Thursday, October 2, 2014

Week 7 Essay: New Favorite

Week 7 Essay: New Favorite

Week 6 and 7 stories were in the Asia and African section. I really enjoyed these two weeks and it might be my new favorite unit opposed to week 1 and 2. For week 6, I read The Monkey King and for week 7 I read West African Folktales. The Monkey King was my favorite between the two. There is just something about that story that I thought made it an excellent read. Week 7 I read West African Folktales. This section included many stories about Anansi, the trickster spider. I loved most of the stories in the section. They were short and sweet, and also easy to understand. I thought it was neat how some of the stories told were about how the origin of something else came to be, for example, the crying kids, and how the tortoise got its shell. Anansi himself is a pretty interesting character. Throughout the stories he is a clever person and tends to trick most people, but he is also greedy and selfish. Most of the time his selfishness leads to him not getting what he wants in the end.

My favorite story was “Anansi and Nothing”. The word play with the “nothing” and the character named Nothing was clever. It reminded me of when Odysseus tricked the Cyclops into thinking his name was Nothing. The story is one of the best that displays Anansi’s jealously and selfishness. First he tricks his rich friend into changing cloths with him when they were searching for wives in a neighboring city. This led to Anansi getting the most beautiful wives even though he was really poor, and Nothing getting no one except a woman who felt bad for him. When they went back home it was Nothing who had all the riches and Anansi with nothing. All of Anansi’s wives went over to Nothings house and Anansi grew very jealous and killed his friend to have everything to himself.

I wouldn’t say that I have a “least” favorite story out of them all, but there were some that just were not as entertaining for me to read. They were still fine stories however. I am glad that I read the 2 stories that I chose for these 2 weeks. They are both among one of the best so far. I think that the notes provided alongside some of the stories are great. They help give me some insight on what I will be reading next about. This unit I feel that I acquired some new storytelling techniques. From both weeks there were a vast amount of stories to read which, I think, indirectly helped my creativeness. I learned a lot about Anansi and some other African tales. My expectations were met and I want to thank Mrs. Gibbs for her recommendations on the stories this week. 

A bronze Maman outside of Ottawa, Canada by: John Talbot
(could represent Anansi)
More info on Anansi: Wikipedia

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