Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
Under the Udala Trees
Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide

The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

Created: 08/26/16

Replies: 12

Posted Aug. 26, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

Expert

The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning) community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?


Posted Sep. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianeh

Join Date: 08/01/16

Posts: 7

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

This book is so well written that the reader is living Ijeoma's experiences with her. It is heartbreaking to read of the violence towards the LGBTQ community. Definitely a change has to occur but, unfortunately, even here in the U.S. there are still so many people with such rigid views that the process is difficult.
In Nigeria it must be horrendous.


Posted Sep. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

Expert

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

The novel argues for change in societies acceptance of the LGBTQ communities. It does present a very clear view of the life led by Ijeoma in Nigeria. The violence, stoning, burning is beyond cruel. It forces the reader to think about the difficulties faced here closer to home. In many cases not so far off. The character of the mother and her narrow interpretation of the Bible passages does make it easy to see why so many "quote the Bible" when they think they are right. Even poor Ijeoma was confused as her mother forced her to read and "accept" the Word.


Posted Sep. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marilynj

Join Date: 08/07/11

Posts: 28

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

It seems to me that the novel really does not argue for change as much as puts forward the hope that people will understand and change attitudes and behavior toward the LGBTQ community. It presents objectively and subtly a case for allowing alternative lifestyles and acceptance of differences in people. I agree with the other posters, that many people rigidly accept the Bible as the absolute truth and that everything in it is still applicable to our times, including stoning people who have same-sex relationships. Ijeoma's discussion of allegory explained her explanation of the meaning of the Bible. This isn't, however, just about how society treats the LGBTQ community. It's about burning books we don't like or removing them from the shelves of the library. It's about bombing Planned Parenthood clinics. It's about being shunned in a small community if you don't belong to a church or believe in the wrong religion or, oh, my gosh, no religion at all. Diane spoke about the violence in the U.S. I have no doubt that if they could get away with it, there are people who would stone those in same-sex relationships.


Posted Sep. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccal

Join Date: 06/16/16

Posts: 16

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

I believe this author has presented the very bleak side of homosexuality as it exists in Nigeria. The punishments in Nigeria are a travesty--and unknown to many or our readers in the US...However, I congratulate the author on her ability to create a plot line with believable characters so that the reader extends the whole issue from Nigeria to the United States and how we are dealing with this issue. I want to believe that we have come a long way but in reality, I have experienced that we have a long way to go. We recently left our church of many years because of an incident that was totally unacceptable to my husband and myself. A same sex couple attended a church service and within a few days, the pastors called for a Trustees meeting to address the issue of how this church was going to respond. The final decision was that the Elders and two pastors would make a home visit to this couple and tell them they were welcome in this church as long as they asked for forgiveness and recognized they are living in sin. And, Yes...some of the very verses that are used in this book were read to them. That was the last time this couple attended the church...or...any church. This spoke so loudly about being hypocritical and harmful as Christians that six others also left the church-including our family. WWJD? --What would Jesus do? Kudos to Chinelo Okparanta! She brought life and reality to a very relevant topic.


Posted Sep. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

Expert

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

As others say above, the rigid quoting of the Bible to justify the abuse heaped on those of other persuasions
has a long history. My personal opinion is that, though raised in a very religious family, it was also pounded in to my head that I was not to judge any one by my rules as they too were entitled to live their lives as they chose and as long as it did not harm others it was none of my business. The bible was written by men and as with any one writing a story they had personal feelings about things and they show in their writings but that does not make them God's word. Also the Bible has been translated so many times over history that if we could actually see the original writings we might find them fairly hard to recognize.


Posted Sep. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccal

Join Date: 06/16/16

Posts: 16

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

The Bible was also written in other cultural languages. Therefore, a word could have a different meaning or connotation than it does in today's world. I thought the author did a fine job with her portrayal.


Posted Sep. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
margott

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 3

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

The simple language of the author is such an effective vehicle for describing what is. I love the way we are inside her very mind and soul as she reacts to what is happening and what is said and how she often portrays her response as mere silence.


Posted Sep. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 183

Expert

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

This is an exceptional novel that brings to light the injustice and horrors of those people who are STILL IN THIS DAY AND AGE being persecuted for their beliefs for following their heart. My hope is that this book ignites a fire within the readers and we can help educate the world and bring about change.


Posted Sep. 19, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 90

Expert

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

Yes, very persuasive. Unfortunately there are many people that take the bible literally and can't see beyond it.


Posted Sep. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 69

Expert

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

I agree with the first response in that I felt like I was sharing Ijeoma's experience. Her mother wanted her to believe in her strict interpretation of the Bible, but in her heart Ijeoma could not. So in that respct, yes, the arguments were persuasive. And also persuasive in that the author made it clear how people form opinions based on what they want the Bible to say.


Posted Sep. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 160

Expert

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

I found the arguments persuasive in that they were put forward in the context of a well-written story. Using the Bible quotes, and the mistreatment of the LGBTQ people in the course of narrative is a way to get the reader to think, and thinking critically is what can lead to real change, much more so than polemical ranting. I commend the author for what she has done here to draw people's attention to very real issues.


Posted Sep. 30, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 185

Expert

RE: The novel argues for change – in the way society behaves towards the LGBTQ community and in the way the Bible is understood. Were the arguments put forward persuasive?

To me, the book argued more for comprehension than really changing minds. Before change there must be understanding and a broadening of views. As to the Bible views this somewhat speaks for interpreting the text.


Pegh

Reply

Please login to post a response.