Tierra Encantada Charter School discussion

Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1)
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Engl. I(6th) > white men

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Tierra Encantada | 76 comments Mod
How is the notion of white men first introduced into the story? Why might Africans suppose that they have no toes? What sorts of attitudes are associated with white men in the passage?


Benhanna | 27 comments white men are introduced when the men are talking about how in anther tribes the customs are different. white men were shoos as for the men in Okonkwo's tribe i think they were sandals.One man said that he met a white man once, but when he explains every one laughs because the man was talking about a leopard not a white man.


message 3: by Kai (new)

Kai | 33 comments The notion of white men is first introduced when Okonkwo and the men from the bride-price ceremony are speaking of another village. Obierika mentions a story about white men who are as white as "this piece of chalk". I think the Africans think the white men have no toes because the white men wear shoes, instead of sandals, which makes the toes invisible to the eye. They associate white men with lepers, who have are not "leopards"(Ben!) but human beings who have a severe sickness called leprosy, which destroys the victim's skin and causes nerve damage.


Xavier Benni | 26 comments I agree with Kai, The wite men is first introduced when they are talking about the costumes in other tribes, then they talked about men with no toes who's skin is white as chalk. Their atitudes towards the white wen are, I think undecided and maybe even feel as if the white men are exotic.


Isaiah Armijo | 28 comments Xavier wrote: "I agree with Kai, The wite men is first introduced when they are talking about the costumes in other tribes, then they talked about men with no toes who's skin is white as chalk. Their atitudes tow..."

Kai wrote: "The notion of white men is first introduced when Okonkwo and the men from the bride-price ceremony are speaking of another village. Obierika mentions a story about white men who are as white as "th..."

I can agree with the both of you because this first question is very strait forward. The first time Achebe introduce the white men was when Okonkwo and Obierika where talking about customs. When Obierika tolled a story that describes white men as having " no shoes, and being white as chalk. Like Kai says I "Africans think the white men have no toes because the white men wear shoes, instead of sandals, which makes the toes invisible to the eye" This is totally plausible because to the Africans this was a total new concept for them.


message 6: by Marianne (last edited Sep 22, 2012 12:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Marianne Lara | 26 comments Kai wrote: "The notion of white men is first introduced when Okonkwo and the men from the bride-price ceremony are speaking of another village. Obierika mentions a story about white men who are as white as "th..."<

I agree with Kai. White men are first brought up when when Okonkwo, Obierika, and Machi were talking about how in some tribes the customs were different and woman had a higher ranking than in Umoufia. Then Obrieka said "it's like the story of white man ,who they say, are white like this piece of chalk" page 74 and he holds up a piece of chalk. The Africans may think white men a have no toes because they wear shoes and thier toes can't be seen. I assume that Africans either wear sandals or nothing at all, and that shoes was new to them so they thought that the white men didn't have toes. They probably thought of white men as rare. When Machi asks "have you ever seen them?" it leads me to the conclusion not many Africans have seen white men. Also, the polite name for a someone who has leprosy, is "the white skin" so that also might be what they think white men look like.



Zane Flannery | 27 comments Benhanna wrote: "white men are introduced when the men are talking about how in anther tribes the customs are different. white men were shoos as for the men in Okonkwo's tribe i think they were sandals.One man said..."

i disagree with this. yes they were talking about different cultures when white men are first mentioned, but they never said anything about shoes. they were talking about stories they had heard about white men. and when that one man said that he had seen a white man it turned out to be an albino.


message 8: by Sarai (new) - added it

Sarai Cisneros | 27 comments I agree with kai I think they thought the white man didn't have toes because they wore shoes and maybe that made them think they had no toes because they wouldn't show them. The white man came out because they were talking about another tribe and they would describe them as chalk.


message 9: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn (kathycat) | 22 comments Kai wrote: "The notion of white men is first introduced when Okonkwo and the men from the bride-price ceremony are speaking of another village. Obierika mentions a story about white men who are as white as "th..."

While it is true that the concept of white men is first introduced in chapter four as a term for a person who leprosy. The idea of white men is expanded on more in chapter 15 when Okonkwo's friend Obierika comes to visit with tales of a white man. Obierika said "He was not an albino. ... And he was riding an iron horse." The first to see him ran away; their elders had him killed. Later many stories of these white men circulated. Many people thought the white men had no toes because they only wore boots. Most people were curious about the white men.


message 10: by Kristen (last edited Sep 23, 2012 04:16PM) (new)

Kristen | 24 comments Kathryn wrote: "Kai wrote: "The notion of white men is first introduced when Okonkwo and the men from the bride-price ceremony are speaking of another village. Obierika mentions a story about white men who are as ..."

As Kathryn said, white men were first introduced in chapter 15. When Okonkwo's friend visits him he brings news of white men in Abame."He was not an albino...and he was riding an iron horse,"(page138). They thought that the white men had no toes because they always wore boots. The people were afraid because Abame had been wiped out by white men.


message 11: by Molly (new)

Molly Malone | 27 comments Marianne wrote " I assume that Africans either wear sandals or nothing at all, and that shoes was new to them so they thought that the white men didn't have toes. " I assume that Africans either wear sandals or nothing at all, and that shoes was new to them so they thought that the white men didn't have toes."

What Marianne wrote i think is correct. On page 74 it states "Its like the of white men who, they say, are white like a piece of chalk," said Okonkwo." "He held up a piece of chalk." This was when white men where first introduced in the story. African americans suppose that the white men have no toes because the white men ware shoes that cover their toes so this must lead the African Americans to the conclusion that they have no toes because they do not show their toes. The African Americans whore sandals or where barefoot so they thought that they had no toes. The African American people acted very strangle towards the white men because to them it was a rare sort of people. Not many had seen the white men this is told to us when When Machi asks Okonkwo "have you ever seen them?" Machi is talking about the white men so this must mean that they had never seen one. Also leading us to think that they where a rare assortment of the white men.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with Marianne. The notion of white men is introduced on page 74 when Okonkwo, Obierika and the men from the suitor of his daughter's family are discussing customs from their neighboring tribes. Then the topic of white men come up, they then say that they are white as a piece of chalk and that they have no toes. I believe they assume this because like Kai said the white men wore shoes since they usually came from a higher class, and the Africans probably went barefoot. Because they were so accustomed to visible toes and they didn't see the white men's because they were covered by shoes, they assumed that they had no toes at all. Their attitude towards white men is rude and racist in a way. There are not many white people so they are only used to seeing their African ways so they discriminate them. "Those who knew Amadi laughed. He was a leper, and the polite name for leprosy was white skin".


message 13: by Alistair (last edited Sep 25, 2012 07:11PM) (new) - added it

Alistair Fene | 16 comments The reason why the they thought that the white people had no toes, was because they would were shoes unlike African Americans would. The shoes would cover up the white man's feet and they would not be able to see their toes. The white men were thought as, strange, unusual and were as white as a stick of calk. they evan said so in the book, on page 74. In the book, they said, that a man thought that he met a white man when he actually saw a leopard. Everyone thought that was very funny. "Their attitude towards white men is rude and racist in a way. There are not many white people so they are only used to seeing their African ways so they discriminate them." (Vanessa's comet) I agree with Vanessa with that. Also I think that maybe the white men were racist against the African Americans in some sort of way as the Africans are to the white men because, they have different skin color.


message 14: by Juliana (last edited Sep 26, 2012 07:02PM) (new)

Juliana | 15 comments I agree with molly when she says "The African American people acted very strangle towards the white men because to them it was a rare sort of people."

At the time African poeople and "white men" had little to none interaction with each other. Like when it is said in chapter 15 “He was not albino. He was quite different” this suggests that they did not know who these people were. Not having the knowledge of who these people are and why they are here might have made them react irrationally. This might be the reason they thought that the white men had no toes. We see this in just about everyone when someone sees something new and unfamiliar they react in such a way that they would not in other situations.


message 15: by Tristan (new)

Tristan Sena | 26 comments Okonkwo was speaking with other men about another village, this is when the white men first came up, Obeirkia said the skin was as white as chalk. They think the white men have no toes because they wear shoes which covers their toes making them think that the white men are hiding them. They didn't really have an attitude towards the white men they just considered them different they didn't really say good or bad.


message 16: by Mona (new)

Mona Chavarria | 29 comments I don't think they really had an attitude towards the white men but they certainly did assume a lot of things because of the way they dressed and acted. Like have my classmates have said they wore shoes that covered their toes so they assumed that they didn't have any toes, mostly because whatever foot ware (or even if they did wear any) showed their toes. In these times assumption was a really big thing .


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