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

How do Okonkwo's wives relate in Things Fall Apart?

None of Okonkwo's wives are said to relate to each other lineage-wise. They appear to be respectful to each other and cover for each other.

Their relationship is not really expounded upon save for the time when the first wife covers for Ojiugo's negligence as she gets her hair plaited during the week of Peace. The first wife also sees Ekwefi's unhappiness at the birth of the first wife's third son as malevolence, thought it was inward bitterness.

History, Politics & Society
Things Fall Apart

What is an egwugwu?

In the story, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, egwugwu are the spirits of the ancestors of Nigerian tribes. Great men of these tribes wear masks that can have a rather terrifying look about them, which is exactly how it is supposed to make you feel.

The most disgraceful things you can do to an egwugwu would be to unmask it in public, which kills the spirit. When an egwugwu dies, the mother spirit cries a dreadful cry for the death of her son for a week.

The egwugwu were also summoned whenever the villagers needed to settle disputes in a court. The spirits of the ancestors were said to be the highest judges in the land.

Things Fall Apart

How did Ogbuefi Ezeudu die?

Ogbuefi Ezeudu was the eldest man in the village Iguedo in Umuofia, with only 4 or 5 older men in the entire clan. It is assumed he died of old age.

Things Fall Apart

What is Mbaino from things fall apart?

Mbaino is the neighboring village of Umuofia.

Things Fall Apart

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

It's not about being praised by others for your achievements or good deeds, it's more important to priase yourself

Famous Quotations
Things Fall Apart

What does As a man dances so the drums are beaten for him mean?

It means that the drums will follow the rhythm of the man dancing, to accentuate his dance. It can also mean that as a man follows a path, things occur along the way which helps or leads the man further along the path.

Things Fall Apart

Is okonkwo from things fall apart a hard working person?


Things Fall Apart

How is Okonkwo's exile an enriching experience?

Okonkwo's exile is an enriching experience because it teaches Okonkwo the true value of extended family, and also why women are valued. In general, Okonkwo is a self-made man, who values the strength of man, but he is ignorant to many of the strengths and values of women. The setback teaches Okonkwo some humility and how to deal with failure which is seemingly caused by his own will.

Further, Okonkwo's exile allows the huge gathering of Okonwko's extended family which enables Uchendu to show briefly the affect of people gathering to form one unit and one voice, something that is lost with the newer generation. Okonkwo's immediate family is enriched with the experience of going to another village and learning their ways.

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.

Human Behavior
Things Fall Apart

How does a community fall apart?

A community falls apart when the things holding them together are cut, or no longer exist. There can be any number of things holding them together, including jobs, religion, family, or other community groups or social issues.

Alternately, communities can fall apart if something divisive overwhelms the things that hold them together. Eg, some common issues include gay marriage, abortion legalization, crime, drug use.

Often one group of people put down another group of people, when in fact the two groups are not that different. This dehumanizing of one group leads to rifts in the community, which often escalate.

Things Fall Apart

What is the decision of egwugwu in the case of uzowulu and his runaway wife?

They order Uzowulu to not beat his wife, and make offering to his wife's family. They are to return his wife to him.

Things Fall Apart

What is the example of the legend in chapter 12 of Things Fall Apart?

It is the story of how Umuike's market became very large.

Things Fall Apart

Why does Okonkwo nearly shoot his second wife?

duh the answer to you is the answer to the question or bruh jst read the the book thats easier youre just cheating in class so you could get good get good grades DON'T TRY IT AGAIN

Things Fall Apart

What archetype is Ezinma in Things Fall Apart?

Ezinma could represent the Child archetype, specifically the wounded or dependent child.

Things Fall Apart

What is kotma in the book Things Fall Apart?

Kotma is short for "court messenger". They are other African foreigners who work in the courts as messengers.

Things Fall Apart

In Things Fall Apart what is an obi?

An obi is the home or hut of a clansman.

Things Fall Apart

What was the name of okonkwo's village?


Factoring and Multiples
Things Fall Apart

What do unoka and okoye have in common?

They are Nigerian names.

Things Fall Apart

How did Okonkwo feel about Ikemefuna's influence on Nwoye?


Things Fall Apart

What role do women play in Okonkwo's life?

Many. For one, women are a means to the end, the ends being:

  • Tribal respect
  • children, particularly boys
  • labour, including farming and child rearing

Okonkwo appears to love Ekwefi. He desires relations with his wives.

He also wishes to have his daughters take honourable and respected husbands, thus increasing the family's respect within the tribe.

Things Fall Apart

What does Unoka do with his money?

He buy a palm wine

Things Fall Apart

Who were Okonkwo's wives?

Okonkwo has three wives:

  1. The first is unnamed and is mother to Nwoye and Obiageli.
  2. The second wife is Ekwefi who leaves her husband for Okonkwo and mothers Ezinma.
  3. The last wife is Ojiugo, mother of Nkechi. She is also the youngest and is beaten for getting her hair braided, neglecting the job of making dinner.
Things Fall Apart
Books and Literature
Literature Classics

Are the white men who destroyed the village Abame in Things Fall Apart related to the white missionaries who appear later on?

Things Fall Apart

How did Umuofia change during Okonkwo's exile?

The church had also arrived in Umuofia. The white men had brought the government, the courts, and the prisons. Some of the Igbo had joined the church, and others were sending their children to the European style schools. The community had been split apart.

Things Fall Apart

What did Okonkwo often say about Ezinma?

There is nothing explicit in text that Okonkwo says often about Ezinma.

Okonkwo does say twice throughout the book the idea that Ezinma should have been a boy, but whether this is said often is not is unknown.


Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.