Dialectical Journals- Things Fall Apart

Dialectical Journals
1. His fame rested on solid personal achievements.

Pg. 3 paragraph 1
All fame begins when you do something noticeable. For example, actors and actresses build upon their careers and reputations by achieving excellence in their personal goals, as well as perfecting their public performance.


2. It was said that when he slept, his
wives and children in his houses could hear him breathe.

Pg. 4 paragraph 1
One question that comes to mind when I read this is if he alternates between homes on certain days or months. From what I understand, it used to be socially acceptable to have many wives and children, but they all lived together in one home, scattered among different chambers within the house. The use of the word homes is what made me wonder.


3. He always said that whenever he saw a dead mans mouth he saw the folly of not eating what one had in ones lifetime.

Pg. 4 paragraph 2
I think that what the author was trying to imply in this passage was that in his personal experience, he has noticed that many people take many things for granted and that they dont live their lives according to what they want and need to do. So much is wasted during ones lifetime, and people just allow their lives to pass them by.


4. As he broke the kola, Unoka prayed to their ancestors for life and health, and for protection against their enemies.

Pg. 6 paragraph 5
The impression that I got was that Okoye just came over on a whim. Is it customary to honor and pray to the ancestors whenever you have company; expected or unexpected? This seems awkward.


5. Okoye was also a musician. He played on the ogene. But he was not a failure like Unoka.

Pg. 7 paragraph 6
I can compare this selection to my personal life in both the resent and the past. Even though I have many things in common with my friends, I often feel like a failure in comparison to them, as if they are better than I am at things that we do regularly, much like Unoka in comparison to Okoye.

6. A snake was never called by its name at night, because it would hear.

Pg. 9 paragraph 2
The act of fear is much more common in the dark. In the dark, people expect things to be lurking around the bend, waiting for someone to summon it. I can relate this selection to my past experiences with my friends. When we were in elementary school, we would go into a dark bathroom and say the name, Bloody Mary. Even though this is so immature, we still feared the superstition that she could really be on the other side of the mirror, waiting to attack us when we summon her.


7. Okonkwo ruled his house with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his little children.

Pg. 13 paragraph 1
This is the modern, everyday life of many unfortunate people. For People of all ages. You can hear on the news about wives and children and even husbands who were killed in acts of rage and domestic violence. Even though I am unable to relate to this certain passage, I was still touched and I actually felt sympathy for these fictitious characters.


8. And so Okonkwo was ruled by one passion- to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved.

Pg. 13 paragraph 1
I can relate this selection to not only myself, but to todays youth in general. Because many teenagers are forced into doing things that they dont want to do, (but their parents want for them,) they begin to spite what they are being forced to do. In this quote however, Okonkwo HATED his father, where as the people that I am referring to simply despise the fact that they are unable to make their own decisions or feel that they have a lack of freedom.


9. Okonkwos first son, Nwoye, was then twelve years old but was already causing his father great anxiety for his incipient laziness. At any rate, that was how it looked to his father, and he sought to correct him by constant nagging and beating. And so Nwoye was developing into a sad-faced youth.

Pg. 13-14 paragraph 2 and 1
Now a day, many parents cant see that their children really are trying their very best. Often times, nothing is good enough. Many adolescent people can relate to this quote. Parents often force their children into working very hard, (even at an exhausting rate), which makes them feel like their best is not good enough; that they are not good enough to be members in their own family. All of those factors can drive the youth to go into a serious stage of depression or low self-esteem; or become a sad-faced youth. It is like their time of innocence, fun, and youth is being ripped from their cold, dead hands.


10. His name was Nwakibie and he had taken the highest but one title which a man could take in the clan.

Pg. 18-19 paragraph 3-1
My personal interpretation of this selection is that no matter how good, rich, powerful, or beautiful you may be, there is always someone who is better than you. You can try and try for many years, (where as many and most people try for their entire life) to be the best, but sadly you will never be the best no matter how good you end up being in the long run.


11. A toad doesnt run in the daytime for nothing.

Pg. 20 paragraph 6
This symbolically means that tradition is celebrated frequently, such as a toad running during evening as opposed to during the daylight hours. Once a tradition is kept for long periods of time, it is expected by the public to be kept. When a difference in the system becomes obviously visible, (i.e. the toad running during daylight as opposed to the usual), this causes watchers of the event to believe that something important must have occurred in order to cause the cycle of tradition to break.


12. The rain is falling, the sun is shining, and Nnadi is cooking and eating.

Pg 35 paragraph 2
The basic idea of this quote is that some people go out and enjoy life; sit in the sunlight, and play in the rain; where as others just sit inside and do the basic things in order for a successful survival as social and emotional life passes them by. I can relate to this in the way that my friends go out many times a week and have fun. I am just like Nnadi. I work on wonderful IB homework and stay at home instead of being able to enjoy the so-called best years of my life.


13. The new yam festival was thus an occasion for joy throughout Umuofia.

Pg. 37 paragraph 2
This seems like a form of Thanksgiving mixed with New Years. Throughout the book, the main focus is on crops, (the biggest crop being yams). Why do yams play such a big part in the story? Are there other major crops too? Yams are not that big of a deal in the United States, and we are successful with plantations of a wide variety of different crops.


14. But somehow Okonkwo could never become enthusiastic over feasts as most people.

Pg. 37 paragraph 3
This quote can be related to me. When I was much younger, I used to be so excited about Christmas and Halloween and my birthday. Now, I feel that I am too mature to care about Christmas and my birthday, or any other holiday that I used to enjoy. I often feel very embarrassed when I celebrate special occasions or receive gifts, even when it is appropriate to do so.


15. Who killed this banana tree?
Pg. 38 paragraph 3
I didnt know that bananas grew on trees. I find that very fascinating. Ive never really wondered what a banana grew from, but I never imagined that such a thing as a banana tree existed. I would really really like to see a banana tree someday in the near future.


16. My eyelid is twitching
That means you will see something.

Pg. 41 paragraph 1
This is completely dumb logic. The crazy ideas and stupid wives tales in this book really infuriate me to a level that is almost unbearable. If your eye twitches, then you have just had a muscle spasm, thats it. Youre not going to see anything spectacular. Praying to idols doesnt make plants grow. EVER. Things dont work that way. They never have and they never ever will. This author and this whole story in general are so ludicrous. I find it absolutely obnoxious.


17. And then Nkechi came in, bringing the third dish.

Pg. 45 paragraph 4
Okonkwo is a complete slob. He treats his wives and children terribly, but yet he still finds it appropriate for them to work for him all of the time and for them to all slave in the kitchen everyday and every night. He only needs one dinner. It would be more sensible for the wives to switch off on cooking days instead of all three women preparing dinner every single day.


18. Old men nodded to the beat of the drums and remembered the days when they wrestled to its intoxicating rhythm.

Pg. 47 paragraph 2
I thought that only special men were able to wrestle in these special matches. If that is true, then why is it such an honor if everyone does it? If all men wrestled professionally when they were young, then why is this wrestling match so interesting and important? What makes it different and/or special? This seems that the old people are getting worked up over nothing.
19. They became normal human beings again.

Pg. 48 paragraph 1
Are these non-professional wrestlers considered celebrities? In this chapter, they were
addressed as 15 or 16 year old boys. Hey werent even on teams. They were just warm-up acts. How can they be considered special or important after such a short period of time? It seems arrogant and ironic when they act like normal human beings under that label, when that is what they were all along.


20. I think she will stay. They usually stay if they do not die before the age of six.

Pg. 46 paragraph 9
What are they talking about? In this country is it legal for a ten-year-old child to move out? Where is she going to go? If it is customary for children to stay home until they are adults, then why are they having this conversation? Why do they reserve the right to be so perplexed over this whole situation? It makes no sense at all for them to waste their time talking about whether or not her daughter will stay. They should just follow their silly superstitions and customs so they dont make their dead family members or their pretend gods angry. If they break traditional rules, then their beloved yams will never grow.


21. when they thought they were equally matched, they stopped them.

Pg. 47 paragraph 4
Why do the judges decide when the match is over? This seems unfair. The judges could favor one wrestler over the other and just make it so that he wins instead. Why cant they just leave it where one man is unable to get up and fight, then he loses? That would make more sense than to have some people who arent even fighting decide when its over
22. have enough in the barn to feed the ancestors.

Pg. 53 paragraph 1
This is so ludicrous. Why do they need to feed their ancestors? It is ridiculous to waste their own food; to put it on a grave and watch it rot. Who in the right mind would do something nutty like that? This reminds me of the time that a restaurant, Carlos OBriens was closed down. I can see a deep comparison in these two stories:
Carlos OBriens owners wouldnt pay their taxes. They were closed permanently. A while after the restaurant had become inaccessible to the owners, it began to smell very badly. A discovery was made that the restaurants fresh, nice meat had begun to rot. It was a shame that the manager did not retrieve the meat and use it for himself while it was still good.
Now, pretend that the restaurant is your great aunt Marcy. She dies because she is old. Now, shes your dead ancestor. It sure is a shame that she had to die. But, you keep on living even though she is dead. And you still need to eat and you still need to live. Which seems like a smarter choice?
a.Give her dead body all of your food so it can rot and not be used
Or
b.Take your food with you so that it can be used before it expires.

I hope that you chose b, because b is the only choice that anyone with a common sense gene would choose.


23. Okonkwo told the story of how he had stalked his victim, overpowered him, and obtained his first human head.

Pg. 54 paragraph 2
So do many people of this country like to decapitate other living people for sport? Is it common and legal to steal someones life just so that you can have his or her disgusting head? How did Okonkwo pick his victim? In the quote it says first human head. Does he have many human heads? Does it make Okonkwo a big tough manly man to stalk and decapitate a poor innocent man? That is a crime. Its a felony and he is a felon. Felonies are absolutely NOTHING to be proud of under any circumstance.
24. The locusts are descending, was joyfully chanted everywhere.

Pg. 55 paragraph 4
It seems as if everyone is unaware of the damage that locusts can cause on crops. Their excitement makes me feel as if they are ignorant. Locusts are filthy, disgusting insects. If the villagers knew what the small, disaster-riddled pests were capable of doing, then they would fear the swarms return instead of praising and rejoicing it.


25. My daughters suitor is coming today.

Pg. 65 paragraph 7
Why is a ten-year-old child getting married? Is the man also ten years old? Why would an adult want to marry someone who hasnt even reached adolescence yet? It made sense to them to sell their daughters for marriage once they started menstruating, but why would they sell off a child who probably wouldnt start to do that for up to two years after the marriage.


26. You might as well say that the woman lies on top of the man when they are making the children.

Pg. 74 paragraph 3
This shows that in the days of this book, sex was just for making children; not for fun. Now a day, men like sex in a variety of positions. They often like domineering women who are on the top rather than the bottom. I suppose that back then, the men had little respect for the women so they felt that they should be below them. If they were on top during sex, then the men may feel intimidated by the womans strength and be disgusted that they have no shame.

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