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The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo

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Presentation on theme: "The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo
Presentation prepared by Dr.Magda Hasabelnaby AOU Cairo Branch

2 Beverley Naidoo Beverley Naidoo was born in 1943 and grew up under apartheid in South Africa. Just as in the U.S. of the thirties (as you have seen in “Roll of Thunder”), black children under Apartheid had to suffer racial segregation and discrimination.

3 As a young girl Beverley began to question the superiority of white people.
As a 21- year-old adult, she was arrested for her activism in the resistance movement.

4 Hear the life story of the author

5 The Other Side of Truth Published in 2000 Won Carnegie Medal
First Carnegie novel with a black character as protagonist. WhenThe Other Side of Truth won the Carnegie Medal, I was stunned. This was the first time in 64 years that a book with African characters had taken the prize! (Naidoo, official Site)

6 The novel has as its main themes:
Political Oppression Freedom of speech Asylum-seeking Home and exile Formal and informal education The role of the media Resistance and political activism Child Agency

7 How does this apply to The Other Side of Truth?
Highlighiting the main features of late 20th c. literature for children, Nicholas Tucker, points out that: “Widely accepted principles, such as always telling the truth, remaining honest, and showing kindness and respect to the old, were now challenged by numbers of writers keen to point out that defining moral behaviour could sometimes be a far more complex business than the mere following of absolute rules” (155) How does this apply to The Other Side of Truth?

8 “Don’t blame yourself”, said Mama Appiah quietly
“Don’t blame yourself”, said Mama Appiah quietly. “Sometime people do not tell the truth because they are so desperate. I am sure that is what happened with you two and, I am very sure with your father.” (148 italics mine) What does two refer to here? What did the father lie about? How does this affect the consistency of his character?

9 How does the school environment works in the novel as a microcosm of Nigeria and the world?
Reread chapters 21 to 27 and analyze how themes of oppression, resistance, and telling the truth reverberate in the novel? How does Sade’s internal conflict in these chapters echo other internal and external conflicts in the novel?

10 Realism in The Other Side of Truth
The novel includes many realistic stories from both Nigeria and Somaila. Ken-Saro-Wiwa

11 Realistic details in the novel
Like many other Nigerians, Saro-Wiwa protested against oil companies and the military government who he claimed polluted and robbed their country.

12 As a result Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists were hanged in November Find out other realistic details in the novel.

13 Sade, the focaliser of the novel tells us how after the murder of the mother, Uncle Tunde reproaches her father : Look, Folarin, we all know how brave you are. Braver than most of us. But are you wise? You say our country must have writers to tell the truth. But, tell me, what can you write from the grave? For goodness sake, Folarin, look at what they’ve done to Ken! The whole world was shouting “Saro-Wiwa must not hang!” But did His Excellency Commander-in-Chief, General Abacha, and his soldiers care? (8)

14 The story of Ken-Saro-Wiwa plays a very important role in the novel
The story of Ken-Saro-Wiwa plays a very important role in the novel. How does it function on the plot level till the very end? (see page 186) The role of the media is a very important theme in the novel. How does Naidoo unfold this theme?

15 Does England function in the story as the heaven to which people flee from hell in their countries? Discuss with reference to Sade and Miriam? How is the Muslem family presented in the novel? And how does Naidoo foster awareness of “the other” in the book?

16 Read the dialogue between Sade and her father on page 222, and discuss how Naidoo redefines “home” in this dialogue. Do you agree with Naidoo’s redefinition of “home” offered here? In what way is such definition helpful on the pedagogical level.

17 Narrative Style Naidoo uses many stream of consciousness techniques to deliver her story. She uses FIT extensively to represent the emotions and the conflicts in Sade’s psyche: Sade’s own voice was lost somewhere deep inside her. She wanted to rush across, grab hold of Mama, squeeze breath back into her- before it was too late- but she could not move” (2) Notice the quick staccato rhythm of the sentences, and the references to the mother as “Mama” which betray the focalization of Sade and not an omniscient narrator.

18 Other stream of Consciousness techniques
Dreams were used to disclose a deeper level of consciousness which allows the reader to see into Sade’s psyche more clearly. Read pages 117 and discuss the function of Sade’s dream. Sade’s mother survives in the story till the very end. How is this enacted on the narrative level?

19 Other narrative devices
Letters (See pages )What is the function of letters in these pages? What is the function of the final letter with which Naidoo decided to end the novel? Folk stories what is the function of the Nigerian folk story on page 192? Proverbs: read the italicized proverb on page 207 and discuss the function of the Nigerian proverbs in the story.

20 Reread and Apply Reread “Child Agency in ‘Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry’” by Kelly McDowell, and “The Role of Education in Mildred Taylor’s “Roll of Thunder” by Cicely Denean Cobb. Write an essay applying any of the concepts in these tow articles on The Other side of Truth?


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