Literature Circle

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For the in class Literature Circle on the novel Children of the New World I played the role of a discussion leader. As a discussion leader I was responsible for coming up with a couple of though provoking questions that would help create discussion in my group. These questions should help our group divulge deeper into the different perspectives and culture we were reading about in the novel. 

ImageAfter reading the the first few chapters of Children of the New World, I found myself creatingquestions that centered around the characteristics of strength and rebellion that the women portrayed. Each woman, in her ownway, showed a distinct trait of strength that was exemplified in her chapter or story. These women defied my belief because I was relying on a single story. In the past, I thought the Algerian country was a place where women were objects without a role in society. My single story included Algerian women who were completely submissive to their husbands. Although Algeria is located in Africa, I simply assumed that it was a part of the Middle East because of my idea of their customs. 

However, even through the first four chapters of the novel, I realized how wrong my single story was. These women are inherently strong and defy my assumptions in every way. From the way Cherifa proudly and triumphantly defied her husband to the way that Salima defies the status quo and becomes a teacher at an all girls’ school, these women are the epitome of strong. My single story of repressed Algerian women who do not take a stand for their rights is beginning to collapse in my head. Instead, an image of strong women who rule their households and are counterparts to their husbands is starting to take hold as the image in my head. 

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4 responses »

  1. I agree with how each women in this story has very different characteristics when it comes to their reactions. The differences between them further prove that there is not single story about a group of people, no matter what, even with the customs of Algerian women.

  2. I myself also fell into the single story, which I felt guilty for after we spent so much time in class discussing. I automatically assume that all of the women are confined to their house imprisoned in their roles, but forget to acknowledge and applaud Cherifa for creating her own path defying the traditions and standards of the single story Algerian women.

  3. I completely agree with you! I was doing the same way and realized during our discussion that I needed to escape the single story view I was pertaining to Algerian women. I was astounded when Cherifa was able to step up to her husband like that. I don’t even think some women in America would be able to do that! All of the assumptions I have made about Alegerian women have been thrown out of the window and I am excited to see them triumph in the world.

  4. I was also a discussion leader for this group of chapters. I had the same approach as you, thinking of thought-provoking questions that would lead into discussion. I also, unknowingly, had the same single story view on Algeria as you. Even though I knew Algeria was a part of Africa, I subconsciously placed it into the realm of the middle east. This really makes you think about these biases and stereotypes we have that are not even really based on fact!

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