Department of English

Welcome to The Department of English at BATNA University

August 2019


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A Guide For Creative Thinking

Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:12 am by BHSoft

A Guide For Creative Thinking by Brian Tracy
Einstein once said, “Every child is born a genius.” But the reason why most people do not function at genius levels is because they are not aware of how creative and smart they really are.I call it the “Schwarzenegger effect.” No one would look at a person such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and think how lucky he is to have been born with such …

Africain Literature

Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:15 pm by Lily

Things Fall Apart is a 1959 English-language novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first African novels written in English to receive global critical acclaim. The title of the novel comes from [url=]

Algeria's Newspapers ...

Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:11 pm by Lily

study study study study


Algerian Vote

Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:39 pm by Lily

Algerians are voting in a presidential election which opposition groups have described as a charade.

Africain Literature _45646939_007133175-1

American English

Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:00 pm by Maria

Going to is pronounced GONNA when it is used to show the future. But it is never reduced when it means going from one place to another.

We're going to grab a bite to eat. = We're gonna grab a bite to eat.
I'm going to the office tonight. = I'm going to the office tonight.

2. Want to and want a are both pronounced WANNA and wants to is pronounced WANSTA. Do you want to can also be reduced …

American Slangs

Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:54 pm by Maria

airhead: stupid person.
"Believe it or not, Dave can sometimes act like an airhead!"

amigo: friend (from Spanish).
"I met many amigos at Dave's ESL Cafe."

ammunition: toilet paper.
"Help! We're completely out of ammunition!"

antifreeze: alcohol.
"I'm going to need a lot of antifreeze tonight!"

armpit: dirty, unappealing place.

An Introduction to the British Civilization

Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:54 am by Maria

University of Batna First Year
English Department G: 6-7-8-9
General Culture

[center]An Introduction to the British Civilization

*The United Kingdom :

Full Name : The UK's full and official name is the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

Location: The United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country …

Announcements and News

Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:55 am by Lily

Africain Literature QuizPromo-12
"Dear students , we would like to inform you that , from now on , your marks can be consulted through your Website ...Let's surf ! bounce bounce Wink

Applying for Research Study in the Department of English

Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:32 pm by Lily

Applying for Research Study in the Department of English

The process of applying for a research studentship begins with the identification of a potential supervisor. If you already know a staffmember who is willing to work with you to develop a research proposal,please start by contacting them. If you do not have a supervisor inmind already, …

    Africain Literature


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    Africain Literature Empty Re: Africain Literature

    Post by theghostgirl on Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:32 pm

    this is a nice analysis of Chinua's masterpiece. I have a question about the background of Africa with which we are concerned in the curriculum of American Literature; I mean the connection between literary works and the history of the region. Thanks miss.

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    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:23 pm

    Ogbuefi Ezeugo is among the oldest members in his clan and is therefore considered very wise. He is described as, not only a strong figure of authority, but also a superb orator and friend to Okonkwo. Ezeugo is the only person to tell Okonkwo not to take part in the killing of the innocent Ikemefuma, which he considered his son. Okonkwo ignores his advice and later regrets it, especially once this powerful individual perishes. It is at his funeral that Okonkwo’s life takes a turn for the worst.
    Obierika' is Okonkwo's closest friend. He, too, is a warrior, but he begins to question their way of life.
    Themes and motifs:Themes throughout the novel include change, loneliness, abandonment, fear, and importance of social relationships. The latter is depicted by Okonkwo's uncle, Uchendu: "We are better than animals because we have kinsmen. An animal rubs its itching flank against a tree, a man asks his kinsman to scratch him."The following are respected theme statements connected to Things Fall Apart.

    • Individuals derive strength from the societies they belong to, and societies derive strength from the individuals who belong to them. In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo builds his fortune and strength with the help of his society's customs. Likewise, Okonkwo's society benefits from his hard work and determination.
    • In contacts between other cultures, beliefs about superiority or inferiority are invariably wrong-headed and destructive. When new cultures and religions meet, there is likely to be a struggle for dominance.
    • Each culture’s world view is limited and partial, and each can benefit from understanding the world views of other cultures. For example, the Christians and Okonkwo's people have a limited view of each other, and have a very difficult time understanding and accepting one another's customs and beliefs.
    • In spite of innumerable opportunities for understanding, people must strive to communicate. For example, Okonkwo and his son, Nwoye, speak the same language, but have a difficult time understanding one another because they are so different.
    • A social value—such as individual ambition—which is constructive when balanced by other values, can become destructive when overemphasized at the expense of other values. For example, Okonkwo values tradition so highly that he cannot accept change. He eventually commits suicide because of this.
    • There is no such thing as a static culture; change is continual, and flexibility is necessary for successful adaptation. Because Okonkwo cannot accept the change the Christians bring, he cannot adapt.
    • The struggle between change and tradition is constant.
    • A rigid individual, unable to change with the times or to criticize his or her own beliefs, is liable to be tragically swept aside by history.
    • Definitions of masculinity vary throughout different societies. In this case, Okonkwo views aggression and action as masculinity.
    • Violence and conflict in once peaceful communities were created by Christian missionaries.
    Literary significance and reception:Things Fall Apart is a milestone in African literature. It has achieved the status of the archetypal modern African novel in English, and is read in Nigeria and throughout Africa. It is studied widely in Europe and North America, where it has spawned numerous tertiary analytical works.It has achieved similar repute in India and Australia.Considered Achebe's magnum opus, it has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.Time Magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.Achebe’s writing about African society is intended to extinguish the misconception that African culture had been savage and primitive by telling the story of the colonization of the Igbo from an African point of view. In Things Fall Apart, western culture is portrayed as being “arrogant and ethnocentric," insisting that the African culture needed a leader. Because it had no kings or chiefs, Umofian culture was vulnerable to invasion by western civilization. It is felt that the repression of the Igbo language at the end of the novel contributes greatly to the destruction of the culture. Although Achebe favors the African culture of the post-western society, the author attributes its destruction to the “weaknesses within the native structure.” Achebe portrays the culture as having “a religion, a government, a system of money, and an artistic tradition, as well as a judicial system.. Achebe named Things Fall Apart from a line in William Butler Yeats's "The Second Coming," thus tying in the meaning of the poem itself. When the missionaries start affecting the Igbo culture, the innocence of the Igbo tribe is effectively taken, which begins the downfall of the Igbo society. This downfall effectively destroys the Igbo way of life, eventually leading to the death of Okonkwo, who was once a hero of the tribe.
    Things Fall Apart has been called a modern Greek tragedy. It has the same plot elements as a Greek tragedy, including the use of a tragic hero, the following of the string model, etc. Okonkwo is a classic tragic hero, even if the story is set in more modern times. He shows multiple hamartia, including hubris (pride) and ate (rashness), and these character traits do lead to his peripeteia, or reversal of fortune, and his downfall at the end of the novel. Okonkwo truly has good intentions, but his need to feel in control and his fear that other men will sense weakness in him drive him to make decisions, whether consciously or subconsciously, that he regrets as he progresses through his life.
    Language:"In order to gain a wider audience—and also to respond directly to those British colonial writers who depicted Africans as ignorant and uncivilized—Achebe chose to write in English rather than his native Igbo,"a decision which earned him much criticism from other African authors. Achebe, in response, pointed out that English was his language as well and that he was free to use it as he pleased, "even as a tool against the same British who brought the language to Africa."Achebe succeeds in capturing the patterns of Igbo speech and the spirit of the language in the dialogue of Things Fall Apart. The entire text is scattered with Igbo words and phrases, as well as traditional folk tales and proverbs, which bring to life the oral culture of the Igbo people. Proverbs play in irreplaceable role in Ibgo culture.
    The art of story-telling is a dominant aspect of African culture. It ties together components such as religion, social-class, explanation of the unexplainable, and family structure. Stories that explain the unexplainable are often more whimsical than the stories of social class and war. People bonded over stories. It was something for them to share.
    Okonkwo, although he never shared emotions, shared stories with his son Nwoye and the child he looked after, Ikemefuna. He told them stories of the land- "masculine stories of violence and bloodshed." The stories that were shared with Nyome by his mother were whimsical stories that explained everyday occurrences such as why mosquitoes attack the ears or stories of the conflict between the Earth and Sky. Although Nyome enjoyed the stories of his mother more than the violent ones of his father, he didn't dare admit it as the stories of women were meant for "children and fools."
    These stories, as well as the art of language are very important in the African culture. Proverbs derived from stories indicate intelligence and knowledge. Through the understanding of the underlying meanings of the stories one can demonstrate knowledge. "Among the Ibo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten". Through these proverbs and stories the Ibo have built a foundation for their culture. Things such as the Evil Forest as well as customs such as getting rid of twins or using sticks to demonstrate the bride's dowry have all stemmed from stories told.
    Gender Roles
    As in commonly-recognized modern gender roles, men were supposed to be active and aggressive, while women were expected to be subservient and passive. This is reflected even in the Igbo ways of farming. Only men were allowed to grow yams, and a man's wealth was determined based on his land for planting, his yams for feeding his family, and his stores of seed yams for planting in the next season; therefore, the yam was seen as a symbol of power and manhood.Though the women in the Ibo culture are critical to the need for bearing sons to carry on the family name, women have little to no value on their own. Despite the fact that a man must be rich enough to purchase his wife, once married, the man has control of everything – property and even the children. From the perspective of the Ibo tribe, the man has to prove his worthiness to the bride’s family in order to receive the honor of caring for his bride. Nevertheless, the Ibo men did not hesitate to reprimand their wives, even using corporal punishment if deemed necessary.
    Gender differentiation is also seen in Igbo classification of crimes. The narrator of Things Fall Apart states that "The crime [of killing Ezeudu's son] was of two kinds, male and female. Okonkwo had committed the female, because it had been inadvertant. He could return to the clan after seven years." Okonkwo fled to the land of his mother, Mbanta, because a man finds refuge with his mother. Uchendu explains this to Okonkwo:
    "It is true that a child belongs to his father. But when the father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother's hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness, he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you. She is buried there. And that is why we say that mother is supreme."

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    Africain Literature Empty Africain Literature

    Post by Lily on Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:15 pm

    Things Fall Apart is a 1959 English-language novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first African novels written in English to receive global critical acclaim. The title of the novel comes from William Butler Yeats' poem "The Second Coming".The novel concerns the life of Okonkwo, a leader and local wrestling champion throughout the nine villages of the Igbo ethnic group of Umuofia in Nigeria, his three wives, his children (mainly concerning his oldest son Nwoye and his favorite daughter Ezinma), and the influences of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on his traditional Igbo (archaically spelled "Ibo") community during an unspecified time in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.It was followed by a sequel, No Longer at Ease (1960), originally written as the second part of a larger work together with Things Fall Apart, and Arrow of God (1964), on a similar subject. Achebe states that his two later novels, A Man of the People (1966) and Anthills of the Savannah (1987), while not featuring Okonkwo's descendants and indeed set in completely fictional African countries, are spiritual successors to the previous novels in chronicling African history.
    Plot summary:The bulk of the novel takes place in Umuofia, one of nine villages on the lower River Niger. Umuofia is a powerful clan, skilled in war and with a great population, with proud traditions and advanced social institutions.
    Okonkwo has risen from nothing to a high position. His father, a lazy flute-player named Unoka, was skilled in the art of conversation, but was an unsuccessful man with regard to material wealth. Through hard work, Okonkwo has risen to a highly regarded position in his society, showing himself to be skilled in battle and earning several titles. He is also a champion wrestler. He has taken three wives, has several children, and has built substantial wealth through his farming of yams, the staple crop of his village. He rules his family with a firm hand and an overbearing demeanor, struggling to demonstrate how he does not have the laziness and weakness traits that characterized his father.One day, a neighboring clan commits an offense against Umuofia. To avoid war, a bargain is struck that involves the offending clan releasing to Umuofia a boy, whose name is Ikemefuna, to be sacrificed to the gods, but not immediately. He lives in Umuofia for several years, and during that time he lives under Okonkwo's roof. He becomes like a part of Okonkwo's family. In particular, Nwoye, Okonkwo's oldest son, loves Ikemefuna like a brother. But eventually the Oracle calls for the boy's death, and a group of men take Ikemefuna away to complete the sacrifice. Okonkwo, fearful of being perceived as soft-hearted and weak, participates in the boy's death, despite the advice of the clan elders.
    Okonkwo is shaken as well, but he continues with his drive to become a lord of his clan. He is constantly disappointed by Nwoye, but he has great love for his daughter Ezinma, his child by his second wife Ekwefi. Ekwefi bore nine children, but only Ezinma has survived. Ekwefi loves the girl fiercely. Ezinma is sickly, and sometimes Ekwefi fears that Ezinma, too, will die. Late one night, the powerful Oracle of Umuofia brings Ezinma with her for a spiritual encounter with the earth goddess. Terrified, Ekwefi follows the Oracle at a distance, fearing harm might come to her child. Okonkwo follows, too. Later, during a funeral for one of the great men of the clan, Okonkwo's gun explodes, killing a boy. In accordance with Umuofia's law, Okonkwo and his family are exiled to the village of Mbanta for seven years.During Okonkwo's exile, the white man arrives in both Umuofia and Mbanta. Mr. Brown, a missionary, begins winning converts to Christianity, though generally these are only outcasts or men of low rank. However, with time, the new religion gains momentum. Nwoye becomes a convert after realizing that the new religion will provide him a remedy for the death of Ikemefuna and the twin born children (who are killed as part of tribe's culture). When Okonkwo learns of Nwoye's conversion, he beats the boy. Nwoye leaves home.Okonkwo returns to Umuofia to find the clan sadly changed. The church has won some converts, some of whom are fanatical and disrespectful of clan custom. Worse, the white man's government has come to Umuofia. The clan is no longer free to judge its own; a District Commissioner, backed by armed power, judges cases in ignorance.
    During a religious gathering, a convert unmasks one of the clan spirits. The offense is grave, and in response the clan decides that the church will no longer be allowed in Umuofia. They burn the building down. Soon afterward, the District Commissioner asks the leaders of the clan, Okonkwo among them, to come see him for a peaceful meeting. The leaders arrive, and are quickly seized. In prison, they are humiliated and beaten, and they are held until the clan pays a heavy fine.After a release of the men, the clan calls a meeting to decide whether they will fight or try to live peacefully with the whites. Okonkwo wants war. During the meeting, court messengers come to order the men to break up their gathering. The clan meetings are the heart of Umuofia's government; all decisions are reached democratically, and an interference with this institution means the end of the last vestiges of Umuofia's independence. Enraged, Okonkwo kills the court messenger. The other court messengers escape, and because the other people of his clan did not seize them, Okonkwo knows that his people will not choose war. Embittered and grieving for the destruction of his people's independence, and fearing the humiliation of dying under white law, Okonkwo returns home and hangs himself, which is seen as weak and an attack against nature, so much so that others from Umuofia cannot touch his body.
    The District Commissioner and his messengers arrive at Umuofia to see Okonkwo dead, and are asked to take down his body since Ibo mores forbid clan members to do this. The Commissioner plans to write a book about his experiences dealing with undignified behavior in the area, titled The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger, which might include a small section about Okonkwo.
    Culture:Culture in Umuofia is far different from culture in the western world, especially in terms of religion. Previous to the arrival of Christianity in Part Two, much of the novel deals with the characters' polytheistic religion, consisting of many gods under one commanding god. Various gods control natural phenomena such as rain, harvest, and childbearing.Religion consists of worshipping a combination of ancestors, spirits, and a god, Chukwu. The religion contains animistic aspects that are common to other ancient religions such as those in Mesopotamia. The people consult with Oracles which give them instructions for daily life. The religion is very ritualistic, and not as concerned with morality as modern religions today. In Umuofia, morality is largely decided through tribal traditions and verbal sayings.
    The society of Umoufia is patriarchal (males are the dominant gender). In fact, to not have power over ones wife is to be considered weak or effeminate. Self-sufficiency and hard work are also highly praised as an attribute to the male dominance. Such can be seen in Onkwonko’s growing of a yam farm from a young age with little materials to start with. His father, being somewhat lazy did not keep up with a yam farm and was considered weak and quite worthless even by his own son.
    Strength and courage are also viewed as valuable traits; in that culture, a man who is weak is not a man at all. When Ikemefuna cries out to Okonkwo as he is about to be murdered, Okonkwo finishes the deed to show his masculinity. He also displays these traits in his wrestling matches and tribal wars in which he is the leader.
    Okonkwo is the main character in Things Fall Apart. He is physically strong and is well known throughout the land for having thrown Amalinze the Cat in a wrestling match. The story follows him and his fall from greatness. He has three wives, a mark of wealth and status in the Ibo culture. His father was a laze-about and it is Okonkwo's goal in life to become opposite of what his father was. He fears being seen as weak, and this fear drives him. He is quick to anger and is a man of extremes. Living in a society where men rule, Okonkwo has a patriarchal attitude towards his family. Hence, his love and affection are lacking, which directs Nwoye's later decision. He shows the manliness in him by giving his family solid roofs to live under by working hard.
    Amalinze the Cat is the great wrestler who Okonkwo throws in his youth, thereby establishing himself as a strong man.
    Unoka is Okonkwo’s deceased father who is referenced in flashback form. Unoka was considered a failure to his society because he did not work or have money. Instead, he spent much of his life playing the flute and “mooching” off of other people, whom he was unable to pay back. Okonkwo sees his father as lazy and useless and therefore fears turning into his equal. Unoka dies alone without a proper burial in the forest, playing his flute. But his name remains circulating around the village, even if not in the best connotation.
    Ekwefi is Okonkwo's second wife who has had trouble having children. She loves her only child and daughter Ezinma. She was once the most beautiful woman in the village and was at one time married to another man, but she left this man and came to Okonkwo's Obi. She did so as she was in love with Okonkwo.
    Ezinma is the sickly daughter of Okonkwo and Ekwefi. It is clear that she is Okonkwo’s favorite child, even though she is a girl (Okonkwo frequently laments that Ezinma should have been a boy). She is held in high priority with her mother, as Ezinma is her one and only child surviving after many failed attempts and miscarriages. She is considered an ogbanje, a child who dies and is reborn to the same mother many times, by many in the village early in the novel, as evidenced by the premature deaths of her siblings and her own poor health as a child. The bond between this mother and daughter is different than the typical one that was found in these villages. Ezinma becomes sick with a fever that Okonkwo treats with herbal medicine. Later, Ezinma is taken on a mysterious late night journey through the villages by Chielo, the priestess of Agbala. Scared of the results, Ekwefi follows Chielo through the night. Ezinma survives (becoming healthy) and eventually marries into another village.
    Ikemefuna was a young man that was taken from another village to prevent war between the two cities. Ikemefuma lived with Okonkwo and his family for three years, becoming very much a part of the family and even referring to Okonkwo as father. Nwoye looked up to him greatly. He was taken out and killed by the men of the village, including Okonkwo, in the novel. He is a Christ figure in the novel and also a symbol of the story of Abraham and Isaac in the novel. It is injustice for him to bear someone elses crime through out his life and even when he got to accept his faith, the person who he admired the most was in charge on his crime.
    Nwoye is Okonkwo's eldest son. He is not very much like his father and is more interested in the stories his mother tells than in the stories of war. Okonkwo thought that Nwoye was following his father and that made Okonkwo acted more roughly towards the boy. In fact, it is the way Okonkwo treated Nwoye that had created hatred in the young man's heart.He hates and fears his father, finally leaving to join the church and taking the name "Isaac." He plans to one day come back and save his mother and sisters.The death of Ikemefuna had impelled him the most to leave his father.

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