Explore how these comments relate to his experiences as he recounts them in his diary and how you, as the reader, as affected by this presentation of the governmental forces.

Answer the following discussion questions on the readings we have done in class. Each question should be at least one paragraph.

Question 1- Unbowed (pg 1-138)

1.)As we discussed in class, non-fiction writing does not utilize the literary techniques that are used by fiction writers to create meaning in their fictional works, and therefore meaning needs to be achieved in other ways. An autobiography often gains much of its meaning from the unique and compelling aspects of the person and the life being described. Write a response that considers Wangari Maathai as a person and the life that she has led. What is notable or compelling about that life? What does her life teach you about African enviromentalism, Kenya, women in Africa, etc…?

Question 2- Unbowed (pg 139-315)

2.) Wangari Maathai ends her afterword with a story about a hummingbird who says, “I’m doing the best I can!” (307). Maathai then says,
And this is what we are called to do, no matter who or where we are, or what our capabilities. We are called to do the best we can!” (307).

Consider how this statements relates to what you have learned about Maathai’s life in the second half of her autobiography. How is it related to the overall purpose of this writing?

Question 3- The Heart of Redness (pg 1-122)

3.)Respond to the story about the Cattle Killing. What are your thoughts about this strange event in history? How is Mda using this historical moment to inform the current circumstances of his story (in other words, what parallels are emerging between the two stories and what is Mda’s purposes in creating these parallels)?

Question 4- Heart of Redness (pg 123-277)

4.)In your opinion, do the Unbelievers or the Believers win the day at the end of the novel? Or does the novel not allow a clear winner in the final analysis? What is Mda ultimately saying about the tensions that have embroiled this Xhosa community, both in the 1880s and the 1990s?

Question 5- Blog about Ken Saro Wiwia stories

5.)Write about one of the following topics, considering how it applies to the four stoires and then focusing in one story for examples:
— the tone of the stories

— the style of the writing

— the characterization used in the stories

Question 6- Ken Saro Wiwas pgs 80-171

6.)At the end of Saro Wiwa’s prison diary, he writes, “I have been detained for a month and a day, during which I had witnessed the efficiency of evil. In a country where virtually nothing worked, the security services, armed with all the gadgets of modern invention, made sure that all orders were carried out with miliarly precision. And the men were marvellously faithful to their instructions” (171). Explore how these comments relate to his experiences as he recounts them in his diary and how you, as the reader, as affected by this presentation of the governmental forces.

2) Kan Saro Wiwa explains his rationale for embracing non-violent resistance in the following passage: “It is also very important that we have chosen the path of non-violent struggle. Our opponents are given to violence and we cannot meet them on their turf, even if we wanted to. Non-violent struggle offers weak people the strength which they otherwise would not have. The spirit becomes important, and no gun can silence that” (133). Explain how the non-violent approach is taken up by the Ogani people and your response to that approach.

3) Ken Saro Wiwa advocates ethnic identification over national unity, as seen when he comments “Certainly what we have done for the Ogani can be done for other groups in Nigeria, in Africa. Its importance lies in the fact that a small ethnic group has not only been prepared pyschologically to confront its history and take its fortune into its own hands, but is prepared to take on its oppressors in teh form of the nation-state and teh multinational giant” (133). Comment on his belief in ethnic divisions and your response to this privileging of ethnicity over other forms of identity.

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