Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Identity Crisis: Hero or Coward?
After the humiliation of the leaders of his village and the implementation of a new government, Okonkwo could no longer suffer the meddling of the white men in his world. In an act of blind rage and fury, Okonkwo murdered the messenger of the British imperialists. Desiring perhaps on a subconscious level to awaken the lethargic passiveness of his people, what resulted afterwards was only a stunned silence from his fellow people. He realized the hopelessness in keeping his way of life from falling apart and went home to hang himself.
Did Okonkwo die a hero or a coward? Was his suicide a brave and fierce act of defiance like Patrick Henry? Or was it the sad resignation of someone who simply gave up?
We want to try to answer this question by first considering the issue of identity crisis he faced. In groups, read the following poem:
"Search for My Tongue"
Answer the following questions in your group:
1. What is the inner conflict faced by the poet?
2. What is the identity crisis?
3. What figurative language does she use to describe this conflict/crisis?
4. What is her solution for the problem? How does she find peace?
5. How does this apply to Okonkwo?
6. Did Okonkwo die a hero or coward? Why?