Things Fall Apart

Scramble for Africa – European countries come to Africa to colonize – Leads to complications with politics and culture
9 Villages – Umuofia – Mbaino – Obodoani – Ezimili – Abame – Aninta – Ire – Dimaragana – Umera
Chapter One – Okonkwo is introduced: strong, successful, impassion, tall, three wives, two barns of yams, two titles -Unoka is introduced: Okonkwo’s father, lazy, friendly, plays the flute, pacifist – Okonkwo hates his father, because Unoka is a failure – Unoke and Okoye
Chapter Two – Herald comes to deliver a message in the dark – Dark is bad, because things get scarier (snakes = string) – Okonkwo has five heads from battle/war – Wife has been killed in Mbaino, so they offer Mbaino an ultimatum: war or a young man and virgin – Mbaino offers Umuofia a virgin and young man (Ikemefuna), Ikemefuna goes to live with Okonkwo
Chapter Three – Priestess is very important – Okonkwo didn’t inherit a barn or yams, so he goes to visit Nwakibie to ask for a portion to share crop – Priestess told Unoka that he was lazy (Unoka died of swelling in the Evil Forest)
Chapter Four – Okonkwo’s good and bad virtues – Okonkwo and Ikemefuna’s relationship develops (mean to friendlier) – Okonkwo breaks the peace on the Week of Peace after he beats his third wife – Rainmaker and his powers
Chapter Five – Women prepare for the festivals – Okonkwo doesn’t like the festivals – Ekwefi and Ezinma are introduced- Ezinma is a girl but Okonkwo’s favorite child
Chapter Six – Wresting match and group mentality – Chielo is the priestess and fond of Ekwefi and Ezinma – Okafo wins the great battle – Maduka wins the younger wrestler’s battle
Chapter Seven – Ikemefuna is a good influence on Nwoye – Okonkwo believes controlling women is important to success and manliness – Locusts come to the village and everyone is excited – Ogbuefi Ezuedo tells Okonkwo he shouldn’t help in killing Ikemefuna b/c Ikemefuna calls Okonkwo “father” – Ikemefuna is told he is going home – Okonkwo ends up killing Ikemefuna b/c he doesn’t want to appear weak
Chapter Eight – Okonkwo is having trouble dealing with Ikemefuna’s death – Okonkwo goes to Obierika’s house to chat – Bride price is settled for Obierika’s daughter- White men are like chalk and have no toes (shoes?)
Chapter Nine – Ezinma gets sick and Okonkwo is very worried- Background on Ekwefi and her childbearing (lost 9 out of 10 children) – Ezinma is an ogbanje – Ezinma shouldn’t be sick b/c she found her stone
Chapter 10 – Egwugwu is the legal procedure – Top males of clan hold a trial for crimes – Father of the trial = evil forest – Women aren’t allowed in or to speak of what they think of the trials (fear) – Man settling unjust debt
Okonkwo – Strong, pride, determined, hard working, self-determing – Impatient with failure, temper, assertive, rules with heavy hand
Obiageli – First wife’s daughter
Nwoye – Oldest son – lazy, emotional- Likes his mother’s stories more than his father’s stories – Friends with Ikemefuna- Becomes a Christian (Isaac)
Ikemefuna – Big brother to Nwoye – Good storyteller – Loyal, responsible- Killed by Okonkwo and tribe
Ekwefi – Second wife – Likes wrestling – Brave – Suffered a great deal – “Town beauty”
Chielo – Priestess- Friends with Ekwefi and Ezinma
Ojiugo – Third wife – Irresponsible
Nkechi – Ojiugo’s child
Unoka – Okonkwo’s deceased father – Lazy- Friendly – Played the flute – Pacifist – Okonkwo doesn’t get to inherit anything
Okoye – Unoka’s friend – Asks for debt, but Unoka says he must pay greater debts first
Obierika – Okonkwo’s friend- thoughtful
Maduka – Obierka’s son – Wins the young wrestlers’ match
Proverb – short statement w/ figurative language meant to advise or state a generally accepted truth – memorable
Value Hierarchy – High: wealth, physical strength, “eye for eye” justice, determination, hard working, bravery, personal achievement, superstitions, orators/speakers, community/family/meritocracy – Low: individual will, assault, aristocracy
Wealth – Determined by yams, wives, barns/fields, and titles
Village Hierarchy High: Priestess for oracle (Chika and Chielo), Ogbuefi Ezuego (orator), Nwakibie (rich), Eziani (priest for Ani) Med: Men, first wife…Low: Ikematunal “slave girl”
Mbanta – Okonkwo’s motherland – This is the village his mother was born, raised, and buried
Chapter 11 – Tortoise fable: what goes around comes around – Chielo takes Ezinma away – Okonkwo has a bit of a sweet side
Male Stories – True and about war or legendary ancestors and warriors
Female Stories – mercy – forgiveness – More morals are offered in these stories.
Chapter 12 – Akueke’s bridal party – Village comes to celebrate: everyone helps provide food and they exchange stories – Cows escape = punishment b/c they would destroy the agriculture
Chapter 13 – Funeral for Ezeudu (oldest man) – Lots of festivities and yelling but all mournful – Okonkwo’s gun erupts killing a boy- Okonkwo and his family are banished to Okonkwo’s motherland for 7 years
Chapter 14 – Okonkwo is accepted into his motherland – Family introduction and confession ceremony – Okonkwo is depressed about having to start life over again (fish out of water) – Women are important (Mother Supreme)
Uchendu – Okonkwo’s mother’s brother
Mother Supreme – Nneka – Women are the ones who will protect you and stay by your side no matter what. You can turn to them in times of distress
Chapter 15 – Obierika comes to visit Okonkwo (2 years after exile) – Tells the story of Abame’s destruction (White men) – Okonkwo says Abame deserved it
Chapter 16 – Four years after exile – Missionaries have come and Nwoye has convertd (intrigued by the Trinity) – Okonkwo and many others think the missionaries are mad/crazy
Chapter 17 – Christians ask for a plot of land to build a church – Elders give the Christians a plot of land in the Evil Forest expecting them to die (however they don’t and several villagers convert) – Mr. Kiaga, Nneka – Okonkwo finds out about Nwoye’s conversion and he beats Nwoye- Okonkwo is forced to stop and decides to give up on his son (Fire produces ash)
Mr. Kiaga – Teacher at Mbanta (religious)
Chapter 18 – Christians accept the outcast (near Easter) – Villagers are getting annoyed with the Christians, especially after one of them apparently kills a sacred python (dies later) – Villagers stop bothering the Christians
Chapter 19 – Okonkwo is preparing to leave his motherland for Umuofia – Anxious to go back and restart with even more (bigger house and boys into special club) – Regrets having to leave Umuofia and all that has happened to him (will never get the titles he dreamed of) – Throws a feast for his family in motherland – Older man says he is worried about the younger generation forgetting the history and culture of the Ibo
Chapter 20 – Okonkwo returns to his village – Tells his sons they must continue to believe in the Ibo religion and him or else he will come back to haunt them – Ezinma and Obiageli have grown and become beautiful women (haven’t married yet b/c father’s advice) – Many people have converted, even men in high power – Obierika says white men have come quietly and stuck a knife into the villages and things have fallen apart – White men bring in government, courts, prisons, and cops
Chapter 21 – White men brought in a school, store, and hospital – Mr. Brown is tolerated by nearly everyone – Nwoye = Isaac – Mr. Brown tries to be friendly to Okonkwo who throws Mr. Brown out of his house – Okonkwo is now deeply depressed with everything
Mr. Brown – Nice teacher/religious leader – Believes education is important
Chapter 22 – Reverend John Smith has come to replace a sick Mr. Brown – Enoch commits crime during festival by removing an egwugwu’s mask and “killing” the ancestor – Egwugwu retaliate by burning down the church
Rev. John Smith – Replaces Mr. Brown – Harsher and quicker to judge/condemn – Black and white thinking
Chapter 23 – The District Commissioner comes to town – The leaders of the tribe are gathered and reprimanded for burning down the church – the DC says he has brought happiness to the village – The men refuse to pay and are starved/shaved/beaten for several days – the villagers don’t know what to do – Finally they pay the price and the leaders are released
Chapter 24 – Okonkwo goes to the big clan meeting – The clan wants to take action -Okonkwo kills a man with his machete
Chapter 25 – The District Commissioner comes to Okonkwo’s house – Okonkwo has hung himself – Obierika asks for help to take down Okonkwo’s body and bury him b/c it is against the law of Ani

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