Extra Credit – Chike’s School Days

For extra credit, write a reaction to Chinua Achebe’s short story “Chike’s School Days.” This should be posted by Thursday morning.

4 thoughts on “Extra Credit – Chike’s School Days

  1. Midiam F Diaz (She/Her)

    In “Chike’s School Days” I found the opening paragraph to be very interesting as it is comparative to Achebe’s life, opening with the three names given at birth, one baptism -John, Chike, and Obiajulu meaning “the mind, at last, it rests” (Achebe 809). In comparison to Achebe’s life, he was given a Christian name Albert which gave the reason behind the two cultures that coexisted in Ogibid. Chike’s mother Sarah was Osu (an untouchable, the lowest caste in the Igbo class system), his father Amos on other hand was born Christian. Very similar to Achebe’s life as stated in his biography text, “instead of being torn between the two Achebe found himself curious about both ways of life and fascinated with the dual perspective that came from living “at the crossroads of cultures”. (Puchner 807). Chike was taught by his father to pray day and night as he called it “in the ways of a white man” (Achebe 809). and his mother had taught him to never take food from the neighbors because his mother said, “they offered food to idols” (Achebe 810). She still carried the same old traditions from her village. When Chicke was denied, food offered by the neighbor was upset and commented on him being brought up to be too proud because of the white man. In my opinion, I read it as if it wasn’t for his dad, he wouldn’t act this way.
    The history of Chicke’s parent’s marriage was not very traditional the mom opposed their marriage because of their religious beliefs that Osus were slaves of the land, and he was insane to marry women like that. Despite the social class difference, he became intrigued by learning English in his religious class he grew fond of the words his teachers taught and studied hard enough to create his view of the world as he stated “but it was like a window through which he saw in the distance, a strange, magical new world. And he was happy”. (Achebe 812).

  2. Alice Suazo

    Throughout this short text, the audience is presented with the life story of Chike and his story when he goes to school. Most importantly, however, the reader is presented with the way in which Chike’s life reflects the impact of colonialism in the lives of those who were colonized by Europeans. Within this story, the audience is presented with the story behind Chike’s family, how they basically broke a norm because his parents married each other for the sake of Christianity. Therefore, the reader is able to perceive the impact that Christianity and colonialism has had on Chike and his family. However, it is important to note that Chike does not only look at the downsides of his situation, but looks into the positive as well. When he went to school, the text explains how “They had been taught the words [to the song] but they only remembered the first and last lines. The middle was hummed and hi-e-Ed and mumbled…” (Achebe 811) Through this section, the audience is presented with the fact that Chike enjoys the signing of songs that he even can’t understand or recite. Little things like this do bring him joy, even if it is for a while. In a sense, some aspects of him going to school help him look forward to learning more, even if he fears that he can get hurt by a teacher as he had been warned before.

  3. Ali Butt (he/him)

    I found this short story very interesting and I was very intrigued as I was reading. In “Chike’s School Days,” the people of an Igbo community in Nigeria negotiate the early years of British colonialism. Chike, the main character, is the first son of Sarah and Amos, so his birth is a reason for celebration. In fact, because they recently converted to Christianity, his parents are so happy to have their first son that they give him three names at his baptism: John, Chike, and Obiajulu, which means the mind is at last at ease. His family is distinct from the others in the area since they now identify as Christians and hold different ideals. Sarah even warns her kids not to eat from the neighbors because they were giving it to idols. Then, at the age of four or five, a bright Chike declines some yams that his neighbor offers him, claiming he doesn’t eat heathen food. The neighbor takes offense, especially considering that Chike belongs to the lowest social class in the established caste system.

  4. Arpit Sharma (He/Him)

    I found the story of Chike’s School Days to be quite interesting. It provides a unique perspective on the effects of colonialism on those who were colonized. Additionally, it highlights the importance of education in breaking down barriers and opening up new opportunities. Chike is a character who is forced to confront the challenges of being caught between two worlds. On the one hand, he wants to embrace his opportunities through education.
    On the other hand, he is deeply rooted in his traditional Igbo culture. This conflict creates tension and makes him feel isolated from both worlds. However, at the end of the story, Chike can find some sense of resolution as he reconciles the two aspects of his identity. I found this narrative to be compelling and thought-provoking.

Comments are closed.