Things Fall Apart – Chapter Questions

(ch 1) Describe Okonkwo. • famous• defeated the best wrestler (the Cat) in a match• intimidating• successful• full of pride
Describe Unoka. How is he different from Okonkwo? • Okonkwo’s father• doesn’t work, borrows money from everyone in the village• enjoys music and playing his flute• likes drinking
Why does Okoye go visit Unoka? What does Okoye need? • Okoye is having a party for his new title and he needs the money that Unoka owes him.• Unoka tells Okoye that he needs to pay his big debts first.
How are people judged in this society? • by achievements and success• not by family/family’s actions
(ch 2) Why are all men called into the market place for a meeting? • to discuss a woman who was killed at the market and what to do about it
How does Okonkwo threaten his wives and children? • yells, nags, and beats them• In this society, it is perfectly acceptable to beat one’s wives/children if there is a just reason.
Why must Ikemefuna live with Okonkwo? How does Ikemefuna feel? • The clan asked Okonkwo to take care if him.• He is afraid and doesn’t understand.
(ch 3) According to the Agbala, why do Unoka’s harvests fail? How do his failures affect Okonkwo? • Unoka isn’t using new land or growing a different crop. His hand is weak.• Okonkwo has nothing to inherit.
Why does Nwakibie agree to give Okonkwo yams to plant? • Nwakibie knows that Okonkwo is trustworthy and a hard worker.
How does the yam crop turn out this year? How does that affect Okonkwo? • bad harvest, loses 2/3 of his crop• He now feels that he can survive anything.
(ch 4) How does Ikemefuna fit into Okonkwo’s household? • He’s treated like a son.
Why did Okonkwo break the week of sacred peace? What are his consequences? • beats his third wife bc shes late coming home and isn’t making dinner• He must pay one hen, one she-goat, a length of cloth, and 100 cowries to the shrine of Ani.
At the end of the chapter, which two characters have become close? Why might this be a problem? • Ikemefuna and Nwoye• Nwoye is weak and Ikemefuna is strong. Okonkwo appears to like Ikemefuna more than his own son.• Ikemfuna is just staying with staying with Okonkwo after his father was involved with a murder. Ikemefuna may pay the price for his father’s crime.
(ch 5) Describe Ekwefi. Why did she want to be Okonkwo’s wife? What does this suggest about him? • village beauty• Okonkwo beats Ekwefi for taking banana leaves and afterwards she jokes about his poor hunting skills. So, he shoots his gun at her but misses.• She wanted to marry him bc he was the best wrestler.• left her husband for him• Ekwefi’s daughter, Enzima is Okonkwo’s favorite child, suggesting that Okonkwo loves Enzima the most.
(ch 6) Who does Ekwefi talk to during the wrestling meet? Explain their relationship. • Chielo; priestess of Agbala; oracle• They are close friends.• Chielo calls Enzima “my daughter.”
(ch 7) What does Okonkwo want for Nwoye? • to grow into a tough man• to take care of Okonkwo when he’s old
Why are the villagers excited to see the locusts? • haven’t come for a long time• good food
What happens to Ikemefuna? How does Nwoye react ? • Okonkwo kills him• Nwoye cries and becomes depressed.
(ch 8) How does Okonkwo behave after Ikemefuna’s death? • depressed• doesn’t eat or do anything, just lays around• keeps thinking about Ikemefuna and wishes Enzima was a boy
What does Obierka remind Okonkwo of when they discuss Ikemefuna’s death? • Obierka tells Okonkwo that he has done something wrong and the gods are going to punish him.
How do the villagers view the customs of other tribes? • strange or wrong
(ch 9) Describe Ekwefi and Enzima’s relationship. • very close, best friends• act like equals, rather than mother and daughter• Enzima calls her mother by “Ekwefi” rather than “mama.”• Ekwefi spoils her daughter and lets her eat eggs.• Enzima is her only child that has lived this long.
How many children has Ekwefi borne? What happened to nearly all of them? • 10 kids• 9 died
What is Enzima called? How is her death prevented? • “ogbanje”• This means that she repeatedly dies and returns to her mother to be reborn.• To prevent this, the child is sometimes mutilated to scare the spirit from coming back.• Ekwefi was also sent to the motherland to give birth, but that didnt prevent it either.• Enzima’s death is prevented bc they found her iyu-uwa (stone wrapped in a rag). This is a link between the ogbanje and the spirit world, and it must be destroyed.
(ch 10) Who is one of the egwugwu? • Okonkwo
What is the point of the ceremony? • trial• The egwugwu are like judges or a jury.
How do the egwugwu decide the case? • The man has to bring a pot of wine and beg for his wife’s forgiveness.• If he does this, her family must let her go back to him.
(ch 11) Why does Chielo come to Okonkwo’s compound one night? • to take Enzinma to see Agbala
Who follows Chielo and Enzinma? Who joins later? • her mother, Ekwefi• her father, Okonkwo
(ch 12) Why is Okonkwo tired? • He stayed up late worrying about Ezinma before walking to the oracle’s shrine.
Describe the wedding ceremony. • villagers contribute food• Obierika buys a good for the in-laws• the suitor’s family brings 50 pots of wine
(ch 13) What happened to Ezeudu’s 16 year old son? • Okonkwo’s gun accidentally goes off and kills Ezeudu’s son.
Where do Okonkwo and his family go? What happens to his compound? • Mbanta (Okonkwo’s mother’s natal land)• All his buildings and animals are burned.• They must stay away for seven years.
At the end of the chapter, what does Obierika think about? • She questions why a man should suffer so much for an accidental killing.
(ch 14-19) Where did Okonkwo take his family to live? • with his mother’s kinsmen in Mbanta
How did Okonkwo feel about his circumstances? • despair• felt as though his chi (personal god) was not meant for great things
Why did Uchendu talk to Okonkwo about the Mother Supreme? • wanted Okonkwo to know that other people have it much worse• Okonkwo owes it to his family to comfort and support them.• Okonkwo should not refuse comfort in his mother’s homeland, or he will displease the dead.
Who came to visit Okonkwo during the second year of exile? Why? • Obierika• to bring news of the village and Okonkwo’s yam crop, which Obierka is tending
Briefly retell the story of the destruction of Abame. • white man rides iron horse into the village• the elders kill him and tie his iron horse to their sacred tree• months later, 3 more white men come, see iron horse, and leave• weeks later, on market day white men surround the market and kill everyone there
What was Obierika reaction to the story? • afraid• bc he has heard stories about white men with powerful guns who took men away as slaves
What event did Obierika describe on his next visit, two years later? • missionaries have come to Umuofia• they built a church, won converts, and are sending evangelists to surrounding villages
Who had Obierika found among the missionaries? • Nwoye (Okonkwo’s son)
What was the iron horse? • bicycle
Where did the missionaries in Mbanta build their church, why were they given that particular piece of land, and what happened to them? • Evil Forest• bc the villagers thought the missionaries wouldnt take the land• Despite the villagers’ beliefs, the missionaries were fine and well in the Evil Forest.• This won them more converts.
What was it about Nwoye’s actions that disturbed Okonkwo so much? • Okonkwo was concerned that Nwoye and his other sons would abandon their ancestors.• He pictured himself and his fathers waiting in vain for worship and sacrifice.
What group wanted to be admitted to the Christian church? What happened? • the osu (outcasts)• Mr. Kiaga agreed, but only if they shaved their long, tangled hair.• They shaved their heads, and survived, and became strong proponents of the christian faith.
Describe the incident with the sacred python. • The sacred python is the emanation of the god of water.• A former outcast, now a Christian, alledgedly killed the sacred python. (never proved)• Elders decided to ostracize the Christians.• The alleged killer died and the elders decided to not bother the Christians.
What did Okonkwo do before he left Mbanta when his exile was ended? • great feast to thank his mother’s kinsmen
What was the one elder’s message to those at the feast? • he feared for their generation• they dont understand how strong the bonds of kinship should be• they had let this strange religion start to break apart their clans
(ch 20-25) How did Okonkwo feel about his return to the clan? • knew that he had lost a lot of ground• determined to return with flourish and regain lost time
What message did Okonkwo give to his sons an daughters after Nwoye left the family? • if his sons where going to be weak and follow Nwoye, they should do it while he was alive• if they turn against him after he dies, he will return and break their necks• his daughters should wait until they return to Umofia to marry
Describe the changes to Umuofia in the seven years the Okonkwo was in exile. • Christian church has many converts• white men brought a government and built a court• new prison is full of men who have broken white men’s laws
Okonkwo asked Obierika why the people had lost their power to fight. What was Obierkia’s reply? • too many villagers joined the white men in their religion and laws• the white men divided the clans and they were falling apart
How did many of the other villagers feel about these changes? • liked the trading store and resultant money coming into Umuofia• started to think that Christianity had some substance
What was Mr. Brown’s conclusion about the religion of the clan? How did he act to gain converts? • decided a frontal attack wouldn’t work• built a school and a hospital• when people started seeing results from schooling and were cured of illness, the converting began
About what was Okonkwo grieving? • the clan was falling apart• the men were getting soft, like women
Describe the conflict started by Enoch. • Enoch publicly unmasked an egwugwu, killing an ancestral spirit.• Remaining egwugwu destroyed Enoch’s compound and the church.• They let Mr. Smith and the others live

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