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Things Fall Apart Summary

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    Okonkwo’s main characteristics as he is depicted in the first few chapters are fearless, competitive, strong, manly, and a fighter etc. Okonkwo’s father’s characteristics are weak, lazy, improvident, and incapable of thinking about tomorrow. His father was a debtor and always owned neighbors money. He was tall but very thin and had a slight stoop. Unoka was everything Okonkwo did not want to be. Achebe describes kola without being explained, so we can understand culture little by little. By having wrestling fights and naming ceremonies, it creates a social system of power, as well as responsibility and pride among the people in the village.

    The quote “Proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten,” means the use of palm oil is used just like proverbs, which are read often by religious people. Chapter 2 Every night was quiet, except for moonlight nights. Darkness held an uncertain terror for the people, even the bravest among them. Children were warned not to whistle at night for the fear of evil spirits. Dangerous animals were even more dangerous in the dark. A snake was never to be called by its name at night, because it would hear. It was called a string. At Mbaino a daughter had gone to a market and was killed. Okonkwo as compensation took Ikemefuna in his household.

    Okonkwo was a man of action, a man of war, and unlike his father Unoka he could stand to look at blood. Okonkwo would even take the head of a man home after a fight. Okonkwo did not have a great attitude towards women, because they feared him, and so did his children. Because his wives were not strong like him, they suffered. Okonkwo dislikes his son Nwoye so much because already at the age of twelve, he was already causing great anxiety for his incipient laziness. So that was now Okonkwo saw his son Nwoye, and he corrected him by constant nagging, and beating, therefore leaving Nwoye with a sad faced youth.

    The advantage would be a bigger family, but the disadvantage would be favoritism, and unfair treatment. By not living together each family has a separate life. Okonkwo favors his daughter Ezinma, which he thinks, should have been a boy, while he is ashamed of his son Nwoye, who he thinks is lazy and is not a man. Chapter 3 In this story, women seem week, and not looked up to, but Agbala is a powerful priestess who is looked up to. Rank is observed in the drinking of palm wine, because the people who drink it are the ones who have jobs in hand.

    Sharecropping was a very slow way of building up a barn of one’s own. For the women in Okonkwo’s family, they grew women crops such as cocoyams, beans, and cassava. When the worst year in living memory occurred in Okonkwo’s life he sown four hundred seeds when the rains dried up and the heat returned. He watched the sky all day for signs of rain clouds and lay awake all night. He tried to protect them from the smoldering earth by making rings of thick sisal leaves around them. But by the end of the day the rings were burned. Okonkwo changed them everyday, and prayed the rain might fall in the night.

    But the drought continued for eight market weeks and the yams were killed. Unlike other lazy farmers Okonkwo kept trying and was not lazy. Chapter 4 Okonkwo’s virtues were to be a successful man, and not to be like men who resembled women. Okonkwo’s faults were to contradict men who had no titles, and killed their spirits. Yes, when a man says yes to his chi, his chi agrees as well. Okonkwo became very fond of Ikemefuna. Ikemefuna was treated like everyone else to Okonkwo, and was treated with a heavy hand. Chapter 5 The feast of the New Year was the fertility feast, which celebrated fertility for women.

    Unlike most people, Okonkwo did not like the feast so much, so instead he worked on his farm, instead of waiting around for the feast. Not only was Okonkwo not up for the feast, be he was not comfortable having a feast for women. On the same day of the feast for the women, Okonkwo beats his second wife Ikwefi. Between Okonkwo’s three wives, Ikwefi is the rebel. She fell in love with Okonkwo at a wrestling tournament that he won, which until this day she loves the tournaments. Ikwefi was married to another man, but later left her husband and ran away to Okonkwo.

    It is significant that women have to sit with their legs together because sitting with their legs open would be sitting like a man. Chapter 6 The role that Chielo plays in the village is that she is the priestess of Agbala, and the Oracle of the hills and the caves. Everyone goes to Chielo for guidance, and advice, and they follow her commands. Chielo is a widow of two children. In the village, the men are the ones who are the leaders, but Chielo is an important woman to them. Chapter 7 Nwoye has begun to act like a man by feighing annoyance grumble aloud about women and their travels.

    Okonkwo associates the value of violence and bloodshed to manliness. Nwoye relates to these values because he believes in the ideology to value his father proud. The village is excited about the locusts coming so they can eat them. Okonkwo is asked to participate in Ikemefuna’s killing because he calls Okonkwo his father. They’re probably going to kill the Ikemefuna because of the oracle’s command. So the song is more special and is a secret between Ikemefuna and his mother. Okonkwo acts the way he does because he does not want to bne thought of as weak. Chapter 8 Okonkwo believes Ezinma should have been a boy.

    Yes, because then the suitor must keep paying for the woman until the inlaws say to stop making her value go up. The women are haggled and whoever has the highest price gets the woman. I think it is becuaes the womwn are still young, and still innocent, and because they are old enough to have a child. They might assume that White men have no toes because they wear shoes that cover their toes, making it look like they have none. Chapter 9 Ekwefi prizes her daughter so much because she is her only daughter, and she considers their companionshiop as equals. That children were born of evil spirits if they are sick.

    Yes, Achebe seems to validate the belief in the ogbanje becuase he starts treating Ezinma indifferently when the ogbanje takes place. Chapter 10 The women’s attitude towards the egwugwu is that they are to respect them. They are not to go to their house, yet they are the ones to paint the walls on the outside. The main functions of the ceremony are basically a trial in their own way. Evil Forest proves a man who beats his wife is weak, because he beats a woman. Problems like this that involve whole families in marriage affect them because their daughter is taken away, and given money and more to do so.

    To marry a woman in the Ibo tribe, it is hard because you have to be a man, and you have to give all that you got. This is different from American culture because families are not that involved. The advantages are that to be involved you know what is going on with your family; the disadvantage is there is no privacy. Chapter 11 The moral fable of the story is to not take advantage of things. The tortoise was helped by birds, which did not help him in the beginning because they knew he was mischievous. When he got a title from the birds, he took advantage of them by eating all the food for himself, leaving the birds with leftovers.

    The values it reflects are that you should not be selfish. The incident involving the priestess of Agbala reflects on their culture that no one can interfere with the gods. Chapter 12 The importance of family is emphasized in the uri ceremony by inviting all family, and kinsmen to the ceremony. They all sit in a circle, and are considered in the family and are able to drink the wine of the in-laws. Chapter 13 The one-handed egwugwu praises the dead man by asking the dead man to come back the way he was when he was living. This incident is so serious because it is Ezeudu’s son and it was Ezeudu’s funeral.

    It was also a crime against the earth goddess to kill a clansman. Chapter 14 The significance of comparing Okonkwo to a fish out of water is because his own men of his clan kicked him out. Okonkwo’s lack of understanding of the importance of women reflects on him because when Uchendu questioned him about the name Nneka (mother is supreme), he did not know how to answer the question, therefore Uchendu said Okonkwo was still a child. Okonkwo did not know that a child belongs to their father when it is the best and happy time, but when it is sad, their mother is there for them to be safe.

    Chapter 15. The story of destruction of Abame summarizes the experience of colonization by showing how the white man came to look around the land before other white men did. When the white man was shot, three white men came to look at the horse and left, and when the time was perfect, they came to attack the people. They went to the market where all the people would gather together, and shot them leaving only survivors of the old, the very sick, and men and women who could escape the market. Stories that Okonkwo had heard about the white men before is that if one would come, more would come, and that the people of the village should never be unarmed.

    Chapter 16 Nwoye has become a Christian because it understands to him, and it makes sense to him. The missionary explained that their gods were not real, and that his god would let them live a happy life in his Kingdom. When the missionary talks about how the tribe’s god is fake, and they are not living they do not believe him. The new religion appeals to Nwoye because he is curious about what they have to say about their religion. Chapter 17 The mutual misunderstandings that are evident in this chapter between the missionaries and the people of the village are that they live different lives.

    By granting the missionaries a plot in the Evil Forest, they get what they desire, but it soon backfires. The villagers thought that if they gave them the land the spirits would kill the missionaries, but the spirits didn’t. The metaphor in the next to the last sentence of the chapter means that Okonkwo felt that raising Nwoye was a failure. Chapter 18 Achebe did not mention the osu earlier because they are outcasts of the village. The osu people take in Christianity, because they finally feel they are treated as equals, and belong, unlike how the felt like or were treated before.

    Chapter 19. The speaker says in the main threat posed by Christianity that “An abominable religion has settled among you. A man can now leave his father and his brothers. He can curse the gods of his fathers and his ancestors, like a hunter’s dog that suddenly goes mad and turns on his master. I fear for you; I fear for the clan. ” Chapter 20 The values are what held the Ibo tribe together, and with the British courts, everything fell apart. A big clash in values was the change of religion. Now that Okonkwo expects to return to Umoufia, he thinks that everyone is the same, and he can have his title back.

    When he arrives he notices that his tribe is falling apart, like the Abame tribe. He does not want to think that his tribe is compared to the Abame because they are weak. Okonkwo wants to stand up and fight for his people and for the village. Chapter 21 Non-Christian villagers welcome the British because ever since they came, money has been flowing through Umoufia. A trading store has also been built and for the first time palm oil and kernel became things of a great price. Even Akunna the greatest man of the village, sent one of his sons to be taught the white man’s knowledge in Mr. Brown’s school.

    Chapter 22 Reverend Smith is different from Mr. Brown because he is strict and uncompromising. Mr. Brown was compromising to the clansman, and wanted to understand the tribes values and customs, rather than harshly enforcing his religion. Mr. Smith on the other hand demands that his religion rejects all of the tribe’s beliefs, and shows no respect for their customs or culture. Mr. Smith is a stereotypical white colonist, who provokes Enoch’s anger. Chapter 23 The District Commissioner says that they come in no harm, and that they brought a peaceful administration for the people so they could be happy.

    If anyone was to mistreat the tribe people they would help them, but they would not allow the tribe people to mistreat others. Chapter 24 Being the Okonkwo is it is understanding that he would do what he did, but I think that Okonkwo could have listened to the man. He did not have to kill him right away, because even his people questioned what he did. Chapter 25 Okonkwo kills himself because he cannot handle the white mans colonization. Okonkwo realizes that things will not go back to where they were, and that everything from customs, religions, belief, to culture, was all falling apart, therefore there was no reason to live

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