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Things Fall Apart--Chinua Achebe
Terms in this set (243)
Things Fall Apart was published in 1958, two years before Nigeria's what?
The title of the novel is taken from what poem by Irish poet W.B. Yeates?
The second coming
(Okonkwo) He is responding to the shame, to the humiliation of being what?
son of a weak father who died shamefully
Okonkwo was ruled by one passion, to hate everything what person had loved?
(Okonkwo) What were two characteristics he hated?
According to Achebe, is Africa's culture simple or spphisticated?
The same culture (African) that values strength and masculitity is also aware of what?
the drawbacks and the balance of femininity
According to Achebe, Unoko is what?
jolly good old man, the artist, a single minded individual
Unoko is, in many ways, what person?
an artist, a champion?
When was Chinua Achebe born?
November 16, 1930 (ogibi nigeria)
His father, Isaiah Achebe, was converted in what year?
Achebe intended to take what kind of career?
Was Things Fall Apart initially rejected for publication because of the quality of the work? If not, why?
Yes, it would not make enough money or interest
When and where was the novel first published?
June 17, 1958-- britian
Has any of it been edited?
Things Fall Apart is a story of what and its consequences?
Chinua Achebe's role is two fold: not only has he written good novels about Africa, but he has "shaped the development" of what?
What colonialist image of Africans did Things Fall Apart emplode?
colonialist image of Africans as childlike people living in a primitive society
According to Achebe, how does he write?
"from the inside"
Why is literature important to him?
it liberates the human imagination
According to Achebe, literature "begins as an adventure in self-discovery" and ends in what?
wisdom and human conscience
When and where was Achebe born?
Ogidi on November 16, 1930
What two cultures existed in Ogidi?
1. African social customs & religion
2.British colonial authority & christianity
Achebe is convinced of the writer's responsibility for what?
What does he raw frequent contrast between?
European art tradition & african belief
What was Achebe shoched to find in Joyce Cary's Mister Johnson (1939)?
Nigerians described as violent savages
In his first novel, Things Fall Apart, Achebe attempted to counteract the distortions of Cary's Mister Johnson by doing what?
describing the richness & complexity of traditional African society
In what language does Achebe compose?
Achebe's literary language is an English blended with what?
Igbo vocabulary, proverbs, images and speech patterns
Who is Achebe's primary African audience?
younger, schooled readers relatively fluent in English
What is a predominant theme in Achebe's novels and essays?
balance or interdependence
Give examples of this theme.
earth & sky, individual & community, etc.
If balance is disturbed, what follows in his novels?
The fundamental image of this balance is contained in what Igbo concept?
What is "chi"?
a personal diety, a fragment of the supreme being unique for each individual
Where did Achebe get his title?
William Butler Yeat's A Second Coming
In the first two-thirds of the book, what kind of society does Achebe present?
a rich and coherent society
Ibgo names consisted of what?
whole phrases or sentences. "Home is supreme" is unoka's name.
What determines the name?
circumstances or the family situation
Achebe uses the connotation of personal names to reinforce what?
important themes in Things Fall Apart
(Okonkwo) What causes his downfall?
his particular mode of greatness
(Okonkwo) What traditional values does he cling to?
pride & war-like aggression
(Okonkwo) What sets him apart from the community and eventually isolates him?
his unwillingness to change
(Okonkwo) What imablance leads to death?
obsession with masculinity & disrespect for womanly qualities
mass performers (african word)
hut (african word)
What was one of the great achievements that make Okonkwo well known throughout the 9 villiages?
throwing Amalinze the cat
What rituals of hospitality does Unoka offer when Okoye comes?
prayed for life & health
What does Okoye's name mean?
What skill that Okoye possesses do the Ibo regard very highly?
the art of conversation
Why has Okoye come to see Unoka?
to return the 200 cowries he's borrowed 200 years ago
What is Unoka's answer?
bursted out laughing
Why was Okonkwo ashamed of his father?
He had taken no title and was heavily in debt
Among these people how is a man judged?
his worth, not the worth of his father
What was the town crier's message?
every man was to gather at the market place in the morning
How does Okonkwo feel about war?
He was a man of action, not afraid of war
What did Ogbuefi Ezeugo, the powerful orator, tell the crowd of ten thousand men?
"The sonds of wild animals have dared to murder a daughter of Umuofia."
What was the "normal course of action" that was followed?
war or offer a young man & virgin
Why was Umuofia feared by all its neighbors?
It was powerful in war as compensation & magic
What kind of war was the one threatened?
a just war
What was the result of Okonkwo's trip to Mbaino?
a lad 15 y/o and a young virgin
What did the elders decide should be done with the girl and the boy?
the girl replaces Udo's wife, boy belonged to the clan
How did Okonkwo rule his household?
with a heavy hand
What was the one passion that Okonkwo was ruled by?
to hate everything his father had loved
What was told to take care of Ikemefuna?
his oldest wife
How did Ikemefuna feel?
Why did Okonkwo not have the start in life many young men have?
He did not inherit a barn from his father
When Okonkwo's father, Unoka, went to the Oracle called Agbala, what did the priestess tell him?
"Go home and work like a man"
How did Unoka die?
swelling of the stomach
By what was Okonkwo driven to be successful?
to never be like his father
Why did Okonkwo go to see Nwakibie?
to ask a question
For what kind of help does Okonkwo ask Nwakibie?
What is Nwakibie's reponse?
Yes, because I know you will not waste them
Why was sharecropping slow for okonkwo?
Had Okonkwo's palm-kernels been crackled for him by a benevolent spirit? Was he lucky?
At first how did Ikemefua adjust?
With whom did Iklemefuna become popular?
Was okonkwo fond of the boy?
How did Okonkwo violate the week of peace?
he beat his wife
What was he required to do as his punishment?
bring the shrine one she-goat, one hen, a length of clothe and 100 cowries
Was Okonkwo repentant?
Inwardly, yes, but not outwardly because that was not masculine
Is Ikemefuna adjusting to his new family?
What is the Feast of the New Yam?
giving thanks to Ani, the earth Goddess and source of fertility
What was the chief food of the celebration?
Yam foo-foo and vegtable soup
Why was Okonkwo not as enthusiastic about festivals as others?
He didn't like sitting around for days
What did Okonkwo's second wife do to get a beating?
cut a few leaves off a banana tree
What did she say about his ability to hunt, and how did Okonkwo respond?
"guns that never shot"
What happens on the second day of the Feast?
wrestling match he shot near her
What is the ilo?
the villiage playground
What is special about the silk cotton tree?
spirits of good children living in that tree waiting to be born
How did the contest begin?
with boys of 15 or 16
How was Maduka, the winning boy wrestler, honored?
carried him and danced through the cheering crowd
How did the crowd honor the winning adult wrestler?
sang his praise
What kind of young man did Okonkwo what his son Nwoye to grow into?
a tough young man
What kind of stories did Okonkwo tell the boys?
of the land-- masculine of violence & bloodsheed
What kind of stories did Nwoye prefer?
the ones his mother told
What hapens in the story of the quarrel between Earth and Sky?
The sky witheld the rain & all crops died, a vulture pleaded with the sky
Why did the people want to catch the locusts?
to eat them
What does Ogbuefi Ezeudu tell Okonkwo?
"He calls you father, so we won't associate you with his death"
What did Okonkwo tell Ikemefuna was going to happen?
he was to be taken home
Who knows what is going to happen?
Even the little children
What kind of games does Ikemefuna play as he sings?
If his mother was dead or not
What violence happens? Why does Okonkwo kill?
They kill Ikemefuna because he doesn't want to be seen as weak.
How was Okonkwo affected by Ikemefuna's death?
Did not eat, weak
Why did Okonkwo say about his daughter Ezinma "She should have been a boy"?
so he would still have 2 sons
Why does Okonkwo admire Obierika's son?
he wrestles well
Why is okonkwo woried about his son, Nwoye?
He is not a good wrestler, he is weak
Why does Obierika say that he refused to go with Okonkwo to kill Ikemefuna?
he had something better to do
What does Okonkwo suggest about Obierika?
He questions the decisions of the oracle
What advice does Obierika give Okonkwo?
What are the "Very strange" things that have happened regarding the death of Ogbuefi, the oldest man in the village?
his wife was found dead too
When Okonkwo returns to Obierika's hut, who was there?
What are some of the "upside-down" customs that exist in other African villages?
bargan for brides, children belong to women, etc.
What news does Ekwefi, one of Okonkwo's wives, bring about Ezinma, her daughter?
What is iba?
Why was Ezinma, an only child, "the center of her mother world"?
because she was the only child who lived
What is an ogbanje?
a child possessed by an evil spirit that returns to the womb
What is iyi-uwa?
a stone linking ogbanje child to the spirit world
Why did the woman "should with joy" when Ezinma's iyi-uqa was dug up?
because Ekwefis troubles were over
What does Okonkwo bring from the bush to boil in the medicine pot?
grasses, leaves, roots, barks, medicinal trees and shrubs
How does Okonkwo administer the treatment?
set by the steam
Is the treatment successful?
How did one know that the ceremony was for men?
the way the crowd stood or sat
Who are the egwugwu?
leaders of the clan
What about the egwugwu house was off limits for the women?
What brought the noisy crowd to order?
Each of the nine egwugwu represented what?
a village of the clan
The second egwugwu had the springy walk of whom?
When Uzowulu presented his case, what does he reveal?
he owes his inlaws nothing
What is Odukwe's story?
uzowulu is a beast & beats his wife
Why does the crowd laugh?
"cut off his genitals"
who restores order?
evil forest rose
Where do the 9 egwugwu retreat to make their decision?
in their house
What is the duty of the egwugwu , according to the evil forest?
to settle the dispute
What does Evil Forest advise both sides to do?
ask your in-laws for your wife's return
What do the two elders say about "such a trifle" coming before the egwugwu?
Ekwefi tells a story about what?
a dying tortise
AFter the birds agreed that Tortoise was a changed man, they each gave him what?
what did he make?
What was toroise's new name?
"All of you"
When Tortoise asked the people of the sky for whom they had prepared the feast, what was the answer?
"For all of you"
How did the Tortoise interpret this answer?
the feast was for him
What message was the parrot supposed to give tortoise's wife?
bring the soft things in my house
What message did he actually give her?
bring out all the hard things
What was the result?
a bumpy shell
As Ezinma tells her story, whose high pitched voice interrupts?
Why does the preiestess come to Okonkwo's compound?
to see ezinma
As the priestess carries Ezinma on her back, who follows?
Who is the man with the machete?
What was the umunna?
a wide extensive group of kinsmen
What does the priestess do with Ezinma?
placed ezinma on her bed
What is the wedding food?
palm wine, goat
what gifts are given?
What other activities take place?
How were the villages informed of a death?
Who is dead?
When was the dead man to be buried?
What tragedy happens to a 16 year old son who, with his brothers and half-brothers had been dancing the traditional farewell?
he was hit with a piece of iron in the heart
What are male and female crimes? Which was committed?
female crimes are inadvertant, male crime he killed a classman. both were committed
What was Okonkwo's only option?
flee from the clan
What did the large crowd of men do as messengers of the earth goddess?
stormed okonkwos compound
What is Obierika thinking about at the end of the chapter?
He mourned his friends calamity and thought of his wife's twin children
By whom was Okonkwo received in Mbanta?
his mother's kinsmen
How was Okonkwo helped to start over?
Given a plot of land
What was "like learning to become left-handed in old age"?
planting a new farm
Okonkwo had been ruled by what "great passion"?
to become one of the Lords of the clan
What does Okonkwo now believe about the two following sayings of the elders: 1) a man could not rise beyond the destiny of his chi and 2) if a man said year his chi also affirmed?
he did not believe them
In Okonkwo's second year of exile, who visits him?
What id the Oracle say about the white man riding the iron horse who appeared in Abame?
other white men were on their way
What was the story about the kite (a kind of hawk) that illustrated that the men of Abame were fools for killing a man who says nothing?
story of a duckling being taken
What does Obierika bring to Okonkwo in the two heavy bags?
money from yams
How does Obierika say that Okonkwo can thank him?
When Obierika visited Okonkwo again in 2 yrs, how were the circumstances? Why?
less happy, because the missionaries had come to Umuofia
Did the leaders of the clan believe that "the strange faith and the white man's god would last?"
Who were the converts?
mostly efulefu, empty men
What did Chidlo, the priestess of Agbala, call the converts and the new faith?
the excretment of the clan
Why did Obierika visit Okonkwo?
the sudden appearance of nwoye
Why did many people laugh at the Ibo interpreter for the white man?
said "my buttocks" instead of "myself"
What about the new reliegion captivated Nwoye?
the poetry of the new religion
What did the missionaries ask for from the rulers of Mbanta?
who the king of the village was
What is the clan's "evil forest"?
where they bury people who die from evil diseases
What land were the missionaries given?
the evil forest
Even though Nwoye was attracted to the new faith from the very first day, why did he keep it a secret and not go too near the missionaries?
he feared what his father would think
Who was the first female convert?
What happened when Okonkwo confronted Nwoye about going to the white man's church?
Nwoye left forever
As Okonkwo reflects on Nwoye, what conclusions does he draw?
Nwoye is NOT worth fighting for
What was Okonkwo popularly called?
What happened one time when the missionaries tried to overstep their boundaries?
they were siezed and beaten
What trouble started in the church when two osu, outcasts, went into the church?
people moved away from them, did not want them there
Who is an osu?
outcast of society
Who saved the young church?
Mr. Kiaga's firmness
What did Mr. Kiaga order the outcasts to do?
shave their long hair
What were the consequences of these actions in the church?
they were admitted as members to the church
What was the most revered animal in Mbanta and all the surrounding clans?
What did the rules and elders of Mbanta decide to do to the one who had killed the sacred animal?
What was Okonkwo's response?
until they are chased out of the village there will be no peace
In the end, the assembly decided to do what to the Christians?
What happened to the women converts when they went to the stream to fill their water-pots?
whipped and baskets emptied
Why id the clan eventually see no reason for molesting the Christians?
bc the gods were killing them
What does one of the oldest members of the clan say as he thanks Okonkwo for the feast?
"Thank you, may it return to you 10fold"
What were some of the things Okonkwo had lost in his 7 years of exile?
his title, lead war against religion
During the first year of his exile, what were three things that Okonkwo had planned for his return?
rebuild compound, initiating sons into ozo society, take hightest title
When Okonkwo gathers his five youngest sons in his obi, what does he tell them?
my sons will only be men
How does okonkwo feel about his daughters?
What advice has Okonkwo given Ezinma one evening about the young and middle-aged men who came to marry her?
I will be happy if you marry in Umuofia
Two whom should Ezinma explain this?
The white men had brought what, in addition to the church?
What is a kotma?
When Okonkwo tells Obierika that they "must fight the white man and drive them from the land," what is Obierika's response?
it is too late
What is obierika's response when okonkwo asks, Does the white man understand our custom about the land"?
How can he when he doesnt even speak our tongue
In addition to a "lunatic religion," the white man had also built what?
a trading store
How did Mr. Brown become respected by the clan?
he trod softly in his faith
What sign of dignity and rank had he been given?
What great man of the village had sent his son to Mr. Brown's school?
What is the name of Akunna's god? Notice how Mr. Brown uses that name in his conversation.
What principles of Christian theological doctrine does Mr. Brown teach during his visits to Akunna?
there is only one God
What is an Ikenga?
a horned diety found among Igbo people
Because Mrs. Brown "came to the conclusion that a frontal attack on the (religon) would not succeed," he built what two things?
a school and a little hospital
What was the result of Mr. Brown's visit to Okonkwo?
Threatened to never come back
Was Okonkwo's return to his native land as memorable as he had wished?
How was Reverend James Smith, Mrs. Brown's successor, "a different kind of man"?
he condemed openly, was the world in black and white
Why had Mr. smith suspended a young woman from the church?
pouring new wine into old wine bottles
What did Enoch do to touch off the great conflict between church and clan?
unmask an egwugwu
After reducing Enoch's compound "to a desolate heap," the egwugwu went where?
When Mr. SMith when outside the church to meet the egwugwu, who came to help him?
Why were MR. SMith and Okeke not on the best of terms?
he strongly condemed enochs behavior at a meeting
What does Ajofia, the leading egwugwu, tell the interpreter, Okeke, to tell Mr. Smith?
We will not harm him
What was Mr. SMiths response?
tell them to go away from here
For the first time in many years, Okonkwo had a feeling akin to what?
3 days after the Districk Commissioner returned from his tour, what did the District Commissioner ask the leaders of Umuofia to do?
meet him in his headquarters
What was the fine imposed on the 6?
200 bags of cowries
With what was "Okonkwo.... choked"?
The court messengers told the people of Umofia that their leaders would not be released until they did what?
payed the fine
"Umuofia was like..."
a startled animal
Why had the price of the fine increased?
50 bags would go to the court messengers
When were Okonkwo and his fellow prisoners set free?
when the fine was paid
As he lay on his bamboo bed after being released, Okonkwo made what decision about war?
all would be well
According to Okonkwo, what was "the greatest obstable in Umuofia"?
the coward, egonwanne
Who arrives at the meeting?
5 court messengers
How does Okonkwo respond?
cut one of the messengers heads off
Why do the men need help from the Commissioner?
to take him down and bury him because he is bad luck for the rest of the clan
What does Obierika tell the District commisioner about Okonkwo's death?
you drove him to death
What material would the district commissioner use for his book he planned to write? what would be the book's title?
every day things.
The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of Lower Niger
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