Things Fall Apart - Wikipedia
From the beginning of China Achebe's Things Fall Apart, we see Throughout the story, unto Ikemefuna's death, Okonkwo's relationship with his children Comparatively, Okonkwo treats his two children, Nwoye and Ezinma. and find homework help for other Things Fall Apart questions at eNotes. Okonkwo's relationship with Ekwefi is different than the relationships he has with his. The Things Fall Apart characters covered include: Okonkwo, Nwoye, Ezinma, As a result, he behaves rashly, bringing a great deal of trouble and sorrow upon himself Their relationship is atypical—Ezinma calls Ekwefi by her name and is .
What preconceptions did you bring to your reading that were either reinforced or changed? Why do the community celebrations make Okonkwo unhappy? Igbo culture is patriarchal. What is the role of women in the community? Does their role make them less valuable than men? How does wife beating reflect the community attitude toward women? Near the beginning of the novel, we learn that Okonkwo has several wives. What does this arrangement reveal about family life in the community?
Describe the Igbo extended family system. How does it help Okonkwo to survive his exile in Mbanta? Compare and contrast Umuofia and Mbanta. How do their similarities and differences add to an understanding of the Igbo culture? A significant social marker in Igbo society is the honorific title system. Describe how the use of titles allows Igbo members to compare themselves with each other.
What is the symbolic meaning of the Week of Peace for the Igbo people? Agriculture is important in the Igbo community. How does sharecropping contribute to the prosperity of the community? How does it affect individuals?
What is the significance of the yam? What is the purpose of the New Yam Festival? How is it related to the religion of the community? Explain the concept of ogbanje. Show how it is reflected in the relationship of Ekwefi and Ezinma. What do these rituals reveal about the level of sophistication of pre-colonial Igbo civilization?
How does pre-colonial life in Umuofia differ from Western society? Cite examples of any similarities and differences. Themes and Motifs 1. How is the theme of fate or destiny illustrated through the actions of the characters? Fear is pervasive throughout the novel.
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How does fear affect the actions of Okonkwo? How is the concept of change and the response to change presented in the novel? What is the significance of the song sung at the end of Chapter Twelve?
How does this new song convey the theme of change? How does Chukwu compare with the Christian concept of a supreme being? Use the conversation between Akunna and Mr. Brown to support your comparison. How is Christianity depicted? Why does Achebe focus on the Trinity? How does education advance Christianity among the Igbo people? What are the human consequences of the collision between the two cultures? Describe both the societal and personal clashes.
Imagery and Language 1. Achebe seamlessly merges Igbo vocabulary into the general text. Explain how he helps readers to understand Igbo words and concepts that have no English language equivalents. How does this use of language convey a sense of Igbo culture? Explain the importance of folktales in the informal education of the children. Why does Nwoye like the tales of his mother better than those of his father?
How does the legend of the old woman with one leg help to explain why the other clans fear Umuofia? How does the language of the women and children differ from that used by the priests, diviners, and titled men? What is the significance of this difference? Wrestling is a recurring image.
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In addition to the literal match at the beginning of the novel, what are other examples of the theme of wrestling and how do they contribute to the overall theme?
What is the significance of the drums in communication among the villages of Umuofia? Why are they esoteric? What is the significance of the pidgin English that is used for communication between the Igbo people and the colonists?
For Discussion and Assignment 1. Read this poem and apply it to the breakdown of African society as described in the novel. What is the significance of the three proverbs in Chapter One? How do proverbs promote the narrative action in the novel? What do they reveal about Igbo culture? Locate additional proverbs in the novel and explain their meaning and how they foster Igbo tradition.
Is Okonkwo a tragic hero? Compare Okonkwo with Oedipus, who is punished for the inadvertent murder of his father. How do they attempt to escape their fate?
What are the tragic flaws that cause their downfalls? How do they evoke both pity and fear? Achebe does not paint a clear view of good versus evil in either the Igbo culture or colonialism.
How does Achebe show value in both systems? In an interview shortly after the publication of Things Fall Apart, Achebe stated that his goal for writing the novel was: In pre-colonial Nigeria, there were many spellings of the name Igbo. By the time Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart, the spelling was being standardized.Chapter 8 things fall apart
Why do you think Achebe uses the archaic spelling, Ibo, instead of the contemporary spelling, Igbo? It carries the reader forward in the lives of the descendants of Okonkwo. The novel focuses on Obi Okonkwo, whose downfall is caused by his inability to deal with the conflicting value systems of Igbo culture and his English training.
It is the story of an Igbo priest who copes with change by compromising his values and traditions. He sends his son to a mission school and testifies against his people in a land dispute. When messengers of the white government try to stop the meeting, Okonkwo beheads one of them. Because the crowd allows the other messengers to escape, and does not fight alongside Okonkwo, he realizes with despair that the people of Umuofia are not going to fight to protect themselves — his society's response to such a conflict, which for so long had been predictable and dictated by tradition, is changing.
When the local leader of the white government comes to Okonkwo's house to take him to court, he finds that Okonkwo has hanged himself to avoid being tried in a colonial court. Among his own people, Okonkwo's actions have tarnished his reputation and status, as it is strictly against the teachings of the Igbo to commit suicide. He has three wives and ten total children, and is a brave and rash Umuofia Nigerian warrior and clan leader.
Unlike most, he cares more for his daughter Ezinma than his son Nwoye whom he believes is weak. Okonkwo is the son of the gentle and lazy Unoka, a man he resents for his weaknesses. Okonkwo strives to make his way in a culture that traditionally values manliness. As a young man he defeated the village's best wrestler, earning him lasting prestige. He therefore rejects everything for which he believes his father stood: Unoka was idle, poor, profligate, cowardly, gentle, lazy, and interested in music and conversation.
Okonkwo consciously adopts opposite ideals and becomes productive, wealthy, brave, violent, and opposed to music and anything else that he regards as "soft," such as conversation and emotion.
He is stoic to a fault. He is also the hardest-working member of his clan. Okonkwo's life is dominated by fear of failure and of weakness—the fear that he will resemble his father. Ironically, in all his efforts not to end up like his father, he commits suicide, becoming in his culture an abomination to the Earth and rebuked by the tribe as his father was Unoka died from swelling and was likewise considered an abomination.
Ekwefi is Okonkwo's second wife. Although she falls in love with Okonkwo after seeing him in a wrestling match, she marries another man because Okonkwo is too poor to pay her bride price at that time. Two years later, she runs away to Okonkwo's compound one night and later marries him. She receives severe beatings from Okonkwo just like his other wives; but unlike them, she is known to talk back to Okonkwo.
She is the only one who has the audacity to knock on the door of his obi at dawn. Having met with the grave misfortunes of the deaths of her first nine children, she is a devoted mother to Ezinma, whom she protects and loves dearly. When Chielo, a priestess of Agbala, the Oracle of the Hills and Caves, says that the oracle wishes to see Ezinma, Ekwefi follows the priestess through the dark woods and even makes up her mind to enter the cave where Agbala resides and to die with her daughter if need be.
Okonkwo looks for them and goes to the mouth of the cave himself after waiting for a certain period, because he too was very worried about Ezinma and Ekwefi even though he had kept this worry to himself. Upon finding Ekwefi, he was very relieved and they both waited for Ezinma. Unoka is Okonkwo's father, who lived a life in contrast to typical Igbo masculinity. He loved language and music, the flute in particular. He is lazy and miserly, neglecting to take care of his wives and children and even dies with unpaid debts.
Okonkwo spends his life trying not to become a failure like his father Unoka.
Father-Son Relationship In Things Fall Apart
Nwoye is Okonkwo's son, about whom Okonkwo worries, fearing that he will become like Unoka. Similar to Unoka, Nwoye does not subscribe to the traditional Igbo view of masculinity being equated to violence; rather, he prefers the stories of his mother.
Nwoye connects to Ikemefuna, who presents an alternative to Okonkwo's rigid masculinity. He is one of the early converts to Christianity and takes on the Christian name Isaac, an act which Okonkwo views as a final betrayal.
Ikemefuna is a boy from the Mbaino tribe. His father murders the wife of an Umuofia man, and in the resulting settlement of the matter, Ikemefuma is put into the care of Okonkwo. By the decision of Umuofian authorities, Ikemefuna is ultimately killed, an act which Okonkwo does not prevent, and even participates in, lest he seem feminine and weak.
Ikemefuna became very close to Nwoye, and Okonkwo's decision to participate in Ikemefuna's death takes a toll on Okonkwo's relationship with Nwoye. Ezinma is Okonkwo's favorite daughter, and the only child of his wife Ekwefi.
Ezinma, the Crystal Beauty, is very much the antithesis of a normal woman within the culture and Okonkwo routinely remarks that she would've made a much better boy than a girl, even wishing that she had been born as one. Ezinma often contradicts and challenges her father, which wins his adoration, affection, and respect.
She is very similar to her father, and this is made apparent when she matures into a beautiful young woman who refuses to marry during her family's exile, instead choosing to help her father regain his place of respect within society.
Obierika is Okonkwo's best friend from Umuofia. He is a strong and powerful man in Umuofia, but unlike Okonkwo, he is a reasoning man and is much less violent and arrogant. Obierika often talks Okonkwo out of making rash decisions, and helps Okonkwo when he is on exile from Umuofia. He fully understands the changes going on in their society, and that their clan no longer had the unity it did before the white man appeared in Umuofia.
Obierika's son, Maduka, is greatly admired by Okonkwo for his wrestling prowess, which in Okonkwo's opinion is something his own son, Nwoye lacks. Obierika is considered the voice of reason in the book, and questions certain parts of their culture, such as the necessity to exile Okonkwo after he unintentionally kills a boy.
Ogbuefi Ezeudu is one of the elders of Umuofia. He is regarded as very wise, and gives Okonkwo good advice. He is the one who brings Okonkwo the message from the Oracle that Ikemefuna should be killed, but he also warns Okonkwo not to participate in the boy's execution, since Ikemefuna calls Okonkwo "father", a warning Okonkwo does not heed. At Ezeudu's funeral, Okonkwo's gun misfires, accidentally killing the dead elder's son, for which Okonkwo and his family go into exile.
Brown is a white man who comes to Umuofia. Unlike most Europeans portrayed in the novel, he shows kindness and compassion towards the villagers, thereby earning their love and respect.
He eventually develops an illness that leads to his death. Background[ edit ] Most of the story takes place in the fictional village of Iguedo, which is in the Umuofia clan.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe - Teacher's Guide - mafiathegame.info: Books
Umuofia is located west of the actual city of Onitshaon the east bank of the Niger River in Nigeria. The events of the novel unfold in the s. The customs described in the novel mirror those of the actual Onitsha people, who lived near Ogidi, and with whom Achebe was familiar. Within forty years of the arrival of the British, by the time Achebe was born inthe missionaries were well established.
He lived in the British culture but he refused to change his Igbo name Chinua to Albert. Achebe's father was among the first to be converted in Ogidi, around the turn of the century. Achebe himself was an orphan raised by his grandfather.