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Second Quarter:

1. Read and comprehend Things Fall Apart

2.  Create a persuasive essay based on readings.

3.  Create a power point defending your position in essay.

 Things Fall Apart

Remember if you are absent it is YOUR responsibility to make up the missed work!!!

Questions for Chapters 1-13


Chapter 1

1. Reread the first sentence of the novel.  What purposes does this sentence serve?

2. Explain the rhetorical strategies used in the first two paragraphs.

3. Explain the importance of the following line: “Among the Ibo the art of conversation is regarded very

highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.”

4. Explain the purpose(s) of the first chapter.

Chapter 2

1. Explain the meaning of the following saying: “When the moon is shining the cripple becomes hungry

for a walk.”

2. How does Okonkwo feel about war?  Why do you think he feels this way?

3. Describe the nature of the conflict between the villages, Mbaino and Umuofia.

4. How do other tribes feel about Umuofia?

5. How does Umuofia choose to settle the dispute?  Why do they make this decision?  Provide textual

evidence to support your answer.

6. Describe the family structure of Okonkwo’s tribe.

7. How would Okonkwo’s rule of his household be interpreted in Western culture?

8. Why does Okonkwo treat his family the way he does?  How does Achebe want the reader to feel about


9. Achebe informs the reader that there is a word that means both “woman” and “a man who had

taken no title.”  Why does he share this information with the reader?

10. Reread the exchange between Okonkwo and his “most senior” wife.  How does Okonkwo treat her? 

What does it demonstrate about the role of gender within the Ibo community?

Chapter 3

1. What effect does Achebe achieve with his repetition of the phrase “they came” in the second


2. Why might it be unusual that a woman is the one who serves and can see Agbala?

3. Why does Okonkwo resent having to take care of his mother and sisters?

4. Analyze the several literary techniques in this chapter; find an example of personification, hyperbole,

and simile.

Chapter 4

1. How was Okonkwo able to achieve such a high rank within the tribe when his father died a

penniless man?  How is this different from colonial-era European culture?2. The text mentions the chi again as it relates to Okonkwo’s success.  How strong a determiner is the chi

assumed to be?

3. In this chapter, what does the reader learn about the customs of the Ibo and the customs of other

neighboring clans?  How might this be important to the story?

Chapter 5

1. Achebe begins Chapter 5 by describing the Feast of the New Yam.  What does the reader lean

about Umuofian culture through this description?

2. Why does Okonkwo become angry before the New Yam Festival?  Was his anger directed in the right

place?  Why or why not?

3. For what reason does Achebe repeat the word “beautiful” when describing the way the women

decorate their bodies and cut their children’s hair into patterns?

4. What type of relationship has Ikemefuna developed with Okonkwo’s family?  Cite an instance in this

chapter that demonstrates this relationship.

5. What is the significance of the extended metaphor Achebe uses to describe the drums and their

relationship to the village?

     Chapter 6

1. What is significance about the number of drums used at the wrestling?

2. Discuss the type of language that Achebe uses to describe the fight and how this might add to

the importance of this scene.

Chapter 7

1. At the beginning of this chapter, the narrator states: “He grew rapidly like a yam tendril in the rainy

season, and was full of the sap of life.”  Of whom is he speaking?  What does this image indicate

about this person?

2. How does Okonkwo feel about Ikemefuna and the relationship that he has developed with his


3. Consider the following lines and discuss whether or not you think they are the way everyone in

Umufoia feels or just the way Okonkwo feels.

“And so he was always happy when he heard him grumbling about his women.  That showed

that in time he would be able to control his women-folk.  No matter how prosperous a man

was, if he was unable to rule his women and his children (especially his women) he was not

really a man.”

4. How does Okonkwo define manliness?

5. Why does Achebe spend so much time setting up the dichotomy between Okonkwo and Nwoye?

6. What type of imagery does Achebe use to describe the arrival of the locusts?  What is significant

about this passage?

“At first, a fairly small swarm came.  They were the harbingers sent to survey the land.  And

then appeared on the horizon a slowly-moving mass like a boundless sheet of black cloud

drifting towards Umuofia.  Soon it covered half the sky and the solid mass was now broken by

tiny eyes of light like shining star dust.  It was a tremendous sight, full of power and beauty.”

7. How does the clan strike an apparent harmony between the will of the Community and the needs of

an Individual?

8. How does Achebe change the setting to complement what is happening in the story?

9. What is the purpose of Nwoye’s point of view?

10. What two themes have been identified by the end of Chapter 7?

Chapter 81. What theme is advanced by the following passage:

“When did you become a shivering old woman,” Okonkwo asked himself.  “You, who are known in all

the nine villages for your valor in war?  How can a man who has killed five men in battle fall to pieces

because he has added a boy to his number?  Okonkwo, you have become a woman indeed.” 

2. Achebe spends some time developing the story of Ozoemena and Ndulue.  What is the purpose

of this story?  What does it illustrate about the differences in the way of thinking between

Okonkwo and Obierka, but also about the village as a whole?

3. How could the following statement function as foreshadowing in the novel? “Okonkwo was not a

man of thought but of action.”

4. How does this chapter establish that things are changing within the village?

5. How are white people introduced in this chapter?  What is the tone of the chapter at the time

they are introduced?

Chapter 9

1. What is an Ogbanje and how does it relate to Ezinma’s illness?

2. How does Okonkwo’s helplessness manifest itself? 

Chapter 10

1. Explain the disconnect between the chapters.  Why would Achebe choose to do this?

2. Read the following lines: “It was clear from the way the crowd stood or sat that the ceremony was for

men.  There were many women, but they looked on from the fringe like outsiders” 

What does this excerpt suggest about the role of women?  What is significant about the placement of

this passage relative to what has come immediately before, and what will come immediately after?

3. Explain the irony of the trial in this chapter.  Is justice served in the egwugwu’s judgement?

4. How does the case brought before the egwugwu parallel Okonkwo’s life?

Chapter 11

1. This chapter focuses on the Ibo folklore.  Summarize the story of the tortoise and the birds and explain

what it suggests about customs and traditions.  How might this story relate to Okonkwo?

2. How does the story of the tortoise and the birds relate to colonialism?

3. What type of imagery does Achebe use to describe Ekwefi’s reaction to hearing her daughter’s

name?  Find similar language in the chapter that parallels this.

4. How does Achebe maintain the tone of the chapter and the significance of Chielo’s power when the

priestess reaches the circular ring of hills?  How might a western reader interpret this section?

5. How does Ekwefi’s decision to follow Chielo contradict Okonkwo’s ideas about femininity and


Chapter 12

1. On what type of ceremony does this chapter focus on?  How is this ceremony different from the

other ceremonies that have been discussed in the book?

Chapter 13

1. What does the one-handed spirit’s benediction ironically foreshadow?

2. What is the significance of this death’s occurring at the center of the novel?

3. How does Achebe create dramatic tension in this chapter?  What purpose does the shooting serve?

4. Explain the irony in Okonkwo’s having to return to the motherland and that he committed the

“female” crime.

5. What might Obierika’s final statement foreshadow?  “As the elders said, if one finger brought oil

it soiled the others.