This weekend you must finish your first draft of your Mastery Work!!! It must include:
There are sample paragraphs for Things Fall Apart and a copy of the Mastery work below.
MODEL PARAGRAPH #1
The revised front cover of Things Fall Apart symbolizes Okonkwo’s struggle to preserve his traditional way of life. In the novel, Okonkwo is in fear that the ways of the Igbo will be lost to the white missionaries. He worries that future generations will “abandon their ancestors” and “[pray] to the white man’s god” (Achebe 153). As the novel progresses, Okonkwo takes increasingly desperate acts to try and save his way of life and the cover represents Okonkwo’s fighting a losing battle. He is trying to hold the sand inside of the hour glass the same way he tries to preserve his culture in the face of the missionaries, but the glass is already shattered and he is doomed to fail in his task. This cover might impact a reader’s approach because they will be able to infer that the novel has a tragic or hopeless ending.
MODEL PARAGRAPH #2
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is an incredible work of African literature that focuses both on large-scale and personal conflicts to develop rich and engaging characters. In the novel, we meet Okonkwo, a man who is determined to make the best of his future and be a true, masculine, Igbo man, no matter what the costs. As the author follows Okonkwo’s journey, Achebe also takes the time to provide insight into the complexity and dignity of pre-colonial Igbo life in order to dispel negative stereotypes about Africa. Achebe’s detailed descriptions and thoughtfulness bring Igbo culture to life in a way that is accessible for all readers. Nevertheless, the real drama of the novel stems from how the people of Okonkwo’s tribe deal with a new arrival to their worlds…white missionaries. Will the arrival of white men forever alter the landscape of the Igbo? Achebe shows the reader how colonialism not only impacted Okonkwo and his life, but the entire continent of Africa.
MODEL PARAGRAPH #3
Achebe uses symbolism throughout the novel to develop Okonkwo’s character and the conflicts he faces in his life. Okonkwo is a tough and aggressive man and Achebe represents these characteristics through the symbol of fire. One of the first descriptions we get of Okonkwo is about how his “fame had grown like a bush-fire in the harmattan” (Achebe 3) and later, it is noted that he is “popularly called the “Roaring Flame”” (Achebe 153). Okonkwo being described as an unruly and massive fire reflects his intense personality and his desire to maintain a good reputation no matter the costs. Later in the novel, when Okonkwo is struggling to reconcile the issues he has with his son, Nwoye, he realizes how his penchant for being like a fire has caused him some stress in his life. Okonkwo notes that “Living fire begets cold, impotent, ash” (Achebe 153). Achebe further uses the symbol of fire to expand on a conflict that Okonkwo has, showing us that his tenacity has not always led to his success. The effect that this symbol has on the reader is that we get an insight into Okonkwo’s character. We can understand his intensity, his passion, and his ultimate downfall as being the result of his fiery disposition.