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Chinua Achebe (1930-2013)
Things Fall Apart (1958)
- Written during "2nd" Period of African Lit, period of protest
over colonial social order (717).
A very plain
pdf version of the novel
Things to Consider:
** Homework Questions ** (See Q's for Parts 2 & 3 )
- Gods/Theology: Christianity vs. Native Religion
- Gods' interaction in humans' lives
- Folk tales: purpose and use
- "Manhood" and Treatment of Women
- Colonialists and Missionaries
- Rituals and Customs
- The Kola Nut
- What is the nature of the conflict between the Umuofia
and Mbaino people? How is it resolved?
- What is the purpose of the week of peace?
- How does Onkonkwo violate it? What is his
- Explain Okonkwo's wife's comment about "guns that never
- What are the differences in stories told by men and those
told by women? What is their purpose?
- Why is Ikemefuna killed? Why does Okonkwo
- What is an ogbanje? Is Ezinma one?
What evidence is there?
- Why have the ancestral spirits been summoned?
- How does Ezeudu's son die?
- Why is Okonkwo's a "female" crime? What is his
Other Discussion Questions:
- Who is Okonkwo? What is his claim to fame?
- Who is Unoka? What kind of person is he?
- What is the role of Agbala, the Oracle of the Hills and
- Who is Ikemefuna?
- What is an agbala? How is it different from
the name of the Oracle? (See also 17.)
- What is a chi?
- Why is Unoka not buried?
- What are women's crops? What is the men's crop?
What's the difference?
- Why is Okonkwo not as enthusiastic as the others about
the New Yam festival?
- Who is Ekwefi? Why does she answer "Is that me?" when she
- Which stories does Nwoye prefer? Why?
- Why are the people glad when the locusts arrive?
- Why do they use a bundle of broomsticks to decide the
- What is the purpose of the tortoise tale?
- Why does Agbala want Ezinma?
- Why does Chielo carry Ezinma so far before taking her to
the sacred cave?
- Why is it "manly" to bring so much wine?
Homework Questions for
Parts Two and Three:
- Why does Okonkwo no longer enjoy work?
- How is the mother "supreme"?
- To what are the white men compared?
- Explain the discussion of giving thanks. (See also
- Why does Okonkwo have a feast before leaving the Mbanta
- Why does Okonkwo call Nwoye a "woman" for converting to
- Why do "things fall apart"?
- How different are the Christian and native
- Why does Okonkwo kill the head messenger?
- Why does he kill himself?
Other Discussion Questions:
- What is an isa-ifi ceremony?
- How is the Abame clan wiped out?
- What aspect of Christianity appeals to Nwoye?
- Why do the villagers of Mbanta give the missionaries land
in the Evil Forest?
- What is an osu? What is the significance of their
being accepted into the Christian community?
- Who is Okoli? Why does he die?
- Who is Isaac? What does his name signify?
- Why does Okonkwo mourn for the clan?
- How does the Rev. Smith differ from Mr. Brown?
- Why do the villagers burn down the church?
- How do the missionaries respond?
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