Read and Think
Read “Mohammed with the Magic Finger” (p. 110) in your textbook, The African Storyteller. Make sure to also read Scheub’s commentary on the story, beginning on p. 119.
At the end of his introduction to tricksters (pp. 94-96), Scheub discusses the “trickster energies” unleashed in times of change. All change, for him, involves trickster energy, or the tension between chaos and order. Trickster energy threatens to reduce our minds or our societies to total chaos, but trickster stories also suggest ways of neutralizing that threat, of ordering human energy in constructive ways. For instance, becoming an adult does not only involve recognizing, but also ordering the internal chaos of sexuality. Meanwhile, social change is about managing the chaos involved in revising the rules that bind a society together.
Compose a one-to-two-page (500-800-word) practice essay (using this formatting templateLinks to an external site.) in which you do the following:
Present an argument that uses the concept of “trickster energies” to respond to the following question: Why does the Uncle need Mohammed in “Mohammed with the Magic Finger?”
To support your argument, consider doing the following (but feel free to go in other directions, if you have other ideas)
Refer to moments in the story that suggest a change the Uncle needs to go through.
Refer to something in the story that suggests a way to think about the “trickster energy” unleashed during that change. What kind of chaos threatens the psychological or social order? How does the storyteller indicate, allude to, or suggest this chaos?
Show how the actions of the trickster character help the Uncle restore, create, or prompt order.
Conclude by showing how and why your argument is significant. How does it account for all the elements of the story you’ve identified? (Summarize the way your main points add up to “prove” your argument.) And why does your argument matter? What form of social commentary have you identified? What perspective on social organization is the storyteller offering, and why should we pay attention?
all pages mentioned are attached below for referance
Read and Think