Monday, October 5, 2009
Grade Level 12
Choose any one of the following activities for our study of Heart of Darkness
1. Good readers ask questions of a text. Keep a reading journal to record yours. A reading journal should be an informal piece of writing done after each significant session you have with the book. A reading journal should do all of the following:
a) List unknown words. You will look these up and write down the definitions.
b) Ask basic questions such as who, what, where, when, how?
c) Allow the reader to react to the philosophical issues of a text. This story addresses each of the following philosophical questions, for which there may be no definitive answers:
• Is evil an inherent human trait?
• Should women be protected from harsh realities?
• What is the nature of human superiority? Is there such a thing?
• Is Heart of Darkness a racist text?
• Is colonialism ethical? What stance does the book take on empire?
• How should one go about telling a story? Explore Conrad’s philosophy of storytelling. Should a story be a kernel, or the haze that brings out a glow?
d) Reflect upon imagery (light and dark) and metaphor/symbolism.
2. Africa is still a vastly troubled nation. Research modern dilemmas (such as child soldiering, the war in Darfur, etc.) and prepare an informative presentation to the class including handouts and visual aides.
3. Animal rights take a backseat to human rights in Conrad’s novella. Research the
devastating effects the need for animal products has caused in the animal kingdom and prepare an informative presentation to the class including handouts and visual aides. Your presentations need not be restricted to elephants, but should include current information about the ivory trade.
4. Ivory is just one of the sought after natural resources of Africa. Research the
other natural resources that have caused conflict in the land and prepare an informative presentation to the class including handouts and visual aides.