Things Fall Apart: Chapter 8

What illness befalls Okonkwo? Okonkwo sinks into a depression. He feels weak, and he cannot sleep or eat.
What happens three days later? When Ezinma brings him his evening meal three days later, she tells him that he must finish everything.
What does Okonkwo wish? Why does he berate himself? He repeatedly wishes that she were a boy, and he berates himself for acting like a “shivering old woman.”
Who does Okonkwo visit? Obierika
What does he say at Obierika’s home he congratulates Maduka on his successful wrestling
What does Obierika ask ask Okonkwo to do? he requests that Okonkwo stay when his daughter’s suitor arrives to determine a bride-price
What does Okonkwo complain about? Okonkwo complains to Obierika that his sons are not manly enough and says that he would be happier if Ezinma were a boy because she has “the right spirit.”
What does Okonkwo argue with Obierika about? He and Obierika then argue over whether it was right of Okonkwo to partake in Ikemefuna’s death
What does Okonkwo decide about his illness? He decides that his unhappiness was a product of his idleness—if Ikemefuna had been murdered at a busier time of the year, he, Okonkwo, would have been completely undisturbed
What news is delivered to the men? Someone arrives to report the death of the oldest man in a neighboring village
What is strange about the situation? Strangely, the old man’s wife died shortly thereafter
What is Okonkwo’s opinion of the situation? Okonkwo questions the man’s reputed strength once he learns how attached he had been to his wife
What is discussed after the bride-price is determined? Afterward, Obierika and his future son-in-law’s relatives talk about the differing customs in other villages. They discuss the practice of, and skill at, tapping palm trees for palm-wine.
What does Obierika bring up? Obierika talks about hearing stories of men with skin as white as chalk.
What is the name of the pale man? Amadi
How do those who know Amadi react? Those who know Amadi, a leper, laugh—the polite term for leprosy is “the white skin.”

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