Okonkwo – Timeline
- Okonkwo grows up resenting his father’s laziness and devotes all his time to proving his own respectability and masculinity–qualities his father lacks.
- At age 18, Okonkwo beats a champion wrestler named the Cat.
- Okonkwo goes to Nwakibie to borrow seed yams and start his own farm. The year is a series of natural disasters but Okonkwo survives and vows that he will survive anything.
- Okonkwo is given charge of Ikemefuna for three years.
- During the Week of Peace, Okonkwo commits the crime of beating his wife. This is his first crime against the earth. As punishment, he is told to make a ritual sacrifice, which he does.
- A few days before the new year, Okonkwo threatens his second wife Ekwefi with a gun.
- The clan leaders inform Okonkwo that they are going to kill Ikemefuna, his adopted son. Though it is not required, Okonkwo participates in the murder. Guilt haunts him.
- When his daughter Ezinma falls sick, Okonkwo frantically makes medicine and does everything in his power to save his favorite child.
- Okonkwo participates as a masked egwugwu in a series of court-like trials as a judge.
- Okonkwo follows Chielo the priestess and Ekwefi when the priestess unexpectedly abducts Ezinma. This is the second time we see Okonkwo openly showing compassion and genuine concern for Ezinma.
- At Ezedu’s funeral, Okonkwo accidentally shoots and kills a boy. For his crime, he is sentenced to seven years exile. This is his second crime against the earth.
- In Mbanta, Okonkwo is chastised by Uchendu for dishonoring his motherland by acting so depressed about his exile.
- From Obierika, Okonkwo gets news about the coming of the white men and later hears about Nwoye being among the Christian converts in Umuofia.
- We flashback to the point when Okonkwo first learned about Nwoye converting to Christianity.
- Okonkwo hears through the grapevine that Nwoye has been spending time with the Christians.
- Okonkwo attacks his son and demands to know where he’s been (the answer is with the Christians). Though Uchendu prevents Okonkwo from further harming Nwoye, Okonkwo disowns his son.
- Okonkwo hosts a feast in Mbanta in gratitude to Uchendu and his family.
- Upon his return to Umuofia, Okonkwo has a conversation with Obierika about the Christians and Okonkwo despairs over the disunity of the clan.
- At this point, Okonkwo becomes more passive than he has ever been before, watching and lamenting the coming of the missionaries while unable to do anything.
- In reaction to Enoch’s crime of unmasking an egwugwu, Okonkwo and the other leaders of Umuofia retaliate by destroying the missionaries’ church. Okonkwo had advised violent action, even to the point of killing the missionaries, though the group only ended up burning down the church.
- When invited by the District Commissioner to discuss the recent destruction of the church, Okonkwo and five other leaders go to meet the official and are ambushed.
- In prison, Okonkwo is singled out to be beaten. Upon his release, he vows revenge, even if he is not supported by the clan.
- During a village conference contemplating war, Okonkwo kills a messenger sent by the District Commissioner.
- When he sees that the Umuofian people don’t support him, he knows it means they will not go to war. This realization drives him to suicide–his third and final offense against the earth.
Overview of the Plot
Mama King’s Attitudes to Living in a Home (attitudes to ageing)
- She seems resentful of the fact that she has spent her entire life caring for her children and their children, and now it seems she has been abandoned by them when she needs the care of family. This is why she is so resistant to the ways of the home.
- On the other hand, she feels as if she is a burden to her family, and as a result they had to place her in the home because they could no longer care for her. This upsets Mama King because she has been independent for her whole life and so feels crippled by the need to depend on the home staff to do everything for her.
- Being confined in the home restricts Mama King and frustrates her, making her feel like a “bee in a bottle.” In addition, she is even more frustrated by the fact that she can see and hear the outside world but cannot actually interact with it.
- The fact that Mama King is in the home reflects the fact that society considers the elderly a burden and as a result, relegate them to live out their years in institutions such as Frangipani house. In addition, the treatment of the residents by the nurses, namely Nurse Agnes and Matron highlights how rough and indifferent the nurses/ caretakers in these institutions are to the residents. These internal views of the nursing home system help the readers identify with Mama King’s plight and allow us to understand her feelings.
A World of Prose- Two Grandmothers by Olive Senior
Point of View
Question: CAPE 2013 Q. 15
Poetry can be deemed enjoyable by its memorability or the relatability of its content. As such, poems which discuss the human condition are often memorable and enjoyable because they present universal human experiences, aided by skillful use of poetic techniques. Thomas Hardy’s poems are memorable for precisely this reason. His poem Neutral Tones relates a dying relationship and the complex emotions experienced by each party. His effective use of pathetic fallacy and imagery aids in this presentation. However, his poems To an Unborn Pauper Child and A Backward Spring discuss varying attitudes to life by using both imagery and personification respectively. Varying complexities in rhyme scheme and variations in tone also aid in the memorability of these poems.
Neutral Tones makes full use of nature and colour imagery to highlight the emotions experienced at the end if a relationship. The overall backdrop of the scene was described as ‘gray’, the sun being ‘white as though chidden of God’. Even the leaves which lie on the ‘starving sod’ are dead and gray, emphasizing the bleakness of the situation. This is also pathetic fallacy as the deathly winter landscape mimics the smile on the woman’s face which was ‘the deadest thing,/Alive enough to have strength to die’. The dominant image if death illustrates exactly how dispassionate the relationship was. The idea of nature existing as a backdrop for human events as proposed by critic Alan Pound in his piece Critical Perspectives is exemplified in this poem. Aside from imagery, the poem utilizes a detached tone, and the persona and his lover remain unnamed throughout the poem. This lends a universality to the poem and thus makes it memorable because readers can easily identify similar situations in their own lives. The complex nature of a failed relationship is offset too by the simple abba rhyme scheme and a controlled use of tetrameter. This is a frequent feature of Hardy’s poems, contrastingly simple rhyme schemes are juxtaposed against complex subject matter.
In contrast to this simple rhyme scheme and complex subject matter, A Backward Spring contains a complicated ababcd rhyme scheme which complements its complicated subject matter. This is representative of the complexities of human behavior in the face of challenges. The poem explores various attitudes to life’s challenges by personifying plants to represent different human responses. For example the ‘…bush afraid to bloom’ illustrates people’s reluctance to make new starts in the face of disasters such as war. However, ‘the snowdrop’s face displays no gloom’, showing that people are optimistic in the face of struggles. Many are also recklessly optimistic like the primrose that ‘pants’ , a representation of people who push on relentlessly toward an end despite the clear dangers. In personifying the plants and flowers, Hardy illustrates varying attitudes to life during the Great War in a creative and memorable way which enhances reader enjoyment. A Backward Spring is unlike many of his other poems in that nature is the main subject or persona of the poem as opposed to a backdrop for human events. Rather, nature represents humans and their differing responses to struggle. Overall, both Hardy’s representation of nature and his similar rhyme scheme and subject matter make A Backward Spring a highly enjoyable and memorable poem.
To an Unborn Pauper Child does make extensive use of imagery, both to highlight the dark, chaotic nature of life and the innocent, protected oblivion of an unborn child. Through describing the ‘skies that spout fire and blood’ and ‘earth that quakes’, Hardy warns the unborn child to ‘cease’ rather than be born and live in such a cruel world. Such imagery suggests chaos, death and destruction and serves as an ominous portent of future tragedies in store for the child. It helps to further Hardy’s case that the child would be better off dead than living in the world. In contrast, the gentle, protected image of a ‘wombed soul’ in a ‘shut plot’ emphasizes the unknowing vulnerability of the child, highlighting again why it should be protected from the world. Additionally, as in Neutral Tones, Hardy contrasts difficult aspects of the human condition with a simple aabbcc rhyme scheme. This contrast provokes thought in the reader and perhaps makes the poem generally more memorable and enjoyable. He also varies the tone of the poem, stanza 1 connotes a warning, or an impending sense of danger. However. This tone slowly changes to protective and finally hopeful as Hardy wishes for the child to have ‘scope’ and reflects in his final views of human nature. In To an Unborn Pauper Child Hardy also uses nature as a backdrop for human activities, however, this is done to a lesser extent than in Neutral Tones.
In conclusion, while a range of poetic techniques does enhance a poem’s enjoyability, time and rhyme schemes are also important poetic elements. Thomas Hardy’s poems Neutral Tones, A Backward Spring and To an Unborn Pauper Child all make use of these techniques and elements thus making them highly enjoyable. Their discussion of various human issues makes them relatable and universal which also maximizes reader enjoyment.
Module 3: The Great Gatsby (F.Scott Fitzgerald) and Cambridge (Caryl Phillips)
Question: In their exploration of social conflict, writers depend primarily on the use of setting.
With reference to ONE Caribbean and ONE British, American or Post Colonial work of fiction you have studied, discuss the validity of this statement.
Writers use literature to explore a variety of social conflicts. Caryl Phillips and F. Scott Fitzgerald use their works to explore racism and sexism in Cambridge and class conflicts in The Great Gatsby respectively. They use a multitude of techniques including setting to enhance their presentation of these social conflicts. However, while setting is used to great effect, plural subjectivities and symbolism are used in Cambridge and The Great Gatsby respectively. Plural subjectivities allow Phillips to explore the idea of there being varying degrees to the truth, especially in relation to controversial topics such as racism and slavery. Fitzgerald on the other hand uses symbolism to illustrate divides between classes and to separate old money from new money and the rich from the poor. As such, the use of setting, along with the aforementioned techniques allows the writers to better explore social conflicts.
In Cambridge, the main settings are the unnamed Caribbean island and England. Both protagonists have experienced each setting, however they have experienced it through very different lenses. This is especially aided by Phillips’ use of plural subjectivities. For example, the first narrator or ‘voice’, Emily Cartwright, experiences England from the oppressed standpoint of a female, but experiences the West Indies from the more privileged perspective of a white person, specifically the plantation owner’s daughter. She is an excellent narrator when describing scenery as she is genuinely impressed and surprised by the new sights of the Caribbean. She also admires the housing on the plantation, both the Great House with its ‘lofty’ ceilings and ‘sumptuous mahogany’ construction and the slave shacks whose gardens bloom with ‘all the colours of the rainbow’. However, she is highly unreliable in her descriptions and opinions of the slaves, frequently associating them with animals (‘a small parcel of monkeys and pigs’) and immorality. The modern reader is inclined to be repulsed by her grossly racist observations, especially after reading Cambridge’s version. This is particularly true in the case of Christiania, the ‘insolent black wench’ whom Emily believes to be Mr. Brown’s willing mistress. However, it is revealed that she is actually a victim of systematic rape and abuse at his hands through Cambridge’s version. Emily also frequently omits information without telling the readers, unlike Cambridge who offers a more detailed account of events. For example, at Hawthorn cottage, she simply states that she and Mr Brown ‘held each other’, leaving the meaning open to interpretation. The true meaning of this is revealed only when she discovers she is pregnant later on in the novel. This censure of her own thoughts even in a private journal illustrates the extent to which women were a marginalized group in the nineteenth century. The various gaps created in Emily’s narrative, according to critic Benedict Ledent in his piece Crossing a Human River of Shattered Dreams open ‘spaces…through which other voices may be heard’. These gaps set the stage for Cambridge’s account and enhance the reader’s understanding of the plot.
Cambridge experiences the majority of his life as a slave and as such his narrative is highly different from Emily’s. Despite being in a privileged position as a man, he is black and therefore oppressed because of his race. However, because he is a man, he is not subject to the same censure as Emily is and as such his narrative is far more reliable than hers. Through him we learn the horrors of the triangular trade which makes Emily’s uncomfortable journey to the West Indies look like a luxury cruise in comparison. He also informs us of the cruelty of slavery and the advantage taken of his ‘wife’ Christiania. Though his version is much shorter and less descriptive thank Emily’s, it shows the readers the true nature of slavery and allows us to appreciate the harsh realities of slave life. Due to his literacy, Cambridge tells the story of all the slaves, a perspective which may have been ignored if Emily’s narrative were the only perspective from which the story was told. This emphasizes Phillips’ insistence on there being no singular truth in any story and highlie the racism and sexism characteristic of the nineteenth century.
The Great Gatsby on the other hand largely uses setting to describe the conflicts and demivides between classes. The poor people in the novel, the Wilsons are relegated to the Valley of Ashes, a ‘gray’ lifeless place where ‘dust men’ swepts ash into piles. The Valley of Ashes is a wasteland which symbolizes the death or dark side of the American Dream; the waste and excess of those who achieved this dream ultimately have consequences for the poor. In fact, it is here that George Wilson loses his wife Myrtle, the one source of ‘constantly smouldering vitality’ in his grey existence. When she dies, so do his dreams of a better life while the rich Daisy Buchanan is not sanctioned for her actions. In contrast, the lavish parties and excess of East and West Egg represent the insulating wealth of the upper classes during the Roaring Twenties. Gatsby’s parties where ‘champagne flowed’ and the atmosphere was reminiscent of an ‘amusement park’ show a stark contrast to the grey desolation of the Valley of Ashes. Similarly, the ‘rosy glow’ of the Buchanan’s Georgian mansion i s far removed from the ‘hot struggles’ and ash and dust of the poor. In this manner, setting creates an almost tangible barrier between rich and poor.
Furthermore, colour symbolism divides the nouveau riche of West Egg from the old money of East Egg. Jay Gatsby wears a pink ‘rag of a suit’ and two grils at his party are clad in yellow. His car is also yellow and a veritable rainbow of colour and texture exists in his wardrobe. These colours are hold and bright but also somewhat gaudy when compared to the muted white and metallic shades frequently associated with the East Egg residents. Jordan Baker and Daisy Buchanan are described as ‘golden girls’ and ‘silver idols weighing down their own white dresses’. Theses elegant, sophisticated colours give them an air of inaccessibility, further emphasized by the comparison of Jordan’s ‘golden shoulder’ and the ‘yellow clad girls’ at Gatsby’s party. It can be said that the bright,gaudy colours of West egg are merely cheap imitations of the understated, elegant palette of East Egg, illustrating the divide between the different types of rich people. Additionally, the white, representative of the blank aimless nature of the wealthy, illustrates the ‘absence of all desire’ according to critic Michael Millgate in his piece American Social Fiction. It shows the extent to which the rich have neither consequences nor hardships in their lives and the generally careless attitude they have toward others in society. This social conflict is well illustrated through symbolism and setting.
In conclusion, the writers use setting along with plural subjectivities and symbolism to great effect in both novels. The multiple perspectives of Cambridge illustrate the varying views and accounts of the controversial topic of slavery. On the other hand, symbolism is used to highlight the socioeconomic divides between classes in The Great Gatsby. Setting is therefore not the primary device used to explore social conflicts in these novels.
© Rajini Coore 2017
So all my Caribbean readers will know that CAPE exams start tomorrow, beginning with Literature/Physics. As such, I wanted to post these essays today to help any of you who may be doing some last minute review for Literature Unit 1. Good luck!!
Question: The theatrical appeal of Twelfth Night depends primarily on Shakespeare’s skillful use of props.
Discuss the extent to which this is a fair assessment of the play. (CAPE 2016)
Theatrical appeal refers to how much the audience enjoys a play. Twelfth Night is rife with theatrical appeal created through the use of many dramatic elements. In order to heighten this theatrical appeal, Shakespeare uses props as well as costumes/disguises and soliloquy, to eveoke emotional responses from the audience. When used together these techniques contribute very significantly to heightening the theatrical appeal of the play.
Props and costumes, seen in Act 3, Scenes 3&4 are primarily used to enhance the humorous appeal of Malvolio’s gulling. The main prop in this subplot is the letter, forged by Maria, which mimics a love letter from Olivia to Malvolio. This letter confesses a “forbidden love” between a mistress and servant and reveals to the audience Malvolio’s designs on the power that would come from a union with Olivia. These illusions of grandeur cause Malvolio to be swept up in an elaborate fantasy wherein he imagines himself in a ‘branched velvet gown’, ‘calling [his] servants about [him]’ and being ‘opposite with a kinsman’, his archenemy and antithesis, Sir Toby Belch. His daydreams involve wealth as he imagines himself playing with ‘some rich jewel’ as he wields his power. The letter as a prop serves two main dramatic functions. Firstly, it advances the progression of the plot as it is this letter that prompts the black-robed Puritan to don garish yellow stockings and cross garters to attract Olivia’s attention. It further functions as a vehicle of humour as the hilarity of the conservative Malvolio prancing about in yellow, cross-gartered stockings is undeniable. Furthermore, Olivia’s horrified reaction enhances the dramatic irony of the scene; the audience knows the letter is a hoax but Malvolio believes it to be real. Olivia’s bewilderment only adds to the comedic impact of the scene. However, prop alone does not constitute the entirety of the comedy, as the scene would not have nearly as much humorous appeal were it not for the yellow cross-gartered stockings. This aspect of costume is comical when read, however a live presentation of the play would rely heavily for comedy on the audience’s view of this odd hosiery. As such the theatrical appeal in this scene is not solely reliant on prop, but necessitates a combination of prop and costume to be fully conveyed to the audience.
In contrast to Malvolio’s humorous costume, Viola’ disguise or Cesario’s costume is the source of much tension and unrequited love in the play. While it does utilize humour as the actor is (according to Elizabethan tradition and the cross dressing done on the Twelfth Night celebration) a man playing a girl playing a man, the disguise of Cesario is a confusing and perplexing ordeal for both Olivia and Viola. Viola originally disguises as a man to obtain work and search for her lost brother Sebastian, an assertive and proactive action. However, as explored by critic Peter Hyland in Conventions of Shakespearean Comedy Viola’s disguise is highly confining and isolating, as she must occupy the liminal space between male and female with no one to confide in. This has negative repercussions for her identity and sense of self as she slowly loses more and more autonomy until she becomes a mere pawn for Orsino to kill to spite Olivia.
In fact, Viola seems to ‘become’ Cesario, as we do not ever see her dressed in women’s clothing after Act 1 scene 2. Even Duke Orsino refers to her as Cesario despite the fact that she reveals herself to him and that they are about to marry. This creates theatrical appeal because the audience is left with several uncomfortably unanswered questions in the resolution of the play.
Viola’s disguise or Cesario’s costume also creates theatrical appeal in building tension throughout the plot. This is especially emphasized through Viola’s and Olivia’s soliloquies in Act 2. In Olivia’s soliloquy, she ‘feels this youth’s perfections’ after briefly meeting with Cesario, the emissary of Orsino. Indeed, she seems to be rapidly falling for ‘Cesario’ as she comments ‘How quickly may one catch the plague!’ as she realizes her growing feelings. This is a major source of dramatic irony in the plot as the audience knows that Olivia is falling in love with a woman. It also builds tension as the audience is almost immediately shown Viola’s soliloquy in act 2, scene 2 in which she realizes that Olivia has feelings for her as Cesario. The isolatory nature of this disguise is emphasized by her cry of ‘poor monster’, showing the helplessness of her situation. Tension is also built by Viola’s question ‘What thriftlesss sighs shall poor Olivia breathe?’ as the audience sees the plot thicken and become more complex. We are also inclined to feel great sympathy for both women as the objects of their affection cannot return their love. Viola, because though she ‘fonds as much’ on her master as Olivia does on her, due to her male attire. Olivia, because she mistakenly loves a cross dressing woman. This dramatic irony creates theatrical appeal for the audience by building tension and anticipation as to how the situation will ‘fadge’ or turn out. Viola’s surrender to time in ‘ O time thou must untangle this, not I’ furthers excites the audience, who anxiously await the resolution of the play.
In conclusion, while the use of props does contribute to the theatrical appeal of Twelfth Night, it does not accomplish this alone. Rather, it works alongside costume, disguise and soliloquy in order to deliver the maximum theatrical appeal for the audience. The combination of these three devices is what delivers maximum audience enjoyment in Twelfth Night.
©Rajini Coore 2017
Just a quick eye look that I did using glamour doll eyes (centre of the lid) and lotus pure (crease) eye shadows. Use a light matte pink in the crease, blend a warm toned purple on the outer corner and add depth with a black cream shadow (life hack, scrape the leftovers from an eyeliner […]
Hey guys, sorry this is so late, going back to school was pretty hectic. Today I wanted to show you an easy tutorial on how to press loose pigments. As I mentioned previously in my Glamour Doll Eyes review pressing eye shadows is often more convenient than carrying around jars of loose powder. So without further ado let’s get into the tutorial.
- Loose pigment eyeshadow
- Fractionated coconut oil
- Rubbing alcohol
- paper towels
- eyeshadow pan
- toothpick/stirring stick
Add two drops of coconut oil to the powder pigment and flood with alcohol til you get a paste the consistency of pancake batter.
Carefully pour into prepared eyeshadow pan. Make sure to sanitize the eyeshadow pan before this using the rubbing alcohol.
Leave the pan out for about 30 minutes until the excess alcohol evaporates. The preferred texture should be about a wet sand consistency. Unfortunately I don’t think I have a pic of this stage.
Press using the coin and the paper towel until all the extra alcohol is out. My pigment had ultramarine blue in it which is why it stained the paper towel but if the shadow doesn’t contain this pigment, there should be very little transfer of pigment. Lather, rinse, repeat if necessary.
Remove the coin and paper towel carefully and wait about a day before you swatch your new eyeshadow. Congrats, you did it !
Depending on how many eyeshadows you press, you can store these in a Z-palette or make a DIY palette. I made the ones below with cardboard and foam. The cool thing about DIY-ing it is that it’s absolutely customizable.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Comment down below if you want more tutorials like this and tag me on insta @___pyrotechnics if you attempt it. See you in the next post!
Hi guys, I’m back to reviewing stuff and this time I’m gonna follow up with short tutorials on two eye looks I created with the palettes. Hope you all enjoy!
So I did buy two of these palettes however I kinda deconstructed one to put the pans into a larger palette with my GDE shadows. As you can see i attempted to do the same with this palette but it didn’t work out so this will be our pretty photogenic palette.
I bought these palettes off of amazon.com for $17.99 each and they were prime eligible. The one pictured is called “Seduction” and the other one that i destroyed is called “Morning Mist”. Seduction has purply-brown pink colours good for a smoky eye while Morning Mist has more natural colours plus a gorgeous gold shimmer. I shall insert pics below.
You can probably tell that my depotting adventure was not very successful from the pic of the pink eyeshadow that had been brutally massacred. Anyway on with the review xD!
The eyeshadows come in this sleek reflective compact with a really nice mirror. The only drawback is that it’s really easy to smudge and fingerprint. Overall sturdy and compact packaging that protects the eyeshadow while still being attractive.
The formula of these is pretty soft especially the matte orange and pink in Morning Mist. They were almost a little powdery, but quite pigmented and easy to blend. The Morning Mist palette was the more pigmented one which i found weird since they’re the same brand of eyeshadow. Seduction had a different texture, being harder and less pigmented that the Morning Mist shadows. There are two matte/semi matte colours in each palette; in MM, the pink and orange and in Seduction the two dark purples. The other two are shimmery, that is, the gold and goldish brown in MM and the cream and pink shimmers in Seduction. Versatile colours that are well matched so you can create a number of looks with one palette. HOWEVER the shimmery pink in Seduction was a bit disappointing because it was so hard and had little colour payoff. Finger swatches below will show you what I mean.
The lightest shade doesn’t look very pigmented because it’s close to my skin colour so it kinda blends in. It works well as an inner-corner highlight. I like that they included two purples, one more cool toned and another warm toned purple. These work nicely for a subtle smoky eye as a nice alternative to black eyeshadow.
As you can tell the pink shimmer from Seduction is really not pigmented. But just look at that gold though omg. It’s lit. These shadows also don’t have any fall out, except for the gold but that’s to be expected from a glitter type shadow. I was really impressed with the shimmers in these palettes because the shimmer is very subtle not like GDE which has large glitter particles that literally get everywhere, even if you press them. Overall V. impressed with these palettes, mainly because I like the colours and the lack of fallout. the pigmentation however could use some work.
Ingredients (from Lotus Pure website)
- Mica (CI 77019), Silica (Amorphous), Boron Nitride, Buriti Oil, Zinc Stearate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide – 7, Black Tea (Kombuchka), Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract*, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract* Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) Root Extract*, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), (CI 77491), (CI 77492), Ultramarines (CI 77007). *OrganicBuy it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R7201TE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1