Things Fall Apart Homework Questions - ESIS Literature Lounge
How had Okonkwo made himself the village hero at eighteen years old .. What does Okonkwo's reaction to the news that Ezinma's sickness tell about their relationship .. How is Okonkwo's death ironic. That he . CCJ Chapter 11 quiz notes. At one point, just because he was in a bad mood, Okonkwo beat Ekwefi badly her treats forbidden to other children and building a deep relationship of trust. Open Book Quiz (Renaissance 2: Macbeth & As You Like It) Ekwefi starts to remember her marriage with Okonkwo and how she had left her add to the irony of the plot, and the growing tension between the father and.
The excitement of the wrestling match, which involves the entire community, contrasts with the shadowy world of Chielo, the priestess of Agbala. Chielo is introduced as an ordinary woman against the backdrop of the wrestling match.
She is a friend of Ekwefi and Ezinma; however, she is also the priestess of Agbala, the Oracle of the Hills and the Caves. This is the same Oracle Unoka consulted about his poor harvests. Agbala is a minor god and a center of divination; the Oracle links the world of the living with the world of the dead.
Historically, the Igbo people offered sacrifices, prayers, and invocations through the priest or priestess of the Oracle. Ikemefuna is a positive influence on Nwoye. He is described as a yam tendril in the rainy season. Nwoye remembers the stories his mother used to tell of the tortoise, the bird eneke-nti-oba, and the quarrel between Earth and Sky. I want you to have nothing to do with it. He calls you father. Nwoye cries, and Okonkwo beats him severely.
Ikemefuna is confused because his old home has grown distant. The men of Umuofia travel down a narrow footpath through the heart of the forest. Ikemefuna carries a pot of palm wine on his head and walks in their midst.
He feels uneasy at first, but he is reassured because Okonkwo walks behind him. Ikemefuna feels as though Okonkwo is his father.
Things Fall Apart
He was never fond of his real father. Ikemefuna remembers his mother and his younger sister, and he wonders if his mother is still alive. Chapter 7 Summary and Analysis One of the men clears his throat and growls at Ikemefuna. Okonkwo has withdrawn to the rear of the party. Ikemefuna feels his legs give way under him. The man raises his machete, and Okonkwo looks away.
He hears the blow. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo draws his machete and kills Ikemefuna. Nwoye knows that Ikemefuna has been killed. Something has snapped inside him, and he feels limp. He had the same feeling during the harvest season when he heard infants crying in the bush. Nwoye has heard that twins are put in earthenware pots and thrown away in the Evil Forest. A deep chill overcomes him when Okonkwo returns after killing Ikemefuna. Analysis Ikemefuna is compared to a yam tendril in the rainy season because he is full of the sap of new life.
Although Okonkwo does not display his emotions publicly, he loves his adopted son Ikemefuna. This is evident because Ikemefuna carries his stool and calls Okonkwo father. However, Ezeudu clearly tells Okonkwo not to take part in the ritual killing. He joins the party, and he provides comfort and assurance for his unsuspecting adopted son on the journey through the forest. However, Okonkwo does retire to the rear of the party when Ikemefuna receives the first blow. He does not expect the injured boy to run to him.
Okonkwo deals the death blow to Ikemefuna as part of a ritual sacrifice because he is afraid of appearing weak. However, here, no animal is substituted for Ikemefuna as a ram is substituted for Isaac. In any event, Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna, a skillful hunter and sensitive musician.
Ikemefuna has achieved the balance of the masculine and feminine energies in Igbo society that escapes Okonkwo. Okonkwo loves Ikemefuna, yet he kills him; Okonkwo also loves Nwoye, yet he devastates his son by killing Ikemefuna. Nwoye is haunted by other unexplained deaths. The Igbo believe that twins are abnormal and leave the infants to die in the bush; otherwise, the entire community might suffer.
Nwoye is sensitive, and he does not understand these customs. Chapter 8 Summary and Analysis New Characters: He cannot forget Ikemefuna, and he admonishes himself for becoming a shivering old woman. Okonkwo visits his friend Obierika and asks him why he refused to kill Ikemefuna.
He asks Obierika if he questions the authority of the Oracle who said that the boy must die. Obierika explains that he is not afraid of blood, but the Oracle did not ask him specifically to carry out its decision. Obierika says that if he had been Okonkwo, he would have stayed at home. Obierika says that if the Oracle declared that his own son should be killed, he would neither dispute the decree nor help carry out the ritual murder.
Things Fall Apart
Ofoedu, a villager, arrives with a message. He says that Ogbuefi Ndulue, the oldest man in Ire, has died. It is very strange. It was always said that Ndulue and Ozoemena had one mind. He could not do anything without telling her.
Ogbuefi Ndulue was a strong man in his youth and led Umuofia to war. Okonkwo does not understand why a strong man would share his thoughts with his wife. Obierika says that sometimes he regrets taking the ozo title because men of this title cannot climb tall trees; they can only tap short trees while standing on the ground.
Okonkwo argues that it is good that the ozo title is esteemed. In other clans, like Abame and Aninta, the ozo title is worth very little. Obierika recants and says that he is just joking. Then Ibe arrives with his father, Ukegbu, and his uncle. Ukegbu consults his family and returns 15 sticks to Obierika.
He adds 10 sticks to the 15 and returns the bundle to Ukegbu. Later, the men eat and drink and criticize the customs of their neighbors. In Abame and Aninta men haggle over a bride-price; they climb trees and pound foo-foo for their wives. Their customs are upside-down. Obierika says there was a story of white men, the color of chalk.
Analysis It is the season of rest. Okonkwo is a man of action and not thought; he is frustrated because he cannot work, and he is haunted by the murder of Ikemefuna. Obierika chastises Okonkwo and questions the morality of his participation in the ritual sacrifice.
He says he would have respected the Oracle, but he would not have participated in killing his own son. Obierika is more balanced than Okonkwo because he understands how to Chapter 8 Summary and Analysis temper the rules and regulations of the traditional Igbo religion.Things Fall Apart: Ezinma and Okonkwo
Obierika is like Ezeudu who warned Okonkwo not to kill his son. Okonkwo is also worried about Nwoye, who seems weak like his grandfather Unoka. Okonkwo continues to juxtapose his own achievements with the inadequacies of his father and son. Therefore, Okonkwo cannot understand why a strong man like Ogbuefi Ndulue has shared his thoughts with Ozoemena, his first wife, throughout his life.
This elderly couple died as they had lived—together.
They are a symbol of the balance of the masculine and feminine energies in life. It is this balance that Okonkwo cannot achieve. The dual death of Ndulue and Ozoemena clearly identifies this moral code for Okonkwo; his inability to understand the code dramatizes the discrepancy between his understanding and the values of the clan as a whole.
The conversation about the palm wine tappers provides some comic relief and allows Obierika to question Igbo customs. At the same time, the bride-price negotiations provide another backdrop illustrating Igbo life. In Igbo society, discussions leading to marriage involve the extended family, and serious negotiations are necessary because every adult is responsible for building a family and strengthening the lineage. Because a woman leaves her homestead when she marries, her family receives a bride-price to compensate for their loss.
In the discussion about customs, Obierika again questions assumptions about culture. The men are aware that customs in one area are not accepted in another. Even Okonkwo realizes that the world is wide. However, the final passage is an ironic foreshadowing.
The Igbo laugh about the white man; they are certainly not worried about pale men the color of chalk. Chapter 9 Summary and Analysis New Character: He questions his uneasiness about killing Ikemefuna.
As a mosquito buzzes in his ear, he remembers a story his mother used to tell him. When Mosquito asked Ear to marry him, she fell on the floor laughing. Ear thought Mosquito looked like a skeleton and insinuated that he would not live much longer. To this day, any time Mosquito passes by, he tells Ear that he is still alive. Later in the chapter, Ekwefi tells Ezinma another story. The snake-lizard gave his mother seven baskets of raw vegetables to cook; they yielded three baskets of cooked vegetables.
As a result, the snake-lizard killed his mother. Then, he brought another seven baskets of raw vegetables and cooked them himself; again they yielded three baskets of cooked vegetables. The snake-lizard was distraught, so he killed himself. She is shivering on a mat beside a huge fire. Okonkwo collects bark, leaves, and grass to make a medicine to cure her fever, or iba.
Their relationship is a companionship of equals. Ekwefi has suffered; she has borne 10 children, but nine of them died in infancy, after which, she sank into despair and resignation. Okonkwo called in another diviner, Okagbue Uyanwa, who was a medicine man famous for his knowledge of ogbanje children. Chapter 9 Summary and Analysis Ekwefi loves Ezinma, but everyone knows she is an ogbanje. Ekwefi believes Ezinma is going to stay on Earth because a medicine man had dug up her iyi-uwa, or the sacred stone that linked her to the spirit world.
He had asked Ezinma where the stone was buried, and she led him through the bush. Finally, she pointed to a spot in the homestead. Okonkwo and the medicine man had dug a huge pit and found the iyi-uwa. Since then, Ezinma had not been sick. Okonkwo prepares the medicine, and Ekwefi tends the medicine pot.
He brings a low stool and a thick mat. Ezinma sits on the stool next to the steaming pot, and Okonkwo throws a thick mat over her head. She struggles to escape from the overpowering steam, but she is held down. Finally, she emerges drenched in perspiration. Ekwefi dries her off, and Ezinma sleeps. Analysis The stories about the mosquito and the snake-lizard provide comic relief and a backdrop of daily life in the homestead during the intense story about Ezinma. Mosquito was humiliated by Ear, so he buzzes every time he gets close to her.
The snake-lizard also explains daily life when he learns what happens to cooked vegetables. However, both stories also explain relationships that are out of balance. The feminine Ear rejects the masculine Mosquito. The snake-lizard is completely off balance and commits murder and suicide over cooked vegetables.
Perhaps the snake-lizard killed himself because he unjustly murdered his mother. The religious concept of ogbanje is also illustrated in this chapter. The constant birth and death of the child torments its unfortunate parents. The concept is an example of a religious belief that explains natural phenomena.
His quiet, patient voice lends calm to the scene, but also contrasts with the intensity of his mission. This chapter also shows Okonkwo as both a loving and angry father. He cares for Ezinma by collecting materials to make her medicine, but he also threatens her if she does not locate her iyi-uwa. Chapter 10 Summary and Analysis New Characters: Only the men participate; the women observe as outsiders. The titled elders sit on stools, and a powerful gong sounds.
The people hear the terrifying, guttural voices of the egwugwu, or the nine masked spirits of the clan. Each egwugwu represents one of the villages in Umuofia. The leader is named Evil Forest; he is the eldest egwugwu, and smoke pours out of his head. All the other egwugwu sit in order of seniority after him. His body is made of smoked raffia, and his huge wooden face is painted white except for his round hollow eyes and large charred teeth.
He has two powerful horns on the top of his head. Uzowulu is a wife-beater who put his case before the spirits of the ancestors. He has married Mgbafo properly and offered money and yams as bride-price. He does not owe his in-laws anything, yet they beat him and took Chapter 10 Summary and Analysis away his wife and children.
He wants his wife back, or he wants the bride-price returned. He says Uzowulu is a beast because he has beaten Mgbafo every day for nine years. He beat her when she was pregnant, and he beat her when she was ill. The brothers agree that the children belong to Uzowulu, but they are too young to leave their mother. They say Mgbafo will return if Uzowulu recovers from his madness; however, if he beats Mgbafo again, they will cut off his genitals.
The nine egwugwu confer in their house. The metal gong and the flute sound. Evil Forest settles the dispute. He tells Uzowulu to go to his in-laws with a pot of wine and beg his wife to return. He says it is not bravery when a man fights a woman. Evil Forest tells Odukwe that if Uzowulu supplies wine, Mgbafo should return with him.
One elder wonders why such a trifle is put before the egwugwu. The people say that Uzowulu will not listen to any other decision.
Then two other groups present a great land case to the egwugwu.
Analysis This chapter introduces and defines the concept of egwugwu. The egwugwu are elders who wear masks and dress as ancestors. They represent the spirits of the ancestors and speak in a strange gutteral language.
When the egwugwu appear, the women and children scream and run away. The trial attempts to represent the judicial system among the Igbo people. The masked spirits of the ancestors judge civil and criminal disputes and serve as a center of political power. The decision of the egwugwu reflects the moral code of the people of Umuofia. Although the egwugwu are a secret society of men impersonating spirits, they are understood as sacred spirits by the people.
It is necessary to understand the role of the egwugwu in order to comprehend the conflict and resolution of the plot of Things Fall Apart. The trial of Uzowulu clearly identifies wife-beating as deviant behavior in the Igbo moral code. Okonkwo is a paradox.
He seems to esteem Igbo values since he is working so hard to succeed in Igbo society, yet he himself beats his wives. The second egwugwu is Okonkwo; therefore, Okonkwo himself sits in judgment against wife-beating. In his recreation of Igbo life, Achebe does not emphasize the political role of women. In the traditional Igbo world, women not only regulated markets, but they also settled civil and marital disputes. In this chapter, the male egwugwu are the authority figures who settle the case against Uzowulu.
Many critics feel the omission of female authority in Igbo society is a weakness in Things Fall Apart. The reader encounters women who cook, braid their hair, and run away from egwugwu. Female characters are not portrayed as powerful market women or judges. Some critics feel that a balanced portrayal of women and their roles in Igbo society would be more realistic and historically accurate.
Chapter 11 Summary and Analysis New Characters: It was a time of famine, and all the birds were invited to a feast in the sky. Tortoise, a great orator, convinced the birds to take him along. He told them to select new names for the feast. The birds ate the leftovers. They were very angry and left Tortoise in the sky without wings to fly. Tortoise sent a message with Parrot asking his wife to put soft things around his homestead so he could jump down from the sky without danger.
When Tortoise jumped from the sky, he crashed. He did not die, but his shell broke into pieces and a great medicine man had to mend his shell. This story explains why the Tortoise has a bumpy and cracked shell. The night is very dark, and Ekwefi and Ezinma hear the high-pitched voice of Chielo, the priestess of Agbala, prophesying.
She says Agbala wants to see Ezinma in the hills and caves. Chielo carries Ezinma on her back. The Ibo culture despises men who act like women. Luck is seen as weakness, not as a strength by Ibos.
RL5 Why does Chinua Achebe lead this section with the metaphorical proverb? The author wants to show how proverbs are used by Ibos to express the lessons gained from experience.
The author yearns to demonstrate how the Ibos rely on proverbs too much and how they lead to false beliefs. The author desires to indicate that the older generation of tribesmen cling to antiquated practices too rigidly. RL2 What is the figurative significance of the beating drums in this passage? They represent the beating heart of the Ibo community. They represent the thunder of the looming RL4 What is ironic about the way that Okonkwo treats his daughter, Ezinma? Ezinma is has less sense than his daughter Obiageli, but she acts like more sense.
What do the women and children do on the pitch black nights? What value does the story of the tortoise and the birds teach? The end of this chapter is an example of situational irony. Why is it ironic? How does Okonkwo protect his pride when Ezinma is taken? Describe the celebration in this chapter. The funeral sounds like complete chaos at first. What signs are there that it is a controlled chaos? Why is it different? Several different stories are told in these chapters. What types of lessons are being taught to children through the stories?
Give at least two examples. At the beginning of Chapter 10, the narrator says that no one knows what goes on in the egwugwu house. When this book was written, anthropologists had probably studied and found what went on within the egwugwu cults. What customs that you have might seem strange to others? Why or why not?