Analyzing Character Approach

Analyzing Character Approach

Unsuccessful Steps for Outsiders

Opening

Complete a Quick Write.

  • When coming into a new leadership situation as an outsider, what are some surefire ways to alienate oneself from the community? If you do these things, are there ways to get obedience, compliance, and/or respect anyway?

Open Notebook

Share your responses with your classmates. Which of your classmates’ ideas do you see embodied in Reverend Smith?

Character Foils

Work Time

Often a writer will set up characters in opposition to each other—as foils. In fiction, a foil is a character who contrasts with another character in order to highlight one or more traits of these characters. Often, a minor character will be a foil for a main character. Many times, these characters are similar in most ways, differing only in the aspects that are being highlighted: they may come from similar social backgrounds, for example, and have similar families and talents, but make very different choices about how to use these talents. Other times, the foils are more distinctly opposites, with few similar traits.

Discuss the following questions with your classmates.

  • Reverend Smith and Mr. Brown seem to have many opposite traits. What is Achebe’s purpose in including both of these men in the story?
  • Are there any other character pairs that could be considered foils?
  • What is Achebe’s—or any author’s—purpose in including characters who are foils for each other?

Discussion Preparation

Work Time

In the next lesson, you will participate in the final discussion of Things Fall Apart. Who’s to blame for “things falling apart”? Take some time now with your group to complete the charts in Discussion Preparation 3, Parts A and B.

  • In Discussion Preparation 3, Part A, organize your thoughts about the question of who’s to blame from your own perspective . What has fallen apart in Umuofia? Think about individuals, families, and the community as a whole. Think about social ties and traditions.
  • In Discussion Preparation 3, Part B, organize your thoughts about the question of who’s to blame from your character’s perspective . Think about how the discussion will play out. Who will your character blame, and why? How might that person defend himself or herself? Who might blame your character, and why? How will you defend your character?

Discussion Focus and Goals

Closing

Complete a Quick Write.

  • After participating in two discussions, what do you think would be a good focus for your class to improve the quality of this final discussion?
  • What do you think would be a good goal for yourself, whether you are on the inner or outer circle?

Open Notebook

Personal Journal - Entry #12 and Things Fall Apart

Homework

Complete another personal journal entry.

  • Is there someone in your life who could be considered your foil? If so, describe that person. If not, imagine what a person like that would be like. What could you learn from this person, and what could he or she learn from you?

Open Notebook

Finish preparing for the discussion.

Read Chapters 24 and 25 of Things Fall Apart. Continue to add to your Personal Glossary as you read.