ENGL 2210 World Literature II
Achebe: "Things fall apart" Study Guide, Chapters 1-3
- How does Okonkwo gain his fame?
- What are his characteristics: physical and personality?
- Contrast Okonkwo with his father. What are his father's characteristics? Why is he considered a failure?
- When the villages gather for a meeting they are addressed by a man whom
the narrator describes as a "powerful orator", which is the reason why he
was always chosen to speak at such occasions. What characteristics do you
think a good orator should have? Why are those characteristics important?
Why do societies need good orators? Or do they? Do you know of any good orators
- What was the meeting about?
- The villagers decide to follow the "normal course of action". What is the
normal course of action for a situation like this? What do you think of this
type of action as a way to solve conflicts among villages, clans, or even
countries. Think of at least two positive outcomes.
- How was the conflict finally solved?
- What did Okonkwo fear most? How is this reflected in his behavior?
- What is Okonkwo's attitude toward his son?
- The narrator says that Okonkwo's prosperity is visible? What defines him as a prosperous man?
- Read the paragraph at the bottom of page 2865 and try to visualize Okonkwo's compound. Make a drawing, it it's more helpful. What's your opinion of this type of a family arrangement? Can you think of any benefits?
- What is the Oracle of Agbala, and why did people go to visit it?
- Describe the physical place and the ritual surrounding seeing the Oracle.
- What did Unoka want to find out from the Oracle? What advice did the oracle
- What is a chi, and what kind of a chi did Unoka have?
- How did Unoka die and what was his burial like? How are diseased and dying people treated in the tribe?
- How does one pay respect when visiting someone's family? What are some typical gestures? What beneficial social function do you think such gestures might have?
- What privileges are govern to a man's first wife?
- Slippery as a fish.
- His fame had grown like bush-fire in harmattan wind.
- Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten.
- The sun will shine on those who stand, before it shines on those who who kneel under them.
- If a child washes his hands, he could eat with kings.
- When the moon is shining the cripple becomes hungry for a walk.
- When a man is at peace with his gods and his ancestors, his harvest will be good or bad according to the strength of his arm.
- A man who pays respect to the great paves the way for his own greatness.
- It's like pouring grains of corn into bags full of holes.
- Don't whistle at night for fear of evil spirits.
- Don't call a snake by its name because it might hear. Call it "string"