ENGL 2210 World Literature II

Achebe: "Things fall apart" Study Guide, Chapters 7-9

Chapter 7
  1. Why do you think Okonkwo is happy to hear Nwoye grumbling about women?
  2. What kind of stories does Okonkwo tell?
  3. What kind of stories does Nwoye's mother tell? Which stories does Nwoye prefer?
  4. How did the people of the village receive the coming of the locusts?
  5. Why does Ikemefuna have to die?
  6. Why does Okonkwo help to finish him off?
  7. What does this event tell you about the Ibo's faith in their Oracle?
  8. Can you think of a reason why Okonkwo might not have objected to the killing of Ikemefuna?
Chapter 8
  1. How specifically did Okonkwo react to Ikemefuna's death?
  2. Okonkwo says "But the law of the land must be obeyed." What do you think of that concept as it might apply to our laws? Must the law of the land be always obeyed? What would Tolstoy say to that?
  3. Describe the process of how Obierika's daughter's engagement takes place? What are the short sticks used for?
  4. What's your opinion of this sort of an arranged marriage?
  5. Toward the end of this chapter there is a discussion of customs. What are some of the customs discussed. What do they think of the customs of other cultures?
  6. At the end of this chapter the first reference to the white man is made. What is the reference?
  7. What is "the white skin" euphemism for, and why?
Chapter 9
  1. What is ogbanje?
  2. How is the premature death of a child explained?
  3. What is the ritual to prevent the return of the ogbanje?
  4. What is iyi-uwa?
  5. What's Okonkwo's way of curing Ezinma?
  1. He grew rapidly like a yam tendril.
  2. Eyes red and fierce like the eyes of a rat when it was caught by the tail and dashed against the floor.
  3. A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the very day it hatches.
  4. A child's fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam which its mother puts into its palm.
  5. When mother-cow is chewing grass its young ones watch its mouth.