symbolism of shadows (light and dark)
Themes and questions to be explored in the readings include:
• The symbolism of shadows (light and dark) in Okri and Mungoshi’s short stories
• The symbolism of birds in “Shadows on the Wall” and the correlation between the parent’s fights and the weather.
• What point-of-view is the short story “In the Shadow of War” told in and why?
• In the short story “In the Shadow of War” what do you think the author’s purpose is in mentioning multiple times that one of the soldiers is “fat”?
• What does the narrator notice about both sides of the fence at the end of the short story “Closer” and how does this contribute to her overall epiphany?
Upon completion, you will be able to:
• Articulate in writing, discussions, or oral presentations their close readings of texts using formalist and/or reader-response theory (especially focusing on initiation and development and the experiences and values expressed in literary works).
Be sure to read the bio for each other in the book before each short story:
• RohintonMistry (pg. 239)
• Charles Mungoshi and David Maluof (pg. 134)
• Ben Okri (pg. 49)
• NegaMezlekia (pg. 59)
In “Closer” by David Malouf, What is the significance of the lines, “…What I thought, in the dream, was that lumpy coarse-stemmed grass was the same on both sides, so why not? If one thick blade didn’t know any more than another that the fence was there, why should his feet?” (Malouf 141-142).
Discuss the symbolism/metaphor of the birds in relation to the narrator, his mother, and his father throughout the story, “Shadow on The Wall” by Charles Mungoshi? Why does the author continuously tell describe the soldier as fat in the short story, “In the Shadows of War” by Ben Okri? What is the purpose of this? How does it make the reader feel toward the soldiers