Chinua Achebe (1930-2013)
Things Fall Apart (1958)
- Written during "2nd" Period of African Lit, period of protest
over colonial social order (717).
Things to Consider:
** Homework Questions ** (See Q's for Parts 2 , 3 , 4, and 5 )
- 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
(Page #s in parentheses refer to the pdf version of the novel)
- What is the nature of the conflict between the Umuofia
and Mbaino people? How is it resolved?
- What is the role of Agbala, the Oracle of the Hills and
the Caves? (See also 16 (13)).
- What is an agbala? How is it different from
the name of the Oracle?
- What are women's crops? What is the men's crop?
What's the difference?
- What is the purpose of the week of peace?
- How does Onkonkwo violate it? What is his
- Why is Okonkwo not as enthusiastic as the others about
the New Yam festival?
- Explain Ekwefi's comment about guns that don't shoot. Why
does Okonkwo get so bothered by it?
Other Discussion Questions:
- Who is Okonkwo? What is his claim to fame?
- Who is Unoka? What kind of person is he?
- Who is Ekwefi? Why does she answer "Is that me?" when she
- What is the differences in stories told by men and
women? What is the purpose of them?
- Which stories does Nwoye prefer? Why?
- Why are the people glad when the locusts arrive?
- Why is Ikemefuna killed? Why does Okonkwo
- Would Ikemefuna have been killed if he was native to the
- Why do they use a bundle of broomsticks to decide the
- What is an ogbanje? Is Ezinma one?
What evidence is there?
- Who is the egwugwu (ancestral spirit) with the
springy step? Explain.
- Why have the ancestral spirits been summoned?
- 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?
- How does Ezeudu's son die?
- Why is Okonkwo's a "female" crime? What is his
- Why does Okonkwo no longer enjoy work?
- What is an isa-ifi ceremony?
- How is the mother "supreme"?
- How has the Abame clan been wiped out?
- Why does Obierika tell Okonkwo to kill himself?
- What aspect of Christianity appeals to Nwoye?
- Why do the villagers of Mbanta give the missionaries land
in the Evil Forest?
- Why does Okonkwo have a feast before leaving the Mbanta
- Why does the old member of the clan fear for the younger
Other Discussion Questions:
- To what are the white men compared?
- Who is Okoli? Why does he die?
- Why does Okonkwo call Nwoye a "woman" for converting to
- Why do "things fall apart"?
- Who is Chukwu?
- How different are the Christian and native
- 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?
- Why does Okonkwo kill the head messenger?
- Why does he kill himself?
Other Discussion Question:
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