ENGL 2210 World Literature II

Achebe: "Things fall apart" Study Guide, Chapters 10-12

Chapter 10
  1. Describe in some detail who the egwugwu are and what their function is in Ibo society. Do we have any equivalents in our society?
  2. What is the purpose of the meeting?
  3. How is the problem resolved? What do you think of this way of resolving the problem? How are such problems resolved in our society?
  4. This chapter deals with the Ibo way of resolving interpersonal and marriage conflicts. Although the Ibo have no written laws, they do have a way of resolving their problems. You should be aware that this is how problems are resolved even today in many non-Western societies around the world. And it seems to work. Why does it work for them, and why do you think it may not work for a Western society?
Chapter 11
  1. What do you think is the moral of the story that Ekwefi tells her daughter Ezinma?
  2. Chielo comes and tells Okonkwo that Agbala wants to see Ezinma. Why are the parents frightened? Why do you think they don't refuse to hand over Ezinma?
  3. The narrator says that Chielo was not a woman that night. Than what was she?
  4. How do you explain a female priestess in a male oriented society?
  5. In the last paragraph we find out how Ekwefi got married to Okonkwo. Do you think it's unusual?
Chapter 12
  1. This chapter is a description of a wedding ceremony. Who is invited? Compare to how invitation lists are made in our culture. What is the significance of who is in an invitation list?
  2. Who are the central figures in the ceremony?
  3. The dialogue at the bottom of page 2911 is something like a "toast". What does it say about what the Ibo consider important in marriage?
    Compound is "busy as an anthill".