Friday, February 19, 2010

An African Voice

Please leave a comment in response to our reading of An African Voice. Your comment should:
  1. Include your name and class period
  2. Include the quote that you're going to discuss
  3. Include 2-3 sentences of explanation of why you selected that quote.

You should select a quote to post that does one of the following:

  • is the most interesting/thought provoking quote in the interview
  • is, in your opinion, the most important or significant quote in the interview
  • has the greatest connection to the thematic ideas explored in Things Fall Apart.

If you can't find your copy of the article, you can reread it HERE.

Don't forget to finish reading the novel this weekend!

44 comments:

  1. 錢,給你帶來歡愉的日子,但不給你帶來和平與幸福 ..................................................

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  2. Annie T. Period 1
    I think the most important quote was "...this tradition of bad news, or portraying Africa as a place that is diferent from the rest of the world, a place where humanity is really not reconizable." This quote is the most significant to me becuase so many people view Africa as a bad place where nothing good happens, and that is not true. There is a mix of bad and good everywhere and people should be foucusing on the good not the bad. It also is significant because the view of Africans is seen as inhumman, but in the book "Things Fall Apart" one can see that there is some order and that the Africans are not savages. Achebe's quote is important since it should change our view point from just gettig the small picutre to getting the whole picture in a society.

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  3. Kami H. Period 1
    A significant quote from this reading was "...this is one great thing that literature can do -- it can make us identify with situations and people far away. If it does that, it's a miracle". I think this is an important quote because it shows how Africans are not the only ones who have suffered from colonization, and other unfortunate things like that. This quote shows how many people can relate to each other no matter where you come from, because of what experiences you have had that can relate to others lives.

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  4. Taylor W. Period 2
    I think the most important quote was..."What's more difficult is to identify with someone you don't see, who's very far away, who's a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is really performing its wonders."
    This quote is important because he is talking about how people from places that haven't expeirenced colonization can still expierence it just in a different way, literature. Also, when you can identify things that you don't see then reading a book is really performing to its best. Lastly, this quote is saying that you can still allow yourself to see people in a story and find these certain traits, even if they aren't like you, which is stating that we need to look strive the bigger picture when reading a novel, which is done while reading things fall apart.

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  5. Kate B. Period 2.
    The most interesting quote in this article to me was... "There are different forms of dispossession, many, many ways in which people are deprived or subjected to all kinds of victimization --it doesn't have to be colonization. Once you allow yourself to identify with the people in a story, then you might begin to see yourself in that story even if on the surface it's far removed from your situation."
    This quote was Interesting to me because it describes how people automatically try to find away to relate to a story so they can get a better concept of what’s happening. It's easier for people in society today to just acknowledge the similar qualities in people who look like them, or speak like them but Achebe is saying, "What's more difficult to identify with someone you don't see, who's very far away, who's a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is really performing its wonders". This is interesting because Achebe set's his book up so that the characters are acting like the readers, trying to respond to the new culture clashes.

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  6. Maria T. Period 2
    For me the most important quote was..."You had people saying, for instance, that these people weren't really humans, they're not like us."
    This quote is important because Achebe is telling us how Europeans were willing to invent any lie they could thing of to justify slavery.

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  7. Kali K. Period 2.
    I’d consider “But there is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally youself with power against the powerless.” to be the most significant quote both because it’s exploring thematic ideas behind Things Fall Apart as well as bringing to focus Chinua Achebe’s experience in his homeland. This quote is referring to the colonization in Nigeria and how those with power should not oppose the powerless, more so they should be helping those without authority. It indicates there are few people with the power therefore many more without it and in a society where everyone needs to work together, fighting isn’t going to have a positive effect on anyone.

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  8. Kelsey E. Period two.

    "You had people saying, for instance, that these people weren't really human, they're not like us. Or, that the slave trade was in fact a good thing for them, because the alternative to it was more brutal by far." Struck me as the most significant quote because I feel it epitomizes what the point of When Things Fall Apart was. It was another view of a situation that was previously thought of as what was in the above quote. The authors of previous books tried to turn Africans into monsters as to be able to lighten the consciences of slave owners. The authors also described the Africans life as brutal as to make it seem like we were doing them a favor be bringing them here, and to again justify slavery.

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  9. Jamie Jones 2nd Hr.

    "The reason for this concentration on the failings of Africans is the same as what we've been talking about -- this tradition of bad news, or portraying Africa as a place that is different from the rest of the world, a place where humanity is really not recognizable. When people hear the word Africa, they have come to expect certain images to follow." I thought this quote is significant because what Achebe is saying is true. People do think of Africa as a place of poverty and a place of trouble so basically they have melancholy thoughts. They don't really think of the bright side because the media doesn't inform us about them, we only hear about the struggles. I think we should be more informed about the good things not just the bad.

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  10. Ryan G. 2nd Hour

    "I think that an artist, in my definition of that word, would not be someone who takes sides with the emperor against his powerless subjects" is a very thought-provoking quote to me. I agree with Achebe completely on this; if you're only going to tell one side of the story, its not fair or just to tell it from the side of power. That power side of the story has probably already been told, and if you are a true artist, then you would help the powerless inform the world about their side, their story, their perspective on the issue.

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  11. Keagan P. hour 2

    "What's more difficult is to identify with someone you don't see, who's very far away, who's a different color, who eats a different kind of food."

    I think this was the most important quote because that's pretty much everything that Things Fall Apart was about. Achebe was trying to help us identify with colonized people, which I've never really been exposed to. He got me as a reader outside the comfortable world of the colonizers that i knew and put me in the shoes of those being colonized, got me outside my comfort zone, which i appreciate a lot.

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  12. Patrick M. hour 1

    "No, there's no moral obligation to writhe in any particular way. But there is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally yourself with power against the powerless."

    This quote is the most important in my opinion because it shows what Achebe it trying to express to the reader about colonization form the colonized peoples perspective. Many of the tribes men in Things Fall Apart convert to Christianity and help the powerful dominate, disassemble and assimilate the weaker into their own society.

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  13. Ashley Eickhoff hour 2

    "There may be cultures that may sadly have to go, because no one is rooting for them, but we should make the effort to prevent this. We have to hold onto this conversation, which is a conversation of stories, a conversation of languages, and see what happens."

    This quote stuck out to me the most. I think that it is the most interesting one, because it's true. Cultures disappear when nobody talks about them or cares enough to help the ones in need. In Things Fall Apart, the missionaries didn't care about keeping the Ibo culture alive. They wanted the people to follow their rules and customs. I believe that Achebe wrote the novel to help keep the culture going.

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  14. My most significant or important quote from Achebe's interview was:

    "Once you allow yourself to identify with the people in a story, then you might begin to see yourself in that story even in on the surface it's far removed from your situation."

    Achebe is describing the necessity of empathy to understanding. Empathy is defined as intellectually identifying the the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. Achebe explains that to truly understand what someone is going through or their struggles, one has to put themselves in their situation and attempt to see life through the eyes of the person in the situation, rather than their own. Even if the situation is very unlike anything you would ever have to experience or could experience, Achebe states that with empathy you can identify with what others are experiencing or have in the past experienced. This also relates significantly with Things Fall Apart because as readers, if we do not try to see the Ibo history of colonization from the point of view from the Ibo people, we will not fully grasp their view and therefore we won't be able to fathom the main points that come from Achebe's writing.

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  15. Julia W 2nd Hour ^^^^^^ p.s <3 english 10!!!

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  16. The significant quote that I chose was...
    "Once you allow yourself to identify with the people in a story, them you might begin to see yourself in that story even if on the surface it's far removed from your situation."
    I think Achebe is trying to say that even if you have a totally different life or are from a totally different place, when you read a story you sort of become a part of it. The story captivates you in some way ot another. Even if you don't have the same things going on in your life as what's going on in the story, you can still find some piece of the story that you understand. Achebe is saying that all books offer something different and you can get engaged in every one with their unique and different settings and plots. You might not be dealing with colonization like all the poeple of Umuofia, but you might be dealing with a different kind os significant change in your life. These things are what help you relate to the book or the characters.
    Maggie Armstrong 2 hour

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  17. Annie Fittipaldi 2nd hour.


    "The result is the world doesn't realy know Africa. If you are African or you live in Africa, this stands out very clearly to you..." This quote is significant, because it relates to the idea that there are two sides to every story, like in Things fall apart. In previous questions in the packet, Achebe talks about the media, and how they only cover what Africa is struggling with, and the poorest places, and what bad thing has happend now. Where as in reality, the people who live there know there are good things that happen, and although there are unfortunate or bad things that happen, there is also successful and good stories which also come out of Africa, but aren't ever shown. This is similiar, because not many people had an idea on what it was like to be colonized from the Africans perspective, and now we see that many of us today, don't know what it's really like in Africa, because it's never told.

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  18. hector, periode 1
    " and one hopes that we will someday be able to realize that potential for Nigeria's future".

    thats a great diversity of vibrant people who are not always on the best of terms but when they are they can really make things happen. for what has to come in the future, a place where u live and have grown will always not disappear in your eyes but always be with you in your hear and mind. nothing can change something once you have already seen it as a whole.

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  19. Alyssa Wilson
    Hour 2
    "The mindless absorption of American ideas, culture, and behavior around the world is not going to help this balance of stories, and it's not going to help the world, either. People are limiting themselves to one view of the world that comes from somewhere else. That's something that we have to battle with as we go along, both as writers and as citizens, because it's not just in the literary or artistic arena that is going to show itself."

    I think this quote is important because us as Americans pretty much believe what we see and know about other countrys/cultures and not whats the truth about them, like in the book Things Fall Apart. We need to look at the facts of something before we judge or ridicule it. We need to know both sides or views of something to know the real meaning or way of it.

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  20. "I keep hoping, and that hope really is simply a sense of what Nigeria could be or could do"

    I think that this is an important quote because it shows that even through all the things Achebe has seen Nigeria go through he still has this continuing sense of hope that everything will be aright. He also talks about the potential that Nigeria has, what they can do if they put their energy toward rebuilding

    With Love,
    Daniel Steven Schmitz

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  21. Sofia H. 1st Hour

    "When people hear the word Africa, they have come to expect certain images to follow. If you see a good house in Lagos, Nigeria, it doesn't quite fit the picture you have in your head, because you are looking for the slum -- that is what the world expects journalists covering a city in Africa to come back with."

    This quote stood out to me because I definitely have this picture of Africa in my head of a desert with wild animals and the slums people live in. However, Chinua Achebe has shown us in his novel, Things Fall Apart, that Africa is much more structured and complex then it's been portrayed by the media as. Like any country it has its good and bad news, unfortunately the bad is what's captured and shown to the rest of the world. From what Achebe has said, people should not catagorize places until they have studied them from every possible angle and point of view.

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  22. After reading this article the quote i think is most influential is "the value of people as people, the almost complete absence of race as a factor in thought, in government. That's something that I really wish for America, because no day passes here without some racial factor coming up somewhere, which is a major burden on this country." I like this quote the most because it talks about how as America we need to improve on our racial thoughts. Achebe says that this is a major burden on our country, which i believe so too. If everyone no matter what race they are could agree or be cival towards eachother our country would be way better off. I like this quote the most out of the whole article because i like how he compared the two countrys and found how Africa is better than America in a way.

    Megan Armstrong
    period 1

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  23. Dan Davila period 2

    "It wasn't as if when i wrote it i was an expert in the history of the world. I was a very young man. I knew I had a story, but how it fir into the story of the world-- i really had no sense of that."

    I chose this quote because i think that it shows how Achebe is humble even though he wrote a book that is a timeless classic. It shows he is humble because he says he is not an expert but knew he had an amazing story that people had to know. Even though he is humble he wrote a great book that everyone should read.

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  24. Mikey Libbey 1

    "this tradition of bad news, or portraying Africa as a place that is different from the rest of the world, a place where humanity is really not recognizable. When people hear the word Africa, they have come to expect certain images to follow. If you see a good house in Lagos, Nigeria, it doesn't quite fit the picture you have in your head, because you are looking for the slum -- that is what the world expects journalists covering a city in Africa to come back with."

    In my opinion, this is the most thought provoking quote in the interview because it was my idea of Africa. I now realize how correct this idea is. I put Africa into Google images and most of the pictures were of people living to less of a standard than in the USA. I then put in Lagos Nigeria and got a very different result. The picture that stood out was one (link below) almost resembles Florida. This shows that the media is “portraying Africa as a place that is different from the rest of the world.”

    http://www.africatravelling.net/nigeria/lagos/images/lagos3.jpg

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  25. Kelly M period 1

    In my opinion, the most captivating quote in Chinua Achebe's interview relating to the book "Things Fall Apart" is "...it's not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself, somebody next door who looks like you. What's more difficult is to identify with someone you don't see, who's very far away, who's a different color, who eats a different food." I feel like this is the most important quote because the entire novel "Things Fall Apart" is about learning to adapt a new culture. Whether you feel the need to fight against it, or pursue it, you know it's different than what you're used to. Although the novel doesn't necessarily pertain to solely race difference, the main characters struggle with relating and comparing their religions and cultures to those of the white missionaries, which is difficult for anybody. Change is hard to get used to and I feel like Achebe strongly states that in this interview and his literary works.

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  26. Lizzy Otten, Period 2
    "How long will it take these people to get their act together? It's going to take a very, very long time, because it's really been a whole series of interruptions and disturbances, one step forward and two or three back."

    I thought that this was a very interesting and thoughgt provoking quote in the interview because so many people don't know that it was the colonial rule who made this problem in the first place. This really makes you think about how Nigeria might be as advanced, or close to how advanced we are today in America.

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  27. Flip Deberg 2nd hour

    "This is a case of sheer inertia, something that has been happening for a long time just goes on happening, unless somethings stops it. It becomes a habit of mind." This quote is very powerful as it mentions the fact that as centuries pass by, the same picture of slavery and powerless African societies are constantly painted in our minds. Something needs to stand up to this.

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  28. Anna Solomon, 2nd hour

    "This is what I try to tell my students: this is one great thing literature can do -- it can make us identify with situations and people far away. If it does that, it's a miracle. I tell my students it's not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself, somebody nest door who looks like you. What's more difficult is to identify with someone you don't see, who's very far away, who's a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is really performing it's wonders."

    I think thought this was very interesting because I feel like I can greatly relate to this quote, because I agree. I think one of the most important things in life is to connect and try to relate to someone who is totally opposite from you. I believe becoming in touch with someone else's culture, and customs is not only interesting but something everyone needs to experience. And as Achebe explains, one of the great ways someone can do this is through literature. Now that I have read this quote, I can understand a deeper meaning of the message Achebe is trying to reveal in "Things Fall Apart".

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  29. Will Kelly, 1st hour

    "There is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally yourself with power against the powerless... But I do think decency and civilization would insist that you take sides with the powerless."

    I think this relates greatly to Things Fall Apart in the sense that all of the clansmen who are abandoning their tribe and joining the white men, are taking sides with the power rather than the powerless. When important people join the enemy, not only does it show weakness to the tribe but it also influences more to join.

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  30. Maggie Wyatt, Period 1
    "The last four or five hundred years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature that presented Africa in a very bad light, and very lurid terms."

    The colinization of very stong cultures, can lead to a twisted out-side looking in veiws from the rest of the world. In this quote, Achebe recognizes that the contact that Europe had with Africa through out the past five hundred years has affected Africa and Africans in a way that seems odd to the rest of us. I beleive this is the most important quote because in a sense it sums up what this whole interview is about. After i have read this quote, I begin to understand what message Achebe is trying to reveal in "Things Fall Apart".

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  31. An African Voice
    Ian A-K, 2nd hour
    "I keep hoping, and that hope really is simply a sense of what Nigeria could be or could do, given the immense resourcs it has"
    I think this is an important quote because even when Achebe knew everything that was happening in Nigeria, there was always a sense of hope that things would get better. With all the human resources they have, with good terms of all the diverse cultures, they have potential to have a good and safe society

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  32. Leon Wang 1st hour

    "And at last the locusts did descend. They settled on every tree and on every blade of grass; they settled on the roofs and covered the bare ground. Mighty tree branches broke away under them."

    I think this is an important quote because it foreshadows the arrival of the colonizers. The white people were like locusts because they "settled" on everything and broke the villager's customs or the "mighty tree branches". Overall, this quote shows that the normal life of the villagers will be disrupted.

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  33. Makenzie Nolan
    Period: 1

    "The reason for this concentration on the failings of Africans is the same as what we've been talking about—this tradition of bad news, or portraying Africa as a place that is different from the rest of the world, a place where humanity is really not recognizable. It is that ability to see the complexity of a place that the world doesn't seem to be able to take to Africa, because of this baggage of centuries of reporting about Africa. The result is the world doesn't really know Africa."

    Although this is a longer quote from the passage, I feel that it holds an important meaning not only pertaining to the novel, Things Fall Apart, but to modern day society and our views on the world. A majority of our knowledge on foreign affairs comes through the media, however what happens when that source in which we all rely on becomes prejudiced? I feel that Chinua Achebe’s entire goal in creating this empowering novel was to demonstrate that Africa ‘where humanity is really not recognizable’ in the eyes of those looking from the outside (Europe, The United States etc.) when its really our lack of understanding towards those who diversify from our ‘cultural standards’.

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  34. “Once you allow yourself to identify with the people in a story, then you might begin to see yourself in that story even if on the surface it's far removed from your situation.”

    I chose this quote because I think it is very thoughtful. The deeper you read something the more connected you become with the characters. Then soon, you realize a part of them that you see in yourself. Even though the setting and time might be different you sometimes feel like you belong in that person’s shoes.

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  35. Ivan Lo
    Period 1.

    First off..
    唱歌..
    你为什么说钱是一个问题。。。 你要说你没有钱很高兴吗?如果你有更多钱,你不会很高兴说,"我是世界上最幸福的人" 吗?

    Now that I got my rant out of the way..
    "People are limiting themselves to one view of the world that comes from somewhere else."
    One main reason I chose this quote is it relates strongly to where I'm standing as an American born Chinese. I talk about going back to China, and some automatically think that I'm being put back into a sweatshop or something. I guess its this kind of racial stereotype that is drilled into our heads overtime and causes one race to alter the way one looks at or thinks about a certain culture.

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  36. Claire Hughes pr. 1

    I think the most important quote is "The mindless absorption of American ideas, culture, and behavior around the world is not going to help this balance of stories, and its not going to help the world, either."

    I think this quote is important because it in a way shows what people and cultures think of us. I agree and disagree to some extent. I agree that America is not always going to be able to help, and its good to have a variety. I also disagree because some places need our help, but they dont always accept it, which could be a bad thing. Over all this quote expresses a lot.

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  37. Shannon Awes, Period 1

    "That's a real problem. The mindless absorption of American ideas, culture, and behavior around the world is not going to help this balance of stories, and it's not going to help the world, either."

    I selected this quote because it is a perspective that I have never heard before. It is definitely a true and insightful statement that really got me thinking about society as a whole. The fight to fit in and be accepted blinds us from the real things in life.

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  38. Jackson Colton period 1

    "When people hear the word Africa, they have come to expect certain images to follow" (4).

    I picked this quote as the most significant part of the interview because what it is saying is that people expect to see Africa as a place filled with slums and violence, not like places such as Lagos, a place alluded to as a developed, peaceful part of Africa. It also implies that some people may think of Africa as an unsolvable problem, that those stereotypical images will always be in place in Africa, and that we shouldn't bother tryng to fix it, which only hurts the development and recovery of Africa

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  39. Camille Pinckaers Period 1

    "There may be cultures that may sadly have to go, because no one is rooting for them, but we should make the effort to prevent this. We have to hold onto this conversation, which is a conversation of stories, a conversation of languages, and see what happens."

    I selected this quote because Achebe is pretty much summing up things fall apart. Also I=it somewhat applies to life in general, I mean sometimes even in our society we try to change people or groups because we think they're wrong. Maybe they're not wrong, just different. I think Achebe just wants us to try and prevent these kinds of things from happening.

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  40. Peter Sakaguchi
    Period 2
    "There are different forms of dispossession, many, many ways in which people are deprived or subjected to all kinds of victimization -- it doesn't have to be colonization. Once you allow yourself to identify with the people in a story, then you might begin to see yourself in that story even if on the surface it's far removed from your situation."

    This is a significant quote from the passage as it symoblizes the many meanings that Things Fall Apart holds. It also shows that the book can resonate with anyone not specific African tribes who were colonized. This is important because it shows that the book has more of a meaning than just telling the story of a man named Okonkwo.

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  41. Usman Mian
    Period 1

    "There is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally youself with power against the powerless.”I think that is an important quote because I think it is what Okonkwo truly believes in. I also believe in this quote.

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  42. Madeline Gonsior period:1March 3, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    "This tradition of bad news, or portraying Africa as a place that is different from the rest of the world, a place where humanity is really not recognizable. When people hear the word Africa, they have come to expect certian images to follow."

    I chose this quote because it truley shows how people veiw Africa based on what the pictures and press tells the rest of the world about it. Usually when hear hear about Africa it is usually bad news that is going on. I think this quote connects to Things Fall Apart in how most people just chose to look at Africa as a bad event Okonkwo and his village didn't really give the white men a fair chance.

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  43. Haley Madson
    period 2

    "We've compounded things by our own mistakes, but it doesn't really help to pretend that we've had an easy task."

    I selected this quote because it says a lot about society today. It is basically saying we have created things by our mistakes. And by telling ourselves it was easy to make those mistakes isn't helping the mistake get better. Society has to try and solve their mistakes rather than forgetting about them. In Things Fall Apart the tribe has to try and make thigs better rather than doing nothing about it and hoping it changes itself.

    Include 2-3 sentences of explanation of why you selected that quote.

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  44. Nelson 2

    What the universal civilization I dream about would be, I really don't know, but I know what it is not. I choose this quote because it talks about one civilization for all people. In addition this quote talks about that Chinua Achebe knews that it will never happen

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