Narrowed Global Issue
Beliefs, values and education.

• How does society pressure women to be silenced?
• “Society silences women’s voices” or “Women’s voices are silenced due to societal pressure”
• Women are victims of indoctrination / brainwashing

Summary of the whole literary work I chose (The Thing Around Your Neck)
• It is a collection of short stories of Nigerian women who experiences different social absurdity such as government corruption and gender expectations.

Summary of the extract literary work I chose (Imitation, p 25.)
• Nkem, a Nigerian housewife in Philadelphia, has no authority to make decisions at all at home, and blindly follows his husband. Eventually, she makes a firm decision to voice her opinion in her family.

Summary of the whole non-literary work I chose (Liza Donnelly’s collection)
• Liza Donnelly’s collection of cartoons usually criticizes the gender inequality in society from women’s perspective.

Summary of the extract non-literary work I chose:
• Two little girls playing in the living room with dolls. The caption reads “When are you thinking of losing your self-esteem?”

Analysis on literary text
1. Use of language
a. “Nkem picks up the mask and presses her face to it; it is cold, heavy, lifeless.
b. “he makes them seem breathing, warm”
c. “one of the best imitations” – Nkem’s limitation. No distinctive identity. Every imitation looks similar to one another.
2. Symbolism (is enhanced through the use of language)
a. Benin mask – an analogy to Nkem’s stance.
3. 3rd person narrative
a. Unbiased. Allows the audience to judge the relationship between Nkem and Obiora.
4. Characterisation (through the use of language)
a. Nkem – being passive (shown through narration)

{First Point}
[Symbol: Benin mask] (symbol: signifies ideas and qualities)
General ideas of mask:
• Pretending (or becoming) to be someone else. (because mask covers the person behind it)
• Representation like a solid monument (refers to how Obiora considers Nkem as his trophy)

Benin mask – shows how women are numb with the fact that women are silenced.
• [Action] Nkem picks up the mask, press her
• [Emotion] cold / lifeless → Breathing, warm
• [Reason] “yet when Obiora talks about it”
• Interpretation:
o Obiora has convinced her to accept the fact that he is trying to silence her voice.
o Obiora has successfully blind-sided / reformed her mindset her to silence her voice.
o This is an representation that there are women who are unconsciously blindsided of the fact that they are silenced due to society.

Characterisation of Nkem
• Voluntarily picks up and wears the mask (accepting the mask) – meaning: giving up on her identity. (because mask covers the person wearing it and make the person into someone different) – evidence that she is indoctrinated.
• Through implicit characterisation, Nkem is portrayed as being indoctrinated. emotion changes from negative to positive (evidence that she is used to / accept that her

{Second Point}
[characterisation of Obiora: representation of society]
1. Obiora gives the mask to Nkem [Characterisation]
• Obiora’s attempt to change Nkem in a way that he prefers
• Thus, Obiora (representing society) trying to shape women in a particular way
2. Obiora giving an imitation to Nkem
• Obiora wants Nkem to be a substitute of something else. (because mask to entirely covers the person person behind it)
3. Repeatedly and passionately explains the history of Britain (Benin mask being stolen)
• A process of brainwashing / indoctrination
• “because of how passionately he speaks, because of how this eyes glisten as though he is about to cry”

{Third point}
• [Thesis] “The author uses transitions in moments to show Nkem’s interior thoughts and present-tense simultaneously”.
• [Evidence] The excerpt is starts with a present-motion of Nkem (putting on the mask) → moves into flashback of Obiora explaining of Benin mask’s history
• [effect] allows the audience to better understand the story. Evaluate story from the Nkem’s perspective.
{Third point} how Nkem is brainwashed and has no power to make decisions in her family. [The use of language]
• The focus changes. The moments changes from present-tense, flashback, interior thought, external scenes, character backstory.
• The front part of the story is present-tense. → Ijemamaka’s visit to Nigeria → Nkem’s interior thought (Benin people) →
• The excerpt: back in present → flashback / recalls her knowledge on Beni mask that Obiora told her a long time ago → present-tense emotion (wondering what Obiora will get for her) this is an representation of how she is brainwashed without herself realising.

The purpose of elaborating the historical knowledge
• Maybe to emphasizes how much Nkem remembers Obiora’s words.
• The process of brainwashing

Analysis on non-literary text
Thesis: Donnelly uses contrast in facial expression, use of language, and symbolism to emphasize how society influences females to give up their voices.

1. Facial expression (contrast)
1) The girl on the left is talking to the girl on the right.
2) The girl on the left’s facial expression
(1) Raised eyebrow – generally accepted as asking for attention from others
(2) Seems happy, curious
(3) Infer: she is somewhat accepting and understanding what she is saying (to lose self-esteem)
3) The girl on the right’s facial expression
(1) Eyebrow is lowered – frowning
(2) Infer: she is confused, uncomfortable, and doesn’t understand the question
4) Asking the question, the girl on the left seems to be accepting what she is saying.
5) It implies that she is also thinking of losing her self-esteem at some point in her life. This is an evidence that is already brainwashed by the society to behave as the society expects.
6) On the other hand, the girl on the right doesn’t understand the question. It shows that she is yet brainwashed, and she could be a representation of the majority of the innocent kids.
2. Connotation, tone, diction of “When are you thinking of losing your self-esteem”
1) Diction of ‘losing’ and ‘self-esteem’
(1) ‘self-esteem’ – belief and confidence in one’s ability and value.
(2) ‘lose self-esteem’ – sounds like to voluntarily give up on one’s faith in ability, thus preventing them from voicing their opinion
(3) Connotation of ‘losing’ – has a connotation that one dispossesses a quality due to exterior force. However, in this context, it sounds as if she has to give up on her voices.
(4) At the face value, it sounds like losing her self-esteem is her decision, but in reality, society is forcing her to abandon her social stance.
2) Diction of “when are you thinking of” has an assertive tone and leaves no option for the girl (right) whether to lose her self-esteem or not. It emphasizes that she is forced to lose her self-esteem.
3. Symbolism – doll (physical object)
1) Option 1. She is given a doll. This shows that society is already trying to permeate the idea of gender expectation.
2) Option 2. Doll is a symbol for innocence and childhood.
3) Doll is a stereotypical girlish thing – reinforces with the idea of childhood, innocence.
4) Reinforcing the idea of innocence emphasizes that girl (left) is brainwashed. It also double emphasize how negative influence is caused on the girl.
5) The brainwashed girl dresses up the doll with a dress (specifically for female). The other girl with a pant (neutral)

1. Similarity
2. Difference
1) The girls on the cartoon is becoming brainwashed from being innocent
2) Nkem is being able to voice her opinion from being brainwashed.

My Official IO Outline (10 bullet points)

1. the gl, collection, excerpt (literary + nonliterary)

2. Symbolism. putting on the mask. Benin mask = imitation.
3. Characterisation. Giving the mask. Giving an imitation. Historical explanation
4. Transition. Technique: Present to emotion. Effect on the reader. characterisation.

5. Language. “losing”. Representation. The girl (left)
6. Graphical technique. Bright / frowning/ distinction in self-esteem level
7. Symbol. Dolls. difference in their fashion.

8. Similarity (Imitation, cartoon). Presence of society. Symbolism. difference in age. Significance of ending. Generalisation.

(21) 12.14 Final IO