Mythologies and Stereotypes about Africa

Description: The assignment will consist of two essay questions (at least 300-500 words). The questions will be drawn from the material assigned as well as lectures, audio-visual materials and class discussions. They are designed to probe the student’s knowledge of the different concepts and themes discussed. Essays will be assessed on their organization, the accuracy and breadth of the information given, critical thinking ability, and the cogency of the argumentation. * Remember that unless your essay clearly and consistently provide evidence of engagement with the class readings, your grade will be lowered accordingly. Instructions: The assignment consists of two essay questions worth 10 points each. Each response should be no less than two paragraphs of 300-500 words EACH with clear topic sentences and supporting details or examples from parts I-III of our study. You can also draw from your class discussion forums and external readings. APA Documentation Style applies. What is the difference between a paragraph and an essay? *A paragraph is a short paper of 150 words or more. It usually consists of an opening point called a topic sentence followed by a series of specifics, in the form of sentences that support the point. * An essay is simply a paper consisting of several paragraphs (in this case 300-500 words) supporting your thesis statement (the main idea of paper). Your thesis statement should appear in the introductory paragraph, and should be developed in the supporting paragraphs that follow. A short concluding paragraph concludes the essay. Look at two questions : QUESTIONS 1-Even as Achebe works to educate his readers about African culture and to combat demeaning stereotypes about Africa, he does not present the Igbo society as ideal or perfect. The portrait of this culture on the eve of its "falling apart" in Part I of Things Fall Apart is complex, sometimes contradictory and critical. What aspects of pre-colonial Igbo culture does Achebe seem to question or criticize? How does Achebe use characters like Obierika, Okonkwo, and Nwoye to offer such social criticism of Igbo society? Please note: Unless your response clearly and consistently provides evidence of engagements with novel, your grade will be lowered accordingly. Your work must be documented APA style. ( i will upload the article of Achebe). QUESTION 2- Using Williams (2009) article "Ways of Seeing Africa" as your point of reference, discuss some of the myths and stereotypes popularly held about the continent of Africa and its people in the Western World? What has shaped this general attitude and mindset about Africa? What is your role as a budding scholar in dispelling these myths and stereotypes? Use specific reference to the readings in your response. Please note: Unless your response clearly and consistently provides evidence of engagements with the reading, your grade will be lowered accordingly. Your work must be documented APA style.

Question 1 The novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is one of the best books that describes the African culture in the wake of European colonization. The book is a response to the European novels of the 19th century that portrayed the Africans as uncivilized barbarians who needed the western civilization to be complete. By examining the impacts of the European colonialism on the Igbo culture, the narrative refutes the portrayal of Africans as uncouth by the Europeans. Although Chinua Achebe uses his novel to educate his readers about the African culture, he also cites the negative aspects of the African culture that ought to be changed. Things Fall Apart disapproves of pre-colonial practices of the Igbo community such as the killing of twins, the sacrificing of young boys, and the oppression of women…

Question 2

For several years, there has been a lot of stereotyping of the African continent by the Western world because of the various problems that the continent faces, such as natural calamities, war, and poor governance. Some of these pigeonholes are abusive and portray the continent as a place of suffering and where nothing good can come out of. The development of new knowledge about the mainland by the Africans themselves is vital in demeaning these myths and stereotypes about the continent among the westerners and the globe at large.

 The most common perceptions of the African continent by the westerners is a failure and the heart of darkness. Africa is seen by the western world as a continent that bears no good. According to Williams (2009), one of the authors of the West, Paul Theroux, gives his conclusion about the African continent by stating that only bad news can come from the mainland. The author further states that the continent is Godforsaken and that the magnitude of the problems experienced in Africa such as disease, famine, wars, and poor governance is too high for a continent that has a history.

Coined by Joseph Conrad in 1902, the mythology of the heart of darkness still exists among the Western society. In his novel entitled, The Heart of Darkness, Conrad states that as travelers of the prehistoric world, they found themselves taking possession of an ill-fated inheritance-Africa. The author adds that the first encounter with the incomprehensively black creatures typical of the ancient man left them wondering whether they were humans. This notion of a dark continent still prevails…

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