ENGL 2210 World Literature II
Achebe: "Things fall apart" Study Guide, Chapters 13-14
- Describe, roughly, the death rituals.
- How does the egwugwu praise the dead man?
- Read the next to last paragraph on page 2913 ("The land of the living...")
and describe the relationship between the living and the dead.
- Okonkwo kills the dead man's son. But what is actually the crime for which he needs to be punished?
- Okonkwo has killed before this, including his adopted son. What makes this incident so serious, though it would be treated as an accident under our law?
- What is Okonkwo's punishment?
- Why does Okonkwo simply not refuse the punishment?
- How does this sort of punishment compare to the way we punish criminals? Would you accept or reject such a punishment for yourself? Why do you think our laws could not offer such a punishment?
- What happens to Okonkwo's compound? Why?
- Describe how Okonkwo was received by his mother's clan.
- How does Uchendu comfort Okonkwo? What role does the mother play in these situations?
- How has Uchendu suffered?
- What is the meaning of the song at the end of this chapter? Can you think of an equivalent saying in our culture?
- If one finger brings oil, it spoils the others.
- A man cannot rise beyond the destiny of his chi.