Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart is the novel by Chinua Achebe. The novel, the protagonist Okonkwo, and the various plot lines are discussed in this category.

2,803 Questions
Things Fall Apart

Does Okonkwo from the novel 'Things Fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe have integrity?

Yes. Okonkwo is shown never to lie to or cheat another man. He holds respect in high regard. He pays back his debts unlike his father.

Things Fall Apart

How does Okonkwo show his thanks to Mbanta?

Okonkwo throws a large farewell feast inviting all of his kinsmen; he slaughters 3 goats when 2 would have been sufficient.

Things Fall Apart

What is a kite in Things Fall Apart?

A bird.

Things Fall Apart

What chapter does Okonkwo kill Ikemefuna in?

Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna during chapter 7.

Things Fall Apart

Why is Ani important in Things Fall Apart?

Ani is the Earth goddess and source of all fertility. Without her, things would not grow. She is the ultimate judge of morality and conduct, and is in close contact with the dead ancestors who had been buried in the Earth.

Things Fall Apart

What happens to Ikemefuna in Okonkwo's home?

Ikemefuna eventually becomes one of the family and fulfills the role of Okonkwo's eldest son, being a mentor to Nwoye in particular.

Things Fall Apart

What one passion rules okonkwo?

And so Okonkwo was ruled by one passion - to hate everything that his father Unoka had loved. One of those things was gentleness and another was idleness.

Things Fall Apart

Was Okonkwo's punishment for the accidental death too harsh?

This is a subjective question.

Yes, because it was an accident and he didn't mean to do it. No good is served by punishing him in this way.

No, because he was only exiled for seven years and not his entire life. This punishment is atonement for the death, and keeps the killer away from the deceased family for a time so that they will not be frequently reminded of the death.

Things Fall Apart

Is Okonkwo from the novel 'Things Fall Apart' by China Ahebe someone you can admire?

Yes. Okonkwo has many admirable qualities which make him well-respected among all villages of the Igbo.

Things Fall Apart

Who were the first people converted to Christianity in Umuofia?

The first people converted to Christianity were the outcasts and low ranking men and women who had no titles.

Things Fall Apart

Why did Chinua Achebe write Things Fall Apart?

Things Fall Apart was written to describe Nigerian culture and the effects of European colonization upon it. It was also a response to the Western beliefs that the Africans were uncivilized and barbaric.

Achebe got most of his view from his own culture through the writing of Europeans. At first he related to the European writings, but as time went on, he felt they were poor caricatures and stereotypes of the actual people, and he tried to show this through his writing.

1- Joyce Cary's Mister Johnson, seen as a racist writing

2- The consequences of the European Colonization.

3- 'Things Fall Apart' was also said to be inspired / as a response to Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'.

The title comes from the poem "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats which is about the demise of a society by colonisation:


Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

He wrote Things Fall Apart to give an example of man's inhumanity against man.

Things Fall Apart

Why did children like moonlit nights in things fall apart?

They could walk at night without fear of pythons.

Things Fall Apart

What is the cause and nature of the conflict with Mbaino in things fall apart?

A Mbaino clansman murdered the wife of an Umuofia tribesman while she was in their market.

Things Fall Apart

What is the story that Obierika comes to tell Okonkwo?

Obierika tells Okonkwo of the coming of the white men and the slaughter of Abame.

Things Fall Apart

What is the voice of Things Fall Apart?

This would be considered the narrator, an impartial third-person perspective on the events.

Things Fall Apart

What proverbs are found in the book Things Fall Apart?

Chapter 1

"Proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten."

Palm oil is a rich yellow oil pressed from the fruit of certain palm trees and used both for fuel and cooking. In their culture they used proverbs to communicate and to keep a better style, to show wisdom(intelligence) in a poetic way. In their culture they used proverbs in order to communicate and to use a more elevated style, to be clear and make vocabulary more interesting

"Our elders say that the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them."

Unoka uses this phrase to say that he will pay his biggest debtors before the smallest.

"If a child washes his hands he could eat with kings."

By removing the dirt of the ancestors you can have a chance of a different future; each one builds his own fame.

Chapter 2

"When the moon is shining the cripple becomes hungry for walk."

That for this tribe, the shining of the moon is so important that it gave them courage so that a cripple can walk *cripple means a person who is disabled or impaired in any way

Chapter 3

"Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch too. If one says no to other, let his wing break."

Okonkwo was ashamed of his father and was afraid of having the same misfortune of his father and the same end.

"A man who pays respect to the great paves the way for his own greatness."

A man who respects greatness is more likely to be great himself. A successful man should respect greatness.

"A toad does not run in the daytime for nothing"

That something strange does not happen for nothing; all happens for a reason.

"An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb."

Someone who has a problem with something (Okonkwo with his father) can not laugh when a joke is made about it.

"The lizard that jumped from high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did."

Okonkwo feels proud of his achievements even if nobody recognizes it.

"Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching."

People adapt to other people's learnings, particularly when the other person's learnings would harm you if you kept on your present course. If Nwakibie gave yams to every man who asked, many of the yams would be wasted by their lack of effort.

"You can tell a ripe corn by its look"

Nwakibie can tell that Okonkwo is ready to receive his gift and not take it for granted.

"A proud heart can survive a general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone."

Chapter 4

"Looking at the king's mouth, one would think he never sucked at his mother breasts"

Although Okonkwo that once was a little baby, it feels as he never could be so vulnerable, because now is so big and robust.

"Those whose palm-kernels were cracked for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble."

People who are blessed with luck by the gods, should be humble, and not criticize other people.

"When a man says yes his chi says yes also."

A man's spirit will guide him and help him.

"They called him the little bird nza who so far forgot himself after a heavy meal that he challenged his chi."

Okonkwo was said to be so prideful he would challenge his own chi.

Chapter 8

"A child's fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam which its mother puts into its palm" Children obeying their mother are not punished.

"When mother-cow is chewing grass its young ones watch its mouth."

Children learn from their parents.

Chapter 13

"If one finger brought oil is soiled the others."

Dirtiness and evil spread if they are not cleansed.

Chapter 14

"Mother is supreme"

Mother is the start of each life and the home of it. See related links for a more detailed explanation.

Chapter 15

"Never kill a man who says nothing."

If someone does not say anything, then something is wrong. If someone complains then it may be right to do something in response.

"There is nothing to fear from someone who shouts."

People who shout in protest are less likely to be men of action.

Chapter 16

"Living fire begets cold, impotent ash."

If one's power is too great, things next to it will not have enough room to grow properly. Because of Okonkwo's great prowess, his son could not become as great.

Chapter 19

"A child can not pay for his mothers milk."

It is unreasonable to expect a child to pay his parents for taking care of him/her, as that is just the nature of things. It is expected. The only way to repay this is to pay it forward.

"I cannot live on the bank of a river and wash my hands with spittle."

When Okonkwo is living in prosperity due to the help of his mother's family, he wishes to thank them in prosperity, with more than is necessary.

"We do not ask for wealth because he that has health and children will also have wealth."

Chapter 22:

"As a man danced so the drums were beaten for him."

Chapter 24:

"Men have learned to shoot without missing their mark and I have learned to fly without perching on a twig."

Outside forces can force one to change their habits in response, even if the response seems unnatural.

Things Fall Apart

Why does Okonkwo break the week of the peace?

Okonkwo breaks the week of peace because of his ill-temperament, and his inability to deal with doing nothing during the week of peace. He also probably forgets himself, and that it is the week of peace when he goes to beat his wife.

Things Fall Apart

Who is Akunna in Things Fall Apart?

Akunna is a clan leader of Umuofia who argues religion with Mr. Brown. In doing so, the two men learn from each other. Akunna develops parallels between his religion and the Christian religion, formulating an articulate defense of the Igbo's religion. He influences Mr. Brown to not attack their religion directly, but instead to appeal to the two religions' common aspects when converting.

Things Fall Apart

What do the inhabitants of Mbanta believe is responsible for the the white man's miraculous survival after having built his church in the evil forest?

They believe the white man has a spiritual power through their gods, that prevents the other gods from killing them.

Things Fall Apart

What values does Okonkwo associate with manliness?

  • Being well respected.
  • Having titles.
  • Being able to represent egwugwu in the egwugwu court.
  • Killing men in war.
  • Being wealthy.
  • Being a good farmer and a hard worker.
  • Having wives.
  • Having many children, particularly strong boys.
  • Having his daughters marry respected men.
  • Voicing one's opinion.
  • Being unafraid of war, and advocating for strong actions.
  • Having everything in one's household under control, including wives and children.
  • Fighting lazy or stupid people.
  • Having respected friends.
  • Being able to wrestle.
  • Disliking idleness including excessive music
  • Disliking feminine stories.
Things Fall Apart

Why must Okonkwo die?

Okonkwo must die because he kills another man. The justice of the white man is to take a life for a life taken.

Things Fall Apart

Where can you purchase the 1971 movie Things Fall Apart?

Check the website link I posted, they have a lot of different DVDs not seen on common websites.

Things Fall Apart

Who was the antagonist in the story things fall apart?

The colonists and Christians become the main antagonists in Things Fall Apart.

Things Fall Apart

What does the title things Fall Apart mean?

It means that Things Fall Apart.

This implies first, that there are things, and then states that they fall apart.

In terms of it's relation to the content of the book, it highlights many things, the reasons they fall apart, and how they fall apart, in many intricate details.

Things Fall Apart

What is the underlying assumption in Things Fall Apart?

There are many underlying assumptions:

This is a book.

This is a book about people in Nigeria

This is a book about the Ibo people in pre-colonial Nigeria.

This is a book about the Ibo people in pre-colonial Nigeria and their culture.

Be more specific for a better answer.


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