In this classic novel, Okonkwo, a wealthy and respected member of the Umuofia clan, resists the forces of change brought to Africa by European colonists and missionaries.
Below are some reading passages that we have hand picked to supplement this book. Be sure to read the passage summaries and our suggestions for instructional use.
This informational text summarizes the European and American colonization and plundering of Africa, as well as Africans’ resistance and eventual independence movements.
William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) was an English poet, critic, and editor. His best known poem is “Invictus,” published in 1875, which he wrote just following the amputation of his foot due to tuberculosis.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1939) was an English short story writer, poet, and novelist — as well as a contemporary of Robert Louis Stevenson. He is best known for his novel The Jungle Book. Kipling wrote in Victorian England, and “If” (published in 1910) represents some of the ideal qualities of a “proper Englishman” during that time. Utilizing a paternal tone, the narrator sets out a list of rules by which his son should live.
In this early 20th-century story, a poor mother refuses to give up on her ailing daughter, and turns to a spiritual healer when a doctor tells her there is nothing left to do.
This informational text is an introduction to the United States Supreme Court -- who is on it, how cases are brought to the Supreme Court, and why it matters.
The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia that dates back to about 1772 B.C. Hammurabi, the sixth Babylonian king, enacted The Code, which consists of 282 laws and corresponding punishments (depending on social status). The notion of trial by ordeal actually has some foundation in this ancient set of laws.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was a British writer who is best known for The Jungle Book. In 1899, he wrote “The White Man’s Burden,” a poem about America’s imperative to colonize and rule the Philippine Islands. This poem sparked considerably controversy when it was written.
Reverend H.T. Johnson wrote this poem in response to Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden.”
In “Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe,” Cordelia – a fictional missionary and pioneer - writes a letter about her bold plans to travel west and “civilize” the Indians in the name of Manifest Destiny.
In this excerpt from Poetics, Aristotle offers a definition of tragedy, as well as several examples and non-examples of the genre.
In this famous poem, William Butler Yeats paints a terrifying, apocalyptic scene in order to describe the atmosphere of Europe following World War I.
In “The Danger of a Single Story,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses the importance of not allowing one story to construct your understanding of the world.