History of European Civilization

History of European Civilization.

Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart takes its title from the opening verses of “The Second Coming” a poem by William Butler Yeats, an Irish poet, essayist and dramatist: Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity This poem captures Yeats’ sense of the crumbling of the civilization of his time. How well does it contribute to our understanding of the historical moment Achebe describes in his novel? The second paper assignment is to write a response to the following question: What does the title of “Things Fall Apart” mean in the context of the events of this novel? What falls apart? For whom do things fall apart? How? Why? In the introduction to the novel, Dr. Francis Abiola Irele states that the book is “a work that is governed by an acute sense of the determining power of events.” This brief yet powerfully insightful observation may prove helpful as you formulate a response to this assignment. Of course, this assignment also asks you to perform one of the basic jobs of a historian: to use evidence from a primary source text (in this case, scenes, actions, characters, descriptions, statements, and commentary by Achebe) to reveal something important about the ways people in the past saw the world and acted in it—Europeans and Africans alike. In order to answer these questions, you must refer first and foremost to Achebe’s novel, but you may also use the class lectures and material from your textbook. These secondary sources can help you provide context about the nature of Colonialism, and the interaction between European and African culture during this time period. You may not use other sources (books, articles, reviews, web sites, etc.) unless you have received permission from the instructor in advance. The use of outside sources without permission will result in a severe reduction of the grade for the paper. All papers must conform to the following specifications: When citing or quoting a specific passage from the book, please include the author and page number in parentheses, in the body of the paper, following the quotation or reference: (Achebe, 42) or (TW, 405) for the textbook. For class lectures, provide the date in parentheses: (3/29/19). In your paper, then, it will look something like this: “Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand.” (Achebe, 9) “Imperial culture gave new prominence to racial thinking.” (TW, 537) “…” (3/29/19) Provide the in-text citation from the novel, “Things fall apart”, The other two secondary sources that provide context about the nature of Colonialism, and the interaction between European and African culture during this time period, can also be from the novel. 

History of European Civilization

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