Christian missionaries seem to be madmen, their message of wicked ways and false gods attractive only to outcasts. What is the significance of the song sung at the end of Chapter Twelve? It is the story of an Igbo priest who copes with change by compromising his values and traditions.But along with Christianity come hospitals and schools, converting farmers to court clerks and teachers. Government is closely linked to religion and literacy. He sends his son to a mission school and testifies against his people in a land dispute.
A District Commissioner superimposes Queen Victoria’s laws, and Africans from distant tribes serve as corrupt court messengers and prison guards. Show how it is reflected in the relationship of Ekwefi and Ezinma. How do the Igbo marriage negotiations and rituals compare with other nineteenth-century cultures in which the bride’s family pays a dowry? Describe the Igbo concept of chi and how the concept relates to Okonkwo’s desired success in life. How is the theme of fate or destiny illustrated through the actions of the characters? The result is that the Igbo people turn from the Igbo priest to the religion of the mission church.
Okonkwo, upholder of the ways of his ancestors, is inevitably cast in the role of tragic hero. How is it related to the religion of the community? What do these rituals reveal about the level of sophistication of pre-colonial Igbo civilization? Obierika, a close friend, mourns the exile of Okonkwo, yet participates in the destruction of Okonkwo’s property. Again, Achebe shows how African tradition loses to European culture.
Students might well keep journals in which they identify their own culture’s equivalent to each Igbo folkway, discovering affinities as well as differences.
There is no culture shock in discovering that Okonkwo’s father has low status because of his laziness and improvidence.
In an autobiographical essay, he describes his childhood as being “at the crossroads of cultures.” In the course of a distinguished academic and literary career, much of it in exile, Achebe has been the recipient of many awards, beginning with the Margaret Wrong Memorial Prize in 1959 for Things Fall Apart and including more than thirty honorary doctorates.
Achebe is in great demand throughout the world as a speaker and visiting lecturer, and is presently teaching at Bard College in New York.They enforce taboos against twins and suicide, and offer explanations for high infant mortality. Why does Nwoye like the tales of his mother better than those of his father? How does the legend of the old woman with one leg help to explain why the other clans fear Umuofia? How does the language of the women and children differ from that used by the priests, diviners, and titled men? How do proverbs promote the narrative action in the novel? Locate additional proverbs in the novel and explain their meaning and how they foster Igbo tradition. How does the plot in Things Fall Apart follow the conventions of the Western tragedy, such as when major actions of the protagonist or hero create disastrous outcomes? Compare Okonkwo with Oedipus, who is punished for the inadvertent murder of his father. What are the tragic flaws that cause their downfalls? Why do you think Achebe uses the archaic spelling, Ibo, instead of the contemporary spelling, Igbo?The second and third parts of the novel trace the inexorable advance of Europeans. No Longer at Ease by Chinua Achebe (1960) is the sequel to Things Fall Apart.For years, stories told about white slavers are given little credence in Okonkwo’s village. How does Chukwu compare with the Christian concept of a supreme being? It carries the reader forward in the lives of the descendants of Okonkwo.The first white man to arrive in a nearby village is killed because of an omen, and in retribution all are slaughtered by British guns. How does fear influence Okonkwo’s relationship with others? How is the concept of change and the response to change presented in the novel? The novel focuses on Obi Okonkwo, whose downfall is caused by his inability to deal with the conflicting value systems of Igbo culture and his English training. Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe (1964) takes place during the era between No Longer at Ease and Things Fall Apart.Things Fall Apart is acclaimed as the finest novel written about life in Nigeria at the end of the nineteenth century.Published in 1958, it is unquestionably the world’s most widely read African novel, having sold more than eight million copies in English and been translated into fifty languages.His flaw, however, is that he never questions the received wisdom of his ancestors.For this reason he is not drawn in a flattering light, but his culture is given a full and fair depiction.More than half the novel is devoted to a depiction of Igbo culture, artfully drawn as we follow the rise to eminence of the protagonist.As a champion wrestler and a great warrior, Okonkwo is a natural leader.