World Literature, Week 2

In World Literature this week we’re starting Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe), which I always think students will have already read but am always surprised, still, how many have not anymore.

We always start, of course, with Yeats. I remember reading this poem in the days after September 11th; when I was just starting observation work at a charter high school in Queens; and how the students flew into a panic. That Yeats must have seen it all already (knew it all already): of this, the teenagers were convinced.

1) Read William Butler Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” (1920).

2) Read the first part of Things Fall Apart.

3) Students are usually divided into five groups to research the following topics: the author, the Igbo people, Pre-Colonial, Colonial, and Post-Colonial-Nigeria.

4) You might begin to post questions/comments you have about the novel, and about Yeats’ poem. You might begin to speculate: what is the connection between the two?

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