact I may be the dimmest but I know I am not the only one who felt that these books just were…in a word…meh. I still have yet to really see the whole remaking/remodeling in these books. Like I see the connection in Kant and Genesis and Butler and Sophocles but that is all…..and maybe Hobbes and Rousseau if I knew what the hell the former was saying. I know that this isn’t necessarily a class of “Great Books” but i think that it could use a bit more greatness and less Haiti (everything goes back to Haiti)

But life ain’t all bad. I got into the BFA program (theatre) and so now I know my trajectory so I have come to realize that i don’t care about essays and Paine. I don’t need to. I remember as a child wanting to be a historian – yup not happening!

4 thoughts on “Things really are falling apart

  1. “Apparently this book was written to show that Africans aren’t one dimensional characters but full fledge human beings but this novel does nothing to propel this.”

    You see, there’s my lecture in a nutshell. 🙂

  2. See, we are so on the dame page.
    Also to everyone, I know that you have already chosen the reading list but consider doing “Nation” by terry Pratchett. It is a novel, amazing and discusses how two people from totally different backgrounds (native and european) can banned together and create a new nation after a catastrophe.

  3. Ah, I was hoping that since you had read this text three times you would help me understand it! I feel a little lost with this one, I have to admit, and I think it’s partly because I wonder if when trying to do interpretations of it I’m just importing a Euro/NorthAmerican-centric lens on it. Like I get quite self-conscious in trying to do a “reading” of this novel because I know that this is a story about a society very different from my own, and what do I really know of it so how can I do an interpretation of what’s going on? but I’m getting over that.

    Snakes…see, I missed that. I mean, of course, I didn’t miss the guy killing the python, but I missed snakes being a meaningful “thing” in the novel beyond that episode. Maybe you can point out in class where else there are snakes because I can’t recall right now.

    The hangings…yes, it’s interesting not just because it’s foreshadowing but also because the missionaries do it to the Africans first and then Okonkwo does it to himself. Why use the same method?

    As for the remaking/remodeling this term, there were several texts that remade Freud in a way (Foucault, Fanon to some extent, de Beauvoir); Wollstonecraft was responding to arguments like those in Paine; obviously there’s the Conrad/Achebe/Coppola grouping. Hacking’s text was similar to Foucault’s in some regards, though so few people in our seminar got enough of Foucault that no one really picked up on that. His text also stood alone, in a way, as talking about remaking the soul itself. So there actually was a method to our madness!

    And you absolutely don’t epically suck at the part of the class that is worth the most. I’ve seen a significant improvement over the year, which your marks reflect, I think!

    Finally, I would very much like it if you would compile a list of the many text suggestions you’ve made over the course of the year–if you can remember them. We’ve chosen books, but they’re not set in stone, and I want to hear about other things we might consider. I don’t know what we’ll change, if anything, but I want to be aware of alternatives! You could post them here or send via email or write them down, whatever.

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