Things Fall Apart Questions
Terms in this set (74)
What are Okonkwo's main characteristics as he is depicted in the first few chapters?
Okonkwo' is a strong man, of honor, valor and dignity. He is a very productive farmer. Well known throughout the nine villages due to his personal achievements.
What were the characteristics of Okonkwo's father which affect him so powerfully?
He is weak, musical, useless and has done nothing with his life. He was lazy improvident and unable to think about tomorrow he blew his money
What part does kola nut play Ibo society?
it was a symbol of hospitality.
How does one gain power in this culture?
The stronger and more headstrong and confident you are the higher you will be within such a society have the more titles
What effect does night have on the people?
It terrorizes them they fear the spirits and dangerous animals?
How do they deal with their fear of snakes at night.
They don't even say the name they call snakes strings.
Describe the conflict between Umuofia and Mbaiono?
Mbaino murdered one of the the Umuofia women.
What is the outcome?
Instead of war Mbaino gave over two teenagers one a lad of fifteen and she is a virgin. The girl went to the man to replace his murdered wife. The boy went to stay with Okonkwos.
In what ways does Okonkwo's overcompensate for his father 's weaknesses?
He ruled his household with a heavy hand and had a fiery temper. He worked daily on his farm from sun to sun. His twelve year old son worried him with his constant laziness he corrected him with nagging and beating.
In what ways is he presented as unusual for his culture?
He had not inherited anything.
What is his attitude towards woman ?
He feels they should keep in a lowly place and do as they are told. He can be very mean
One of these most famous line is " proverbs are the Palm oil with which words are eaten. What does this mean?
The metaphor suggests that words are prepared by proverbs for digestion. Palm oil was a common form of cooking oil, and many foods were prepared with it for consumption. Therefore, proverbs are the basis by which words/conversations are made
What other proverbs did you observe?
Cat's back would not touch the ground....a dead mans mouth saw the folly of not eating what one had in ones lifetime....if a child Washed his hands he could eat with kings
Why doe he dislike his so Nwoye so much?
He thinks he is lazy.
Describe the family structure in the culture?
Polygamy plays an import a role. They live in compounds. The oldest male is head of the compound. Women and children are rank according to marriage rank. The oldest child has great responsibility
Why practical purposes do you think this structure serves
It keeps everything in order and there is no question where someone stands. Also by having many hands in the compound much work can get done efficiently.
What seems to be Achebe's attitude toward his culture so far?
He seems to feel an affection towards the people and shows the dignity of the Igbo to his fellow citizens.
How does the status of the priestess of Agbala differ from that of the other female characters in the novel?
She had the full power of her god and was greatly feared, most other women seem week and not revered.
According to the Oracle Agbala, why does Unoka always have a miserable harvest?
He was a weak with his machete and hoe in others words all the other farmers go to great lengths to have a good harvest and he does the bare minimum..plus bad chi
Why isn't Unoka buried when he dies?
He died of swelling which is an abomination to the earth goddess, so he could not be buried in her bowels.
How is the awareness of rank observed in the drinking of the palm wine?
Rank is observed in the drinking of the plum wine. First Okonkwo drinks since he brought it to taste it. Then the group starts beginning with the eldest. When the men have finished a round or two the women are invited in but they can't drink till the first wife drank and they had to wait.
18. How does Okonkwo build his fortune?
He did share-cropping. He got 800 yam seeds from Nwakinie from which he would get a third of the crop. He also got another 400 from his father's friend. He had a terrible year but continued to work extremely hard and parlayed hus fortune and land.
What obstacles does he encounter the along the way in that first year?
The year he took the seeds was worst weather..nothing happened when it should rains were late and didn't stay.. Then it became blazing hot. He lost the first 400 seed to drought and heat. That year the harvest was like a funeral.
What is the relationship of women to agriculture?
The women grow the household crops such as coco-yams, beans and cassava
How does Okonkwo react to the "worst year in living memory"?
He felt it would only make him stronger.. If he survived that year he would survived anything.
What new faults or virtues of Okonkwo do we learn about in this chapter?
His virtue is he was a harder worker he did not want to be lazy or resemble a women. His faults he can be very short with other. He was intolerant of others lower than himself and ridiculed others. He ruled with a heavy hand. He was stubborn and ruled with blind fury
Describe Okonkwo's relationship with Ikemefuna.
The boy is under his care as part of village to village payment for a crime. He is stern just like he is with the rest of the family, but he also treated him like his son bringing him to big village meetings or communal ancestral feasts allowing him to carry his stool and lambskin, so he was truly fond of the boy
What is the crime that causes Okonkwo's to be reprimanded?
He beat his wife for failing to cook him dinner during the week of peace. The village has a week of peace before they plant the crops.
What does it tell you about the values of the culture?
Since he is a powerful man and well respected it shows how important values are to the tribe that he was reprimanded for the beating. The tribe finds great value in observing the week of peace.
What evidence is there in this chapter that tribe's customs have changed over time?
The oldest man in the village told two other that the punishment for breaking the peace during peace week had become very weak. In the past if someone broke the peace during peace week then they were dragged through the village till they died.
Describe Nwoye's relationship with Ikemefuna?
They had become deeply attached like they were brothers
Why isn't Okonkwo fond of feasts?
Even though he was good eater and drinker he couldn't stand waiting around for the feast. He was much happier working
This What is the purpose of the feast of the New Yam?
It was to honor the earth goddess and the ancestral spirits of the clan
Describe two instances of Okonkwo's violent behavior in this chapter?
He beat his second wife for taking leaves from a banana tree for no reason, then he shot a gun at her. He then got all excited with a desire to wrestle "conquer and subdue
Compare and contrast the roles of men and women as described in the novel thus far.
Men run the household and have stern control over the women. The women cook and care for the children and they do some farming but mainly kitchen produce. The men have all the power. They farm the cash crops. The can beat and control their women
Briefly summarize the story of Ikwefi. What kind of woman is she?
She fell for Okonkwo when he won the wrestling match against "the cat". He was not rich enough to get her hand but later she left her husband for Okonkwo. She seems very submissive and wants to please her husband.
What roles does Chielo play in the village?
In ordinary life she was a widow with two children. She was however the priestess of Agbala, and an oracle.
Give three specifics details about the wrestling match?
The first matches were picked by the fighters the young men lined up and danced up to another and challenge that person to fight. He drummers play a big role in the matches announcing the from noon and continuing to drum during the fights. The better wrestlers fight last.
How has Nwoye begun to "act like a man"?
He no longer spent the evening at his mom's but at his dads. He was often ask to help the women with hard tasks. And when he was asked he grumbled and complained.
What values does Okonkwo associate with manliness?
He associates violence and sternness, also to be prosperous, and ability to control his woman folk
Contrast the stories told by Nwoye's hook mother and father.
His mother's story's are children's stories mostly fable like such as the one about the tortoise and the bird eneke-nti-oba who challenged the world to wrestling match also a the quarrel between the earth and the sky. His father's stories are of land-masculine stories of violence and bloodshed
How does the village react to the coming do locusts?
They welcome and celebrate the coming of the locusts. Where most people hate the locusts, these people are happy to see the locusts. First the locusts come after the harvest so they do not hurt the harvest, secondly the locust are another source of food.
What does Oghuefi Ezendu tell Okonkwo about ikemfuna's fate?
That the oracle says he must die
What does Ezeudu tell Okonkwo he should do?
Ezeudu says since Okonkwo is so close to Ikemfuna then he should stay out the killing
What does Okonkwo do? why?
He actually dispatches/kills Ikemfuna because he does not want to seem weak
Give two specific details about Okonkwo's behavior the days following Ikemefuna's death
He didn't eat he drank from morning to night. He did not sleep at night. When he couldn't sleep he wandered the village aimlessly and weakly.
What is Okonkwo's attitude towards his daughter Ezinma?
He is fond of her but thinks she would make a better boy. He feels she would be happier as a boy and that she has the right spirit
Describe how the notion of white men is first introduced into the story.
The men were talking about strange beliefs and doings by other tribe. Speaking of strange things what about a white man
Why might Africans suppose that they have no toes?
They have never seen toes as white people wear shoes
What sorts of attitudes are associated with white men?
Why does Ekwefi prize her daughter Ezinma so highly?
The child was the only one of ten to survive
What is an Ogbanje?
A child who dies once it is born only to be born again to torture the parents.
Describe three methods used to get rid of the Ogbanje
1. Multilateral the corpse and bury it in the evil forest.
2. Dig up the Ogbanje's iyi-uwa
3. Remove pregnant woman from their hut
47. Who or what are the egwugwu?
They are members of the nine villages acting as the spirits of nine villages and they act as judges in cases before them
How do the women of the tribe act around the egwugwu?
They act timidly and afraid of the egwugwu
What is the dispute the egwugwu are asked to solve?
A family took back their female who had been beaten by her husband over nine years. The husband wanted his bride price back
How do the egwugwu solve the dispute?
Tell the man to bring the in-laws a pot of wine and beg for his wife once he does so the in laws should give back his wife.
How are problems like egwugwu affected by the fact that whole families are involved in marriage, unlike in American cultures where a man and woman may wed quit independently of their families and even against their families' wishes.
The stability of the family is of ultimate importance so they egwugwu would more than likely side with keeping family together
What are the advantage and disadvantages of each system.
America there is more protection for woman and more marriages dissolve other system marriage not as disposable, woman more like property
What is the moral of the fable of the tortoise?
Do not be greedy the birds had been very good to him and he took advantages so the took Justice by taking back the feathers, by doing so almost sentenced him to death
What values does it reflect?
the eye for eye Justice system. He took advantage of their good nature
What does the incident involving the priestess of Agbala reflect all about' the values of the culture? How scared their belief in the priestess of the God. Also how afraid they are of her power. No one even though they followed her
How scared their belief in the priestess of the God. Also how afraid they are of her power. No one even though they followed her
Give two details about the preparations for the uri ceremony
The women cook many dishes, the men slaughter 2 goats and new large goat is purchased at market as a gift
Describe what happens when a cow gets loose
Most of the woman stop what they are doing to help capture the cow and when it is caught the owner pays the fine for the cow getting loss.
Give two details of the uri ceremony
The grooms family bring in many containers of Palm wine and they present kola nuts open them eat them and present blessings or toasts over them. At night torches are lit and singers go around singing the praises of the men.
How is the importance of family emphasized in the uri ceremony
The mothers and daughters work together to prepare the meal the men sons and fathers sit and are honored with the presentation of the wine. Fathers feel their daughters should get a high price to honor her being bride.
When we first find out Ezeudu has died, what does Okonkwo immediately remember about him?
Okonkwo remembers Ezeudu told him he should not have a role in the killing of the boy since the boy calls him father
Give five details about Ezeudu's funeral.
Constant drumming , visits by the egwugwu, he was buried after dark with only a glowing band to light the scared ceremony (due to his titles), firing of guns, men danced in a frenzy
We are systematically introduced to the major rituals of Ibo life. How does the one-handed egwugwu praise the dead man?
He said he had been a rich man and a great brave warrior so when he comes back in the next life he should come back just the same
What crime does Okonkwo commit?
His gun explodes and kills a sixteen year old boy. Killing a clansman even by accident is crime against the earth goddess
What are the consequences of this crime?
He is exiled with his family for seven years and his property is burned to the ground and his animals killed
What is difference between a male and a females ochu?
The crime being female is inadvertent, so he could return in 7 years. Seriousness of the crime.
What is the significance of comparing Okonkwo to a fish out of water?
He is in a new land and no longer the leader of the clan..his life was all about becoming a leader now he had has been caste aside
How does Okonkwo's lack of understanding of the importance of women reflected upon him?
He is still considered a child for his lack of knowledge