english homework help


You have already engaged in pre-reading activities through your introduction to literary theory and the historical backdrop of the novel. This activity continues our pre-reading tasks to help you to think about the possible themes of the novel and its cultural references. 


Initial Post 

Complete the two tasks below; write a paragraph for each. 

  1. Read “Sambus” by Hamdi, a personal, non-fiction story (  Sambus • We Refugees Archive (we-refugees-archive.org)  ) of a contemporary migration experience from Somalia to Italy. As you read, consider the historical and cultural references. What can we understand about Somali culture and history that may show up in the novel Adua, and what themes does the story make us anticipate in the novel? Consider its themes, points of interest, cultural and historical references, and/or its possible connections to the “historical note” in Adua
  2. Preview the novel by thinking about the beginning dedication, which lists five actresses and commends their success “despite the cage that the system built around them.” Turn the page and consider the significance of the song quotes from “Maria Maria” by Santana and “Papaoutai” by Stromae, a popular music artist from Belgium. This second song quote is in French, and the quoted lyrics roughly translate to “Oh, dear dad / Tell me where you are hiding? /  I must have counted on my fingers at least a thousand times / Where are you? Papa, where are you?” The lyrics reference a father and son playing the game “hide-and-go-seek.” Finally, view the video of the song below (it has English subtitles; click CC if they do not automatically appear) a couple of times, and write a reflection that discusses what the song is about, identifying its themes while considering the significance of the visuals in the video. For example, why is the father motionless? Do you feel the father’s presence is literal or figurative? How do you interpret other scenes or aspects of the video, such as the neighbors dancing, the style of clothes, architecture and decor, and the son pushing the father’s car? Overall, consider why the author referenced this very popular song and what similar themes we can anticipate showing up in the novel.
  3.  Stromae – Papaoutai – YouTube 
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