Docstoc

Rubric For English Study Guide

Document Sample
Rubric For English Study Guide Powered By Docstoc
					                                             Genga 1


Jade Genga

Mrs. Izzo

AP English

1 May 2009



  The Ultimate Study Guide
       for AP English
      4 Works
           o 1 Comedy
           o 1 Tragedy
           o 1 Novel
           o 1 Choice
      15 Plot Events
      Character Summaries
           o 4 Characters need 1 paragraph
           o 4 characters need one line
      Setting Description
           o 2 Major Settings
      Symbols
           o At least 2
      Motifs
           o At least 2
      Themes
           o At least 3
      Literary Criticism
           o 1 copied and annotated
                                                                                  Genga 2


The Importance of Being Ernest
Oscar Wilde

Plot Summary

Act One
    Jack tells Algernon that he wants to propose to Gwendolen and Algernon
      questions him whether it is ―business‖ or ―pleasure,‖ when either way he does not
      approve
    Algernon interrogates Jack, who he knows as Ernest, about his lighter addressed
      to ―Uncle Jack‖ and from ―Little Cecily,‖ and Jack confesses that his name is
      actually Jack, but he calls himself Ernest when in the city
    Algernon introduces ―Bunburyism‖: when Algernon needs to get away, he says he
      must visit his invalid friend Bunbury, and when Jack must escape, he leaves to
      visit his sick brother Ernest
    Gwendolen arrives with Lady Bracknell (Aunt Augusta to Algernon), and
      Algernon tells Lady Bracknell that he cannot dine with her because his friend
      Bunbury is very sick… again, and Lady Bracknell says that he should make up
      his mind whether to live or die
    When Lady Bracknell is pulled away by Algernon, Jack proposes to Gwendolen
      and she accepts after she has explained that she loves him because his name is
      Ernest, yet Lady Bracknell enters and proclaims that Jack must prove himself
      eligible for her hand in marriage
    Lady Bracknell interrogates Jack on whether or not he smokes, his age, his
      income, his land, and where his houses are, almost becoming dissatisfied with his
      townhouse placement, but then truly becoming appalled at the fact that he was
      found in a handbag in Victoria station and does not know his parents
    Jack and Algernon discuss how Jack does not plan to tell Gwendolen the truth yet,
      but plans to kill off his brother Ernest due to a severe chill, then Gwendolen enters
      and Jack gives her his country house address
    Algernon tells Lane to prepare his clothes because he plans to go Bunburying
Act Two
    Cecily is being coaxed by Miss Prism to work on her German although she thinks
      it makes her sound and look ―plain‖
    Cecily tells Miss Prism that she wishes Jack would bring Ernest to the country
      house
    Dr. Chasuble enters and Cecily says that Miss Prism should go with Dr. Chasuble
      because of her headache, which she does not actually have, and Dr. Chasuble
      replies that if he were her pupil he would ―hang upon her lips,‖ which he claims
      was inspired by the bees
    Algernon arrives as Ernest, Jack’s sick brother, and says that Cecily is the
      ―prettiest girl [he] ever saw‖
    Dr. Chasuble and Miss Prism discuss marriage until Jack enters claiming that
      Ernest is dead, but Cecily tells him that Ernest is in the rose garden
    Jack is angry with Algernon who claims the death was a joke
                                                                                   Genga 3


      Algernon confesses his love for Cecily and proposes and Cecily claims that they
       are already engaged as she wrote in her diary, and that she loves him mostly for
       his name: Ernest
    Cecily meets Gwendolen and both say that they are in love with ―Ernest
       Worthing,‖ but when Jack and Algernon return, the girls realize they have been
       lied to and turn their backs on them
    Jack and Algernon fight over who can eat muffins releasing their stress over the
       situation but then agree that they must be Christened ―Ernest‖
Act Three
    The girls ignore Jack and Algernon until they say that they will be Christened and
       the girls take them back
    Enter Lady Bracknell, who Algernon tells of Bunbury’s death, disapproving of
       both marriages, then approving Algernon and Cecily when learning that Cecily
       comes from money
    Jack says that he will consent to Cecily’s marriage if he is allowed to marry
       Gwendolen
    Miss Prism explains how she left a child given to her by Lady Bracknell in a
       handbag in Victoria station, and Lady Bracknell explains that the child is actually
       her sister’s child, which is Jack
    After searching through military records of his actual father, Jack uncovers his
       true name: Ernest

Character Summaries

Jack (Ernest) Worthing
        Jack Worthing is one of the protagonists of The Importance of Being Ernest, who
was found in a handbag as an infant, but continued to grow into a very wealthy and
reputable man and also became the guardian to Cecily. He is initially selfish in creating
his sick brother Ernest to escape from his life, yet by the closing he manages to love
Gwendolen and is even willing to change his name for her. Throughout the play he is a
plentiful source of verbal, dramatic, and situational irony. Wilde also uses Jack’s
exaggerated interactions with other characters to exploit the absurdity of society’s
expectations and morals.

Algernon Moncreif
         Another main character of the play, Algernon Moncrief is a close friend of Jack
Worthing, elder cousin to Gwendolen, and the love of Cecily. He creates an imaginary,
invalid friend by the name of Bunbury, whom he ―visits‖ when he wants to escape from
reality. He also refers to Jack’s creating of Ernest as ―Bunburying.‖ While fairly cynical,
he is the more suave and witty of the two protagonists. Algernon is also willing to admit
his own faults amidst attempting to expose flaws of others, unlike Jack, who refuses to
admit that his lies are wrong in any way. Wilde uses Algernon in contrast to critical Jack
to show the impulsive face of society: those who act on a moment rather than a lifetime.

Cecily Cardew
                                                                                  Genga 4


        Cecily Cardew, the young woman in love with Algernon, lives in the country
house with Miss Prism, Dr. Chasuble, and Jack, her guardian. Though she is innocent and
naïve, Cecily is quite fond of crossing the line. Whether she is falling for ―Ernest‖ or
attempting to send Miss Prism off with Dr. Chasuble, she is always intrigued by a little
taste of fun. Her wild imagination also makes quite an impression when Algernon
proposes to her, and she claims they have been engaged for three months. She tells him
all about their engagement stories and the letters she’s written from him and to him. Miss
Cardew is used as a figure representing the dreaming teens of society that love to rebel a
bit with their high-flying optimism.

Gwendolen Fairfax
        Gwendolen, the love of Mr. Jack Worthing, is the epitome of a typical,
judgmental citizen. Although she prides herself on her ―constant improvements,‖ she is a
very shallow and hypocritical person. She falls in love with Jack mostly because she
loves the name Ernest. She tends to create ideals for herself, such the perfect husband
with the perfect name, who she believes she has found, yet she leaves him after she finds
out the truth about his name. Then she returns to him because more important is his ―style
not sincerity.‖

Lady Bracknell

         Lady Bracknell is Gwendolen’s mother as well as Algernon’s Aunt Augusta. She
is the largest source of comedy due to her absurdly corrupt and outspoken societal views.

Dr. Chasuble
       Dr. Chasuble, the reverend at Jack’s country house, is a very quiet and romantic
older man. His flirtiness with Miss Prism add a great bit of awkward romantic comedy
throughout the play.

Miss Prism
       Miss Prism is Cecily’s governess at Jack’s country house. Her relationship with
Dr. Chasuble, as stated previously, is a sparatic source of humor throughout the play. She
was also the person who left Jack in a handbag as a child.

Lane
      Lane is Algernon’s servant. At the beginning of the play, Lane is the only person
who knows about Algernon’s case of ―Bunburyism.‖

Settings


Algernon’s City House
       Act One takes place in Algernon’s home in London. When in London, Algernon
finds out about Jack’s imaginary brother ―Ernest,‖ and Jack is told about Algernon’s
imaginary invalid friend ―Bunbury.‖ Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen, and Algernon also
                                                                                     Genga 5


become aware of Jack’s handbag origins. Whenever the characters are in the city, they
tend to expose more answered questions and unsolved problems.

Jack’s Country House
        Acts Two and Three are set at Jack’s country estate in Hertfordshire, where both
Act Two and Act Three are full of deceit and discovery. This is where Gwendolen and
Cecily first meet and where the girls finally find out the truth about their lying fiancées.
This is also where Lady Bracknell and Miss Prism unveil Jack’s true origins and
Christened name.


Symbols

       Foods – symbolic of the unnecessary, pointless, and petty conflicts that occur in a
―higher society‖
       Diaries – the idealism and ignorance to reality

Motifs

Living a double life, verbal irony, hypocrisy

Themes

        Comedy vs. Tragedy: Comedy exposes the absurdity of society’s ignorance to
reality more effectively than tragedy due to its satirical humor.

           Title: Being truly earnest is not important, as long as one knows that he should be
earnest.

       Cynicism: While it may be easier to focus on the negative aspects of life, it is
more important to focus on the negative aspects in positive light so that change can occur.
                                                                                 Genga 6


Othello
William Shakespeare

Plot Summary

Act One
    Iago convinces Roderigo that Othello should be hated because he did not place
       Iago as his lieutenant and he stole Desdemona from Roderigo
    Iago tells Roderigo to go to Brabantio’s house and rat out Othello and
       Desdemona; and so they do just that; Iago tells Brabantio that he’s been robbed
    Iago tells Othello that Roderigo hates him, Cassio comes to tell Othello that
       people are looking for him, then Brabantio comes and seizes him, even though the
       Duke’s guard are sent for him
    Othello is brought to the Duke anyway and is told that he is needed in Cyprus to
       lead the forces against the Ottoman enemy, but Brabantio continues to rant about
       how his daughter could never love Othello unless he performed witchcraft
    The duke sends for Desdemona, who confesses her love for Othello, so Brabantio
       believes her but warns Othello that she betrayed her father and can betray her
       husband yet
    Iago tells Roderigo not to kill himself over Desdemona, because he does not love
       her, and lust is nothing to commit suicide for
Act Two
    Turkish ships are caught in a storm, and Othello hasn’t made it to Cyprus yet,
       Iago, Desdemona, Roderigo, and Emilia arrive; meanwhile Iago is skeptically
       scrutinizing Emilia for being promiscuous, until Othello finally arrives
    Iago convinces Roderigo to assist him in getting Cassio drunk and angry so that
       Desdemona will see the ruthlessness of some men
    At a welcome Othello party/marriage reception, Iago gets Cassio drunk,
       convinces Montano that he can’t be trusted because he drinks too much alcohol,
       creates a quarrel between Roderigo and Cassio, and then finishes with a brawl
       between Montano and Cassio
    Othello arrives hearing the alarm, Iago tells Othello what has happened, and
       Othello fires Cassio from his position; while Cassio is upset, Iago tells him to go
       get on Desdemona’s good side so that he can find his way back to leuitenant
Act Three
    Cassio enters and speaks with a Clown and Musicians about the ―wind
       instruments‖ and the infection of the nose (syphilis); Cassio sends the Clown to
       get Emilia, then sends Emilia to get Desdemona, then Iago says he’ll get
       Desdemona out and Othello out of the way
    Desdemona assures Cassio that she will get Othello to accept him again, then Iago
       and Othello return so Cassio steals away without a word; Othello becomes
       suspicious and Iago ignites the flame with reverse psychology
    Desdemona comes to plead Cassio’s case, heightening Othello’s suspicion, and
       offers him her handkerchief, but he denies it, so she drops it
    Emilia finds the handkerchief and runs it to Iago, who plans on planting it in
       Cassio’s chamber
                                                                                    Genga 7


      Othello is convinced because of the handkerchief and Cassio’s alleged ―dreams‖
       that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair and he declares his plan for
       vengeance with Iago right beside him
    Othello demands the handkerchief of Desdemona, but she says repeatedly that it
       ―is not with [her],‖ changing the subject several times, and Othello yells at her
Act Four
    When Iago begins to confuse Othello about whether Cassio will ―lie with her,‖
       ―lie on her,‖ or ―belie her,‖ he goes into an epileptic fit; when he returns to
       normal, Iago tells Othello to listen to the conversation he is about to have with
       Cassio
    Cassio and Iago talk about Bianca, Cassio’s wife, and Cassio’s feelings towards
       her, but Othello mistakes the object of the conversation for Desdemona; Bianca
       then enters and yells about his having another woman’s handkerchief and then
       they both exit
    Othello plans to murder Desdemona, he sends Emilia to get her, and leaves after
       immense confusion on why she’s ―lying‖ to him; then Iago talks to Desdemona
       and says that everything will be fine; then Roderigo stands up for himself, then
       Iago convinces him to kill Cassio
Act Five
    Roderigo tries to kill Cassio, and Iago acts like he has no idea what has happened
       and so he kills Roderigo, but Emilia blames Bianca for the ―adultery‖ situation
    Desdemona repeatedly says that she is innocent, but Othelo smothers her to death;
       her last words are telling Emilia that it was not Othello
    Emilia figures out what has happened, tells Othello about everything, and Iago
       kills her
    Othello kills himself, and Iago is left to be sentenced by Cassio

Character Summaries

Othello
        Othello is the protagonist of this play who is actually manipulated by the
antagonist, Iago. Othello (referred to occasionally as ―the Moor‖) is a very trusting,
highly-respected figure who is deeply in love with the beautiful Desdemona. However,
Iago, whom he trusts with everything, manipulates him into believing that his wife and
best friend are having an affair, which leads to his ultimate downfall. Because of his
trusting nature and passion for justice, he is able to be molded into whatever Iago wants
him to be.

Iago
       Iago is the tactful antagonist of the play. Iago successfully manipulates every
character. Shakespeare follows Iago’s thought process through his soliloquies, which
only Iago has. Iago displays his observation and manipulation skills as he searches for
every character’s weakness, so that he can use it against him. Every bit of Iago is evil,
and yet he is married to the strongest character in the play, Emilia.

Desdemona
                                                                                    Genga 8


        Desdemona is Othello’s beautiful and peace-loving wife as well as the daughter of
Brabantio. While she is very compassionate and occasionally naive, she is also very
determined. When she wanted to marry Othello, she did. When she wanted to help
Cassio, she did not give up. When she had her last dying breath, she used it to free
Othello from the judgmental eyes of observers. She also puts great faith in Othello, even
until the moment he kills her.

Emilia
        Emilia is Iago’s wife and Desdemona’s attendant. Throughout the play, Emilia
has a consistently strong personality and very realistic outlook on life. When in
conversation with the optimistic Desdemona, Emilia dominates with her arguments, even
though she is merely an attendant. And being married to Iago, she too is manipulated for
the purpose of Iago’s evil plans. She is the reason Iago had the handkerchief, but she also
exposes the truth at the end of the play.

Brabantio
       Brabantio is Desdemona’s father and a senator from Venice. Brabantio is the
character who warns Othello that Desdemona may betray him, initiating his suspicion.

Cassio
       Cassio is Othello’s first lieutenant. Othello accuses Cassio of having an affair
with Desdemona, due to Iago’s manipulation.

Bianca
       Bianca is Cassio’s wife. She is present when Cassio asks her to make a replica of
the handkerchief and when she yells at Cassio in front of Othello for having another
woman’s handkerchief.

Roderigo
        Roderigo is the most severely manipulated character in the play. Throughout the
play Iago controls Roderigo. He’s convinced to cause a fight with Cassio and to even kill
Cassio.

Settings

Venice
        The play opens in Venice, Desdemona’s home, where Brabantio finds out about
his daughter’s secret wedding and warns Othello against her possible betrayal. This is a
very important location for the introduction of Iago’s manipulation of everyone around
him. Most characters are sent to Cyprus early on, however, so the Venice setting was
short lived.

Cyprus
        The majority of the play takes place in Cyprus. Othello is sent here to fight the
Ottoman forces and the rest of the play occurs here starting with the celebration of a
victory and a wedding.
                                                                                       Genga 9



Symbols
        Handkerchief – symbolizes the empty faith between Othello and Desdemona as
well as Othello’s and Emilia’s empty faith in Iago
        The Willow Song – represents the betrayal of Othello for reasons based on false
facts
        ―The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
      Sing all a green willow.
      Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
      Sing willow, willow, willow.
      The fresh streams ran by her, and murmured her moans,
      Sing willow, willow, willow.
      Her salt tears fell from her, and softened the stones
      Sing willow, willow, willow—
      Lay by these
                      Willow, willow—
      Prithee, hie thee, he'll come anon—
      Sing all a green willow must be my garland.
      Let nobody blame him, his scorn I approve—
… I told my lover he didn't love me, but what did he say? Sing willow, willow, willow.‖

Motifs
         Trusting the deceitful
         Animalistic sexual references

Themes

         Evil: Evil is rooted in the trust of accepting people in those who deceive.

         Trust: Those in whom you trust reflect your own personality and insecurities.

       Women’s Role: While men seem to have control over themselves, women are the
driving force behind most of their actions and decisions.
                                                                                   Genga 10


The Crucible
Arthur Miller

Plot Summary
     Tituba and the girls go dancing in the forest and are caught by Rev. Parris, and
       Betty is left in a coma-like state
     Rev. Parris attempts to get the story from Abigail, but she tells him they did
       nothing but dance; when he leaves, Abigail convinces all the girls to not confess
     Proctor arrives and Abigail talks about how she still wants him to be hers, even
       though his wife fired her for that reason
     Betty has a fit and tries to fly out the window to her dead mother, which draws
       attention to Corey and Putnam who argue over the land between their farms
     When Hale arrives to examine the ―witchcraft,‖ he questions the girls about what
       happened, he asks Tituba and she admits to communicating with the Devil setting
       the girls on a rant of people that they saw with the devil
     Proctor and Elizabeth talk about how Proctor should accuse Abigail of false
       accusations so that she doesn’t accuse Elizabeth falsely
     Mary Warren returns and tells of Abigail’s accusation of Elizabeth that was
       pushed aside, but leaves a doll with her
     Hale arrives and arrests Elizabeth because of the ―voodoo‖ doll, which they think
       she used to harm Abigail; they have also taken Goody Good and Goody Nurse
     Proctor beats Mary and demands that she denounce Abigail
     Proctor goes with Mary to court where she confesses that the girls are lying, until
       they turn against her and she joins them once again
     Proctor then attempts to turn them in by exposing himself as an adulterer, but
       Elizabeth unknowingly tells the court he is not
     Abigail runs away, Proctor is arrested, Elizabeth is arrested until she is to be hung
       after the birth of her child
     Abigail returns to tell John to escape with her, but he says he will not; he loves his
       wife
     Proctor says he will confess, until Rev. Parris says that his confession will remain
       in a public area, so he refuses to sign the horrible confession
     Because they will not confess, Goody Nurse, Goody Good, and John Proctor are
       hung

Character Summaries

Abigail Williams
         Abigail, one of the main characters of this play, is a scheming young woman who
has an affair with John Proctor that she refuses to let go. At the beginning of the play she
leads the girls who were caught conjuring spirits into lying to the community about their
innocence and then leads them in a witch-hunt. Her lust for Proctor even leads her to
falsely accusing Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft so that she will be out of the picture, then
Abigail could have Proctor to herself. Proctor refuses however. Abigail is the ringleader
of all the conflicts that occur in the play.
                                                                                    Genga 11


John Proctor
         John Proctor, a nonconformist and a hard working citizen, is the protagonist of
this play who tries to turn the community to the truth of Abigail’s deceit. He constantly
carries his guilt about having an affair with Abigail wherever he goes, because it twists
his life and ultimately causes his death. Proctor is constantly dealing with internal conflict
about whether or not to act for himself or act for his wife, his friends, and the community.
Finally he acts for his own reputation in not signing a confession, leaving behind his
family, and yet leaving the community in shock at his voluntary death.

Elizabeth Proctor
        Elizabeth Proctor is the wife of John Proctor. Elizabeth is a strong, level-headed
woman who is tragically bland. She loves John, but just lacks any passion in her life.
Whether it be her cooking, her laundry, her clothing, or her relationship, she is just plain
boring. This is John’s excuse for his affair with Abigail, which Elizabeth still suspects is
occurring. Elizabeth is always trying to do the right thing and is unwavering in her
opinions and morals.

Reverend Hale
        Reverend Hale enters the scene attempting to weed out witchcraft and save those
souls who have seen the Devil. Originally he tries to explain the science to finding the
Devil, and yet as the story continues he realizes the corruption throughout the
community. Once he sees that the girls are accusing innocent community members that
they simply do not like, Reverend Hale tries to convince Judge Hawthorne and Reverend
Parris of the deceit that is blinding them, but does not succeed. The most dynamic
character, Reverend Hale starts out increasing the conflict exponentially, but after
realizing his horrific mistakes he tries, without success, to save the community from
itself.

Tituba
        Tituba is a Barbados slave in the Parris family that initiates the spirit conjuring of
the girls in the community.

Mary Warren
       Mary Warren takes Abigail’s job as the Proctors’ servant. She is also an easily
influenced piece of the group that condemns so many innocent women of the community.

Reverend Parris
        Reverend Parris is the new reverend of the community who is highly criticized for
his greedy demands for a new house and a higher salary. His daughter is also the first one
to be effected by the ―witchcraft.‖

Betty Parris
        Betty is the youngest girl involved in the witch-hunt as well as the first one to be
put in a coma-like state by the conjuring of spirits at the beginning of the play. Her
dramatic reactions in attempting to fly after her dead mother initiate the suspicion of
witchery.
                                                                                    Genga 12



Settings

Parris’s Home
          Parris’s home is where Betty first has her fits and where Hale first arrives and
announces that the Devil is present. Throughout the play the Parris home is one of lies
and selfishness. Here Parris asks for a higher salary and a bigger home while his
daughter, Betty, is allegedly possessed. Tituba also confesses falsely to seeing the Devil
with other people in the community in order to save herself from being whipped. Abigail
first tells the girls’ alibi here and then soon thereafter furnishes more lies about seeing
other people with the Devil.

The Proctor Home
        John Proctor’s house is very much a place of discomfort and a bland lifestyle.
Whenever conversation occurs in Proctor’s house, it is full of tension. John and Elizabeth
have a fight about whether or not John should denounce Abigail as a liar, John and
Elizabeth are stuck in an awkward situation with Reverend Hale in trying to remember
the Ten Commandments, and Proctor scolds Mary Warren and forces her to come to
court with him the next day to confess to her lies. Throughout the play, the Proctor
household is a location of high tension.

Symbols
       Doll – symbolizes the manipulation and control of the girls over the community
       Night – represents the haze through which the community sees the witch-hunt
       Golden Candlesticks – the greed and corruption of materialistic Parris and the
Church

Motifs
         The Devil
         The Ten Commandments

Themes

        Selfish vs. Selfless: When a person is given a choice between selflessness and
selfishness, the surrender to selfishness will lead to a test of his or her loyalty to the
greater good.

        Freedom: Any person can choose his or her personal freedom, yet it will always
entail sacrifice.

       Integrity: When under high pressure one must hold true to religious faith or
personal faith in order to preserve his or her integrity.
                                                                               Genga 13


Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe

Plot Summary

      Okonkwo, son of the poor and lazy Unoka, builds himself to be the exact opposite
       of his father so that he can succeed, however Okonkwo’s son Nwoye is very
       talented and creative, but Okonkwo sees him as weak and tries to prevent him
       from becoming like Unoka
      After a fight with another tribe, a boy named Ikemefuna and a young woman are
       awarded to Umuofia and Okonkwo takes them in; Okonkwo loves having
       Ikemefuna due to his masculinity, but refuses to show any emotion which may
       make him like his father; Okonkwo also becomes very fond of his daughter
       Ezinma, who is surprisingly level headed and more masculine than Nwoye
      During the yearly ―Week of Peace‖ Okonkwo beats his wife and ruins the peace,
       but still locusts come and the village is ecstatic about the new food source
      After an oracle from the elders of the tribe depicting the necessary murder of
       Ikemefuna is relayed to Okonkwo, he is devastated; Okonkwo goes to Ogbuefi
       Ezeudu for advice and he tells him not to take part in this murder
      Okonkwo eventually is forced to go to the murder of Ikemefuna; he tells
       Ikemefuna that he is returning to his home but when deep enough in the forest, the
       men slay the young boy
      For many months Okonkwo refuses to acknowledge food or drink or happiness
       and turns to Ezinma for good spirit; he also focuses on the impending danger of
       the white people and their guns and culture; Ezinma grows very ill, however, so
       Okonkwo gets everything she needs for a medicine that saves her
      When Ogbuefi Ezeudu passes away, the egwugwu are masked and conduct a
       ceremony for their oldest village member and Okonkwo’s gun misfires, killing
       Ogbuefi Ezeudu’s son; because Okonkwo committed such a horrific offense
       against the goddess Agbala, even accidentally, he is banished with his family
       from the village
      When Okonkwo leaves Umuofia for Mbanta, his uncle Uchendu helps him
       establish a new hut and gives him some yams to begin anew; for a year Okonkwo
       focuses on establishing a yam crop and is fairly successful
      Soon people purchase his yams with cowries and he becomes extremely wealthy
       and respected throughout Mbanta
      Okonkwo learns that several villages have been destroyed by the white people,
       and soon they are in Mbanta, led by Mr. Brown, telling the people that their Gods
       are not real and that there can only be one God, yet he confuses everyone with the
       idea of the ―Holy Trinity;‖ the egwugwu become enraged
      Although Mr. Brown pushes Christianity on the village, he respects their culture
       and Okonkwo has a silent respect for him; his death brings in the repulsive,
       ignorant, and harsh John Smith to run the missionary group
      Several members of the villiage begin a radical movement to destroy the
       polytheistic religion and during a religious ceremony Enoch removes the attire of
                                                                                  Genga 14


       one the egwugwu to reveal one of the elders; this rash action results in the burning
       of Enoch’s house and the church of Smith’s that he supports
      The leaders of the villages and the elders are all gathered to supposedly meet for
       negotiation, but everyone brings guns and this tense standoff ends in a verbal and
       physical torture of the leaders
      Five men visit Mbanta from the court and when Okonkwo learns of this disrespect
       he attacks them and kills one in front of the village, and yet no one supports him
      Okonkwo hangs himself after the realization of the hopelessness his community
       faces and is seen by the community as a disgrace

Character Summaries

Okonkwo
         Okonkwo is the protagonist of the play who consistently acts on what he believes
is just in his society. Throughout the play his actions are based on his drive to be the
perfect opposite of his disgraceful father. While this led him to be a highly respected
member of Umuofia, it also led to the murder of Ikemefuna, his disruption of the white
cultural impact, and his own suicide.

Ikemefuna
        Ikemefuna was the boy that Okonkwo inherited from a village that Umuofia
negotiated with. Ikemefuna came to call Okonkwo father, and he loved Okonkwo like a
father. Okonkwo loved Ikemefuna as well, but could not express it. Ikemefuna was very
much an older brother to Nwoye, who idolized him. Sadly, after being told that he was
going home to his mother, Ikemefuna is brutally murdered by the one man he considers
his father, Okonkwo.

Ezinma
        Ezinma is Okonkwo’s strong yet ill daughter. Ezinma is a source of relief and
realism for Okonkwo. Often he wishes that she were a son that he could show off more.
Okonkwo is secretly more proud of Ezinma than his son Nwoye. The only time that
Okonkwo is compassionate is when he is with Ezinma, and especially when she becomes
ill and he springs into action.

Mr. Brown
        Mr. Brown is a missionary who leads a movement to convert African tribes to
Christianity. Although he is there on a mission trip, he still manages to respect the views
and culture of the people, which gains the respect of the village in turn. Through Mr.
Brown, Okonkwo sees the impending danger that will destroy his home if his clansmen
do not take a stand.

Mr. Smith
       Mr. Smith is the reverend who takes control of the missionary movement when
Mr. Brown passes away. Mr. Smith is a harsh man who uses force to get the African
people to convert to Christianity.
                                                                                  Genga 15


Obierika
        Obierika is a close friend of Okonkwo’s who helped him through his troubles
after the murder of Ikemefuna.

Nwoye
     Nwoye is Okonkwo’s biological son whom Okonkwo is fairly disappointed in.
Nwoye is far more creative and optimistic than masculine and realistic.

Unoka
     Unoka is Okonkwo’s lazy, failed, unmotivated father. Unoka is the reason
Okonkwo is so focused on success and being just.

Settings

Umuofia
        The village where Okonkwo lives and grew up is named Umuofia. Umuofia is a
village among several interdependent villages. This is where Okonkwo makes his living
and also where he destroys it. Here he builds his family, and his wealth, and his
relationship with Ikemefuna, but sadly this is also where his good friend passes away, he
kills Ikemefuna for an oracle, and he accidentally kills his friend’s child.

Mbanta
        Mbanta was the village where Okonkwo’s mother was from originally and where
his uncle lives. When Okonkwo is banished from Umuofia, he relocates to this village.
In this village Okonkwo rebuilds his estate and family, but he also discovers the realities
of suppression and fear.


Symbols
      Church – symbolizes the influence of the white man on African culture
      Yams – symbolic of the connection between nature and society; natural order
      Egwugwu – represent the false faith of a society in their religious stability

Motifs
         Death
         Racial Separation

Themes

       Personality: When a parent is looked down upon in society, his child will resent
him, causing a loose basis for a personality.

       Balance: Balance between culture and justice needs to be maintained and
anything that disrupts it has the potential to bring about a society's downfall.

         Power of Women: Even in a culture dominated by men, women have power in
                                                          Genga 16


balancing the personalities of men to create stability.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:11
posted:4/19/2010
language:English
pages:16