ENGL 2210 World Literature II

Achebe: "Things fall apart" Study Guide, Chapters 4-6

Chapter 4
  1. What do the first two proverbs below say about the Ibo attitude toward pride?
  2. What is chi?
  3. How does Okonkwo treat Ikemefuna? What is his general attitude toward children?
  4. At one point Okonkwo says that affection toward children is a sign of weakness. How is such affection regarded in our society? What's your opinion?
  5. What was Okonkwo's crime during the Week of Peace and how was he punished? Was his crime beating his wife, or something else?
  6. You notice that the village has no jail to punish people who have committed a crime. What do you think of the way they deal with crime and punishment?
  7. Describe some of the rituals that take place during the Week of Peace.
  8. Many other cultures have a "day of peace and forgiveness" that is something like the Week of Peace. What do you think is the social benefit of this?
  9. Many in our culture say that a man who kills someone deserves to die. Others say that killing someone who has killed makes one no different than the killer. An old man in the village says that earlier times men who had broken the Week of Peace was dragged till he died. Why was this practice stopped?
Chapter 5
  1. Describe the Feast of the New Yam. How do the people prepare for it?
  2. Who is Ani and what is her role in Ibo culture?
  3. How did Ekwefi become Okonkwo's wife?
Chapter 6
  1. Describe the wrestling match. How does it compare to our sports events?
  2. Who is Chielo and what is her role in the village?
  1. Looking at a king's mouth, one would think he never sucked at his mother's breast.
  2. Those whose palm kernels were cracked by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble.
  3. When a man says yes, his chi says yes also.
  1. If your lower eyelid twitches you are going to cry. If the upper eyelid twitches it means you will see something.
  2. If someone calls you from outside, don't say "yes". Say "Is that me?" for fear it might be an evil spirit calling.