What have you read recently?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I just finished two books, Things Fall apart by Chinua Achebe and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Saliger. They were both really good. I liked catcher in the rye more, methinks, because Salinger can really write from the point of view someone else. The main character is developed nicely, and is a very cool person. It was a little weird, being writted in the 50's though. I was reading Things Fall Apart for an english class, and i had to write an essay about it, i'll paste it in, and you can tell me what you think. Its not really an essay determines anything.

[quote] How your chi affects your decisions

\tIn this Essay I will explore how the outside world and things out of Okonkwo?s control affect his own decisions in the book Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe. Throughout the story Okonkwo makes many extreme and sometimes violent decisions, that he might never have chosen to do otherwise, because of outside forces, and the affect they have on him, his culture and where he lives.

\tOkonkwos father, was a very lazy man, he borrowed alot of money from his friends and neighbors and was slow in repaying them. Unoka, his father, was not a violent man, and would always rather be with friends and playing music, than war or wrestling. Okonkwo grew up the son of one of the most shameful people in the village. As a result of this, Okonkwo grew up wanting to be the oposite of his father. He turned into a famous wrestler, and even though he did not inherit a barn from his father, he built his own and started a succesful yam farm. He married 3 wives and had many children. Despite his fate, as the son of a lazy man, Okonkwo made his own decisions and was very succesful.

\tOkonkwo continued to be very sucessful throughout his life until one day, after a funeral for one of the greatest men in the tribe when they were celebrating his life and shooting their guns in the air, Okonkwo?s gun exploded and a flying shard of iron pierced a young mans heart standing near him. Did Okonkwos chi mean for this to happen? Okonkwo is sent to live in his motherland for seven years. He starts a new farm in his new village and does fairly well there too. The entire process though, puts Okonkwo on edge. He grows espesscially hard on his oldest son, who he thinks is growing up to be like his father, this is one of Okonkwo?s greatest fears in fact. Okonkwo himself starts to feel weak, because friends still in Umuofia, his fatherland are helping him out, selling his remaing crop and bringing him the revenue from it. When the missionarys first arive in Okonkwos motherland, they talk to the entire town and sing them songs. Okonkwo like all the other men, declare them worthless, they call then agbala meaning either women, or weak men with no titles. Okonkwo fails to notice that Nwoye his oldest son is captivated by the songs and speechs. For Nwoye the missionarys seem to answer question about the faults of his culture and the traditional religion of the tribe. Nwoye leaves his family and joins the missionarys. I think that Okonkwo feals threatened by Nwoye leaving, it makes his family look even worse. Okonkwo decides that he will no longer consider Nwoye a son. He is filled with complete violent rage for everyone associated with the church. He feals cursed with a son such as Nwoye. This would have never happened if his gun had not exploded, yet it is one of the most important things in Okonkwos life.

\tAs Okonkwos life living in his motherland is coming to an end, his motherland bans all converts from using public areas such as the market and the stream. Okonkwo is pleased by this. His hate for the missionarys and those who join them is perpetuated his hate for weak people and his belief that all people who join the missionarys or go to church are weak. Many of the village outcasts find refuge from the christians, this makes it hard for Okonkwo and many other villagers to even respect anyone else who goes to the church. When his seven years are up and Okonkwo returns to Umuofia, he see?s that much has changed while he was away. He see?s that a church has been built in Umuofia too and that white men from europe had brought a government, build a court and were administering justice of their own. Not only that, but men who were very high in the clan, not just outcasts had joined the church and forsaken their titles. Okonkwo is suprised by the inaction of his formerly war-like village. His friend Obierika tells him that the village didn?t dare to fight back because another nearby village had been wiped out by soldiers fighting back. The people of Umuofia, though thinking that christianity was a lunatic religion, are thankful for what else its brought, a trading post and lots of money. One of the converts, who is considered a little crazy, disrupts a tradional holy ceremony in the town, and unmaskes a holy spirit, he is thought to have been killed. In rage against the church five men and Okonkwo ran with their machetes to the church and destroyed it. As soon as the District Commisioner heard about it, he arrested all the men and took them to a nearby city with a jail. Here the men were locked up and beaten. Umuofia has to pay a fine to let the six men be realesed. When they are returned to Umuofia, a new church is already being built. He is ashamed of the lash?s on his back and his shaved head. A strong man would not let that happen. A town meeting is called for the next morning. Okonkwo was very tense at the meeting. He is fixated upon convincing his tribe that they need to go to war agaist the church and the white mans govnerment. During this meeting, five court messengers walk bravely up to the market square. The call out and order the meeting to stop. Okonkwo confrontes the head messenger, who stood his ground. Okonkwo drew his machete and killed him. Okonkwo cannot face the village after that, he knows they will not go to war. Okonkwo hangs himself. And why should a formerly proud and prosperous man be pushed to such actions. Fate and the actions of those around him transformed Okonkwo from a respected man to someone who cannot be touched or burried for fear a spirits.


[ 10-27-2002: Message edited by: xionja ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 59
    rodukroduk Posts: 706member
    [quote]Originally posted by xionja:

    <strong>The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Saliger. </strong><hr></blockquote>


    Didn't this book contain secret codes that were used to trigger manchurian candidates into performing assassinations.

    <a href="http://www.davidicke.net/tellthetruth/reststory/fbirye.html"; target="_blank">Link</a>

    Ithaca watch out.

    <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />

    [ 10-27-2002: Message edited by: RodUK ]</p>
  • Reply 2 of 59
    I don't read much anymore... I had my rights read to me once tho...
  • Reply 3 of 59

    diamond age - neal stephenson

    apple confidential

    [In Proc]

    Games Programming Gems

    Rise & Fall of the 3rd Reich

    various itu voip docs

    some game mags & some guitar mags

    btw anyone know if a logitech rumble pad

    will work with a powerbook ?
  • Reply 4 of 59
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Just read Butlerian Jihad by Brian Herbert. First in a trilogy.
  • Reply 5 of 59
    defiantdefiant Posts: 4,876member
    btwxionjaIdidn'treadyourtextbecausehewasunformatte d,andIhatethat.Justtoletyouknow.

    [ 10-27-2002: Message edited by: Defiant ]</p>
  • Reply 6 of 59
    I just read The Two Towers.
  • Reply 7 of 59
    rodukroduk Posts: 706member
    Spelling! (oposite, espesscially, remaing, tradional, confrontes etc). Tut tut.

    Nice essay though.

    [ 10-27-2002: Message edited by: RodUK ]</p>
  • Reply 8 of 59
    der kopfder kopf Posts: 2,275member
    xionja, a thought: do you not think that if you summarize the story-line of a novel, a present tense not only works better but sounds more correct? (you should check it in some NYTimes book reviews and the like - the use of the present tense to narrate past events, isn't that what is called historical praesens?).

    Even more so as you shift from the imperfectum in the first few lines to simple present, and continue in that tense. Maybe it was a conscious decision on your part, but I do think it doesn't really work (so: stick to one or the other, but preferably the present, unless you really want to put a caesura between two parts in your summary, which appears to be what you're trying, but even then, the other way around is probably nicer).

    Oh, and spelling... capitals, strange words, wrong twists that won't show up in spell check ("...and the affect they have on him,").

    [ 10-27-2002: Message edited by: der Kopf ]</p>
  • Reply 9 of 59
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Did ever an author get more milaeage from one novel of questionable importance? "Catcher in the Rye" We still foist this thing on students? Yuck. Matsu pencils a new entry into his to-do list -- write adolescent angst story and market to public schools. Amazing... <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />

    [ 10-27-2002: Message edited by: Matsu ]</p>
  • Reply 10 of 59
    rooroo Posts: 162member
    nice essay. however, i couldn't quite get your point. maybe if you make your argument more obvious and do less plot summary. it sounds like an interesting book though.

    in any case, i recently finished "love and other demons" (ah, garcia marquez does tortured love and desire so well...), though now i am condemed to "the japanese discovery of europe, 1720-1830" and other such works, due to my research project. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
  • Reply 11 of 59
    majormattmajormatt Posts: 1,077member
    Currently: LOTR: Two Towers
  • Reply 12 of 59
    I take it its not a very serious english class?

    I would never get away with an essay like that...ouch i'd be hanged.
  • Reply 13 of 59
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    Streetcar Named Desire..... arrr... I hate that book and the movie is even worse.

    Reading a couple other things right now... mostly college and baseball related though
  • Reply 14 of 59
    thuh freakthuh freak Posts: 2,664member
    i try not to read too much --it angries up the blood.

    i remember liking citr. i tend not to read anything nowadays that has a thickness to it, tho. glad i finished my english reqs.
  • Reply 15 of 59
    airslufairsluf Posts: 1,861member
  • Reply 16 of 59
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    [quote]Originally posted by AirSluf:


    How was it compared to the others? I just re-read the Dune Chronicles plus House Atreides and Harkonnen. Taking a break with Snow Crash before I plow through House Corrino.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    As expected the writing style is the same as House Atreides/Harkonnen/Corrino series, and once you get over the fact of a Dune series being written by someone other than Frank Herbert (albeit his son) it is pretty good. This is the first of a series, but you will find some things very odd, especially how some of the great families started out. Without giving away any plot I can safely say it is more 'sci-fi' than any Dune novel written so far. You will understand.
  • Reply 17 of 59
    I reread The Brothers Karamazov this morning and then this afternoon I tried to see if I could devise a feminist deconstruction of Pete Rose's autobiography, in which he details his exploits as the self professed World's Greatest P***y Eater.
  • Reply 18 of 59
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    Currently reading...

    The Tipping Point:How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

    Next up....

    Conquests and Cultures by Thomas Sowell

  • Reply 19 of 59
    Henry V. Damn those "pussiant" French
  • Reply 20 of 59
    imudimud Posts: 140member
    I have been reading the Xanth novels by Piers Anthony. Don't expect anytyhing meaningful from them but they are fun to read if you like puns
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