chinua achebe chinua achebe chinua achebe a mother in a refugee camp n.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe - A Mother In A Refugee Camp PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe - A Mother In A Refugee Camp

play fullscreen
1 / 12

Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe - A Mother In A Refugee Camp

1190 Views Download Presentation
Download Presentation

Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe Chinua Achebe - A Mother In A Refugee Camp

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. Chinua AchebeChinua AchebeChinua Achebe - A Mother In A Refugee Camp

  2. Who is Achebe? • He is a Nigerian writer interested in African politics. • He wrote the influential novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ which sold 12 million copies.

  3. A Mother In A Refugee Camp No Madonna and Child could touch Her tenderness for a son She soon would have to forget. . . . The air was heavy with odors of diarrhea, Of unwashed children with washed-out ribs And dried-up bottoms waddling in labored steps Behind blown-empty bellies. Other mothers there Had long ceased to care, but not this one: She held a ghost-smile between her teeth, And in her eyes the memory Of a mother’s pride. . . . She had bathed him And rubbed him down with bare palms. She took from their bundle of possessions A broken comb and combed The rust-colored hair left on his skull And then—humming in her eyes—began carefully to part it. In their former life this was perhaps A little daily act of no consequence Before his breakfast and school; now she did it Like putting flowers on a tiny grave.

  4. Breakdown of the poem 1… No Madonna and Child could touch Her tenderness for a son She soon would have to forget. . . . • What is a Madonna? (Not the pop star…) • Why is the word Child given a capital? • What does the image tell us about their relationship? • Why would she have to ‘forget’ him?

  5. Breakdown 2… The air was heavy with odors of diarrhea, Of unwashed children with washed-out ribs And dried-up bottoms waddling in labored steps Behind blown-empty bellies. Other mothers there Had long ceased to care, but not this one: • Look at the use of the language connected with the body – what word would you use to describe it? • Why are the bellies ‘blown-up’ and the bottoms ‘dried-up’? • Why is his mother unusual?

  6. Breakdown 3… She held a ghost-smile between her teeth, And in her eyes the memory Of a mother’s pride. . . . She had bathed him And rubbed him down with bare palms. • Look at the use of time here… which words suggest the past? • Why does she have the smile ‘between her teeth’? • What is the ellipsis for in the third line?

  7. Breakdown 4… She took from their bundle of possessions A broken comb and combed The rust-colored hair left on his skull And then—humming in her eyes—began carefully to part it. • Why are their possessions in a bundle? • Why has the writer used images of decay? ‘rust’, ‘broken’ etc? • Why is the mother ‘humming’ in her eyes? • What is symbolic about the ‘parting’ of his hair?

  8. Breakdown 5 In their In their former life this was perhaps A little daily act of no consequence Before his breakfast and school; now she did it Like putting flowers on a tiny grave. • Look at the size words – they get smaller and smaller… what is that symbolic of? • Look at the juxtaposition of the ordinary and extra-ordinary here – which words suggest each category? • How does the last line make you feel?

  9. Key Themes Social Justice Love Pride Innocence Death

  10. Religious Imagery • Look at the use of religious imagery in the poem – ‘Madonna and Child’. Think about the story of the Virgin Mary. Is Achebe making this mother into a kind of saint? Or is she more than holy? • With religious imagery you should also think about the idea of washing, isn’t it like baptism of a sort? Don’t we talk about washing away the sins of the world? • The use of ‘daily’ also links us to the idea of the holiness of everyday life – think about the Lord’s Prayer.

  11. Structure/Techniques • The poem is structured as a single continuous piece. • Achebe uses ellipsis to move between different moments in time. • There are lots of run-on lines as if time is speeding by. • Use of opposites – ‘unwashed’ and ‘washed-out’ for example. • Full range of punctuation used – dash, colon, semi-colon, comma, full stop, ellipsis. • Shifts in time frame throughout.

  12. Chinua Achebe - A Mother In A Refugee CampMr E. Monaghanewm@cokethorpe.org