Things Fall Apart Questions and Answers
Q.1. Describe the observance of the sacred week and throw light on the various customs relating thereto.
People did not work during the week of peace. People drank palm-wine and made merry. Most of them talked about the religious offence done by Okonkwo. According to the oldest man of the village, the man who broke the peace was dragged on the ground through the village until he died. It was only on one or two occasions for many years that the peace was broken in the past. It was also said by someone that it was a bad omen for a man to die during the sacred week. It was the custom in Obodoani that the men who died during this week were not buried but thrown into the dangerous part of the forest. It was a bad custom which the men brought into practice due to lack of understanding: The result was that their clan was fully of evil spirits of these unburied dead who were always doing harm to the living human beings.
Q.2. What is the significance of the title ‘Things Fall Apart’?
The title of Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart” is extracted from William Butler Yeats’ poem “Second Coming”. The title foreshadows the tragedy which the novel depicts. It also draws attention to the parallels between the English oppression of Ireland and its oppression of Nigeria.
Q.3. Describe the Feast of the New Yam.
Just before the harvest, the village Umuofia holds the Feast of the New Yam to give thanks to the earth goddess, Ani. The women scrub and decorate their huts, throw away all of their unused yams from the previous year, and use cam wood to paint their skin and that of their children with decorative designs. This is the beginning of new year.
Q.4. Who was Ogbuefi Ezeudu? What did he tell the other men who came to visit him?
He was the oldest man in the village. He told the two men visiting him that the punishment for breaking the peace of Ani had become very mild in their clans. He also told that his father told him that in the past the man who broke the peace was dragged on the ground through the village until he died but after a while it was stopped because it spoilt the peace which it was meant to establish. Ogbuefi Ezeudu also told that in Obodoani, there was a custom that a man who died during the week of peace was not buried but thrown into the dangerous forest. They threw away large number of men and women without burial. The result was that their clan was full of the evil spirits of these one unburied dead hungry to do harm to the living human beings.
Q.5. Who was Obiageli? How did she break her pitcher?
Obiageli was the real sister of Nwoye, she was making bragging with her pot. She had balanced it on her head. She folded her arms in front of her and began to swing her waist like a grown up lady. The pot fell down and was broken into pieces. At this, she burst into laughter. She began to weep falsely when she reached near the iroka tree outside their compound. Now she had in her hand a cloth pad on which the pot must have rested on her head. Her mother consoled her and promised to buy her a new pot.
- 6. What did the people do during heavy rains as referred to in chapter 4 of the novel?
During heavy rains, children sat around their mother’s cooking fire telling stories, or with their fathers in his Obi warning themselves from a long fire, roasting and eating maize. It was a brief resting period between the exacting and arduous planting season and the equally exacting but lighthearted month of harvests.
Q.7. Who was Nwayieke? Where did she live?
Ikemefuna told Nwoye that the proper name for corn cob with only a few scattered grains were the teeth of an old woman. After hearing this, Nwoye thought of Nwayieke who lived near the Udala tree. She had about three teeth and was always smoking her pipe.
Q.8. Who said the following and why? Explain the sense contained therein: “One would think he never suckled at his mother’s breast.”
In the opening lines of chapter-4, an old man made the above remarks about Okonkwo. The sense contained therein is that Okonkwo rose from poverty to be a prosperous and important person of his clan by the sweat of his brow. The old man did not say so out of enviousness. He respected him for his struggle to acquire such a high position in the society. According to the old man, he (Okonkwo) was a man of industry and utmost firmness.
Q.9. By whom were the following words said and why: “This meeting is for man.”
The above words were uttered by Okonkwo to down ‘Osugo’ who contradicted him at a meeting held to discuss the programme of next ancestral feast. In other words, the sense of these words may be taken to call Osugo a woman because he had no title to his credit. Okonkwo was criticized for saying so by most of the people present in the meeting. The old man said that the man who made his fortune with the help of others should not forget to be humble. Okonkwo realized that he should not have said so and he felt sorry for what he said.
- 10. “Okonkwo’s palm kernels had been cracked by a benevolent spirit.” How far it is true?
When Okonkwo called Usugo a woman because he had no title to his credit, the old man retorted saying that Okonkwo should not have uttered the words disgracing Usugo. At this he (Okonkwo) felt sorry for what he had said.
It is not true that Okonkwo’s palm kernels had been cracked for him by a benevolent spirit. He made his fortune himself. He struggled very hard to rise and prosper. Any man in his place would have surrendered to the sorrows, sufferings and difficulties falling in the way to progress. He faced all the difficulties with courage and reaped his harvest proving him a boon in his life.
At an early age he had achieved fame as the greatest wrestler. That was not luck. It was due to his hard work and sincerity that he was chosen by the nine villages to convey a message of war to their enemies or make them agree to give a young man and a virgin to compensate the murder of Udo’s wife. When he reached Ikemefuna’s village he was given a lad named Ikemefuna and a virgin who was given to Udo in place of his murdered wife. He was treated a man of great confidence by the villagers and the lad handed over to him by the village for due care.
Q.11. How did the contest of wrestling begin? Who won in the third bout?
The wrestling began with the boys of fifteen and sixteen. They were introduced to set the scene. Within a short time the first two bouts were over, the third was a sensational one, this was a wrestling which interested the crowd much. After sometime one wrestler did something that the other boy was flat on his back. The crowd roared and clapped. Okonkwo also sprang to his feet and quickly sat down again. Some boys carried him shoulders held high and danced through the cheering crowd. The name of the victorious boy was Maduka, the son of Obierika.
Q.12. Describe the discussion held between Ekwefi and Chielo at the ground of wrestling?
Ekwefi said to the woman standing beside her that she had never seen such a large crowd. The woman also asked her if Okonkwo nearly killed her with his gun. Ekwefi replied that it was true. Both the women talked for a long time. The woman with whom she talked was called Chielo. She was the priestess of Agbala the oracle hills and the caves. Chielo was a widow with two children. She was very friendly with Ekwefi. She loved Ezinma, the only daughter of Ekwefi very much. She was an other person when the spirit of Agbala was on her.
Q.13. Give a description of the last wrestling match between Okafo and Ikezue.
The sun was about to set when the last match began. Okafo and Ikezue were among the best wrestlers. Some were of the opinion that Okafo was better than Ikezue and others regarded Ikezue as the better of the two. Last years, neither of the two could win the match. Ikezue held out his right hand, Okafo seized it and both started their tactics to down each other. Each one was playing his tricks to down the other. But one knew what the other was thinking. Both the wrestlers did their best but none could down the other. But it looked a drawn match. The two judges were ready to move forward to separate them. All of a sudden, Okafo raised his right leg and swung it over his rival’s head. He was successful in throwing Ikezue in the bout. Okafo was carried home shoulder-high by his supporters. They sang in joy and the young women clapped.
- 14. Who was Ojiugo? Why did Okonkwo beat her?
Ojiugo was the youngest wife of Okonkwo. Once she went to her friend’s house to get her hair interlaced. She did not return for long. She could therefore not cook the afternoon food. He went to her hut and found the fire place cold. He asked his second wife about Ojiugo. She told him that she had gone to plait her hair. When she returned he beat her very heavily. His first two wives ran out under great confusion and told him that it was sacred weak and he should not beat her.
- 15. Who was Ezeani? Why was he displeased with Okonkwo?
Ezeani was the priest of the earth goddess, Ani. He called on Okonkwo at his house. He brought out Kola nut and offered it to the priest. The priest was in an angry mood. He told him that he would not eat in the house of a man who had no respect for gods and ancestors.
Okonkwo told him the reason why he beat his wife. The priest told him that it was a planting season and one week should be observed as a weak of calmness. He agreed that his wife was at fault but she should have not been beaten by him during the planting season. He added that he had done a great mistake. He had insulted the earth goddess. She might refuse to give them good crops. His evil deed could ruin the whole clan. However, the priest asked him to bring to the shrine of Ani the next day, one she goat, one hen, a length of cloth, and a hundred cowries, offering of which would be necessary to pacify Ani’s anger. Okonkwo did as the priest said, he also took with him a pot of palm-wine. But he had to do that against his will only to please the priest.
Q.16. Why did Okonkwo beat Nwoye heavily?
Okonkwo told Ikemefuna that he was to be taken to his home the next day. Nwoye overheard it and wept bitterly where upon his father beat him mercilessly.
- 17. Did Ikemefuna know that he was to be killed?
Yes, Ikemefuna remembered a time when some men had talked in low tones to his father. So he felt that he was not being taken to his house but he was being taken outside Umuofia to be killed.
- 18. Who told Nwoye’s mother that Ikemefuna was going home? How did she react after knowing that?
Nwoye told his mother that Ikemefuna was being taken home. On hearing it, she dropped the pestle with which she was grinding pepper. She folded her arms across her breast and sighed “poor” child”.
Q.19. How did Nwoye feel when he came to know about Ikemefuna’s departure?
When Nwoye knew about Ikemefuna’s departure, Throughout that day, he kept sitting in his mother’s hut and wept bitterly.
- 20. What is an “Ozo” dance? By whom and when was it heard?
It is a kind of dance which took place when a man was taking one of the titles of his clan. On this occasion men rejoiced with music and dancing and a great feast. It was heard by the people at the beginning of their journey undertaken with a purpose to take Ikemefuna out of the village to kill him.
- 21. State the condition of Ikemefuna when the man growled at him asking him not to stand looking back.
When Ikemefuna was being taken outside the village, one of the men growled at him and instructed him not to stand looking back, Ikemefuna was frightened. His hands trembled on the black pot he carried. To add to his fear, Okonkwo withdrew to the rear. Ikemefuna felt his legs melting under him.
- 22. What were the words uttered by Ikemefuna when a man behind him stroke him with his matchet?
The words which were uttered by Ikemefuna were “My father, they have killed me.” These words were addressed to Okonkwo who in turn cut him down with his matchet instead of sympathizing with him.
Q.23. What did Ogbuefi Ezeudu tell Okonkwo? By whom was the order pronounced to kill Ikemenfuna?
Ogbuefi Ezeudu told Okonkwo that Umuofia had decided to kill Ikemefuna. This order was pronounced by the oracle of the hills and the caves. He added that they would take him outside the village as was the custom and kill him there. He asked Okonkwo not to bear a hand in his death because he called him his father.
- 24. When were the locusts seen in the atmosphere? What harm did they do?
The locusts were seen flying in the atmosphere during the cold harmattan season after the harvests had been gathered. They ate up all the wild grass in the fields. Much harm was not caused because crops were gathered.
Q.25. What did the people do when the locusts descended?
People came out of their houses to catch the locusts. They filled their bags, pots and baskets with them. They were roasted and spread in the sunshine to become dry and brittle. This rare food so gathered was eaten by them for many days.
Q.26. Where did the locusts stay at night? Depict the sight presented by the author in the play.
Locusts settled on every tree and every blade of grass. They settled on the roofs and covered the bare ground. Strong tree branches broke away under them and the whole earth became brownish swarmed with vast army of hungry locusts.
- 27. What did the elders say about locusts appearing and disappearing?
The elder said that locusts came once in a generation, reappeared every year for seven years and then disappeared for another life time. They went back to their caves in a distant land.
- 28. Name few of the stories that Nwoye’s mother told the children.
She told the children-stories of the tortoise and his wily ways, and of the bird eneke-nti-oba, who challenged the whole world to a wrestling contest and was finally thrown by the cat. Story of the quarrel between Earth and Sky.
Q.29. What type of stories did Okonkwo tell the boys? Which stories did Nwoye like?
Okonkwo told the boys stories of the land, masculine stories of violence and bloodshed. Nwoye knew that it was right to be masculine and to be violent. But somehow he still preferred the stories that his mother used to tell.
- 30. Why was Okonkwo happy when Nwoye grumbled about women?
Okonkwo was happy because he wanted Nwoye to be able to control his women folk. He was of the opinion that if a man is unable to rule his women and his children, he is no real man. The man who is unable to control them is like the man in the song who had ten and one wives and not enough soup for his foo-foo.
- 31. What type of tasks did Nwoye like to do for the members of the family.
Nwoye was pleased to be sent for by his mother or another of his father’s wives to do one of these difficult and masculine tasks in the home like splitting wood, or pounding food on receiving such a message through a younger brother or sister.
- 32. How did Obierika criticize Okonkwo’s action of his participation in killing Ikemefuna?
During the discussion, Obierika said to Okonkwo that Ikemefuna called him his father and loved him greatly. It was his duty to save Ikemefuna and not to let him be killed. His action would not please the earth. He added if he were in his place he would have stayed at him.
- 33. What important news did Ofoedu bring when Obierika and Okonkwo were holding some discussions at the former’s house?
Ofoedu told Obierika and Okonkwo that Ogbuefi Ezeudu, the oldest man in Ibe and his first wife, Ozoemena had died. Okonkwo remarked that Ezeudu was the powerful man who had led Umuofia to war in his youth. There was song about them, “He could not do anything without telling her.”
- 34. During the course of discussion regarding the settlement of Ibe’s marriage with Akueke, who served wine to the guests and the hosts and how?
Before the bride-price was settled at 20 bags of cowries, Ibo, the suitor of Akueke, began to serve wine. He filled the first horn and gave it to his father. Then he poured out to other. Okonkwo had his own horn which he gave to Ibe to fill.
Q.35. Describe the settlement of bride-price for the marriage of Ibe with Akueke.
As was the custom, Obierika presented to Ukegbu a bundle of short broomsticks which were fifteen instead of thirty as expected. This bundle was handed over to Ugkegu’s eldest brother, Machi who said that they were expecting thirty. He said, “Marriage is a play and not a fight; so we are falling down again.” It was thus that bride-price was finally settled at 20 bags of cowries.
Q.36. Who told Okonkwo that Ezinma was dying? What did he do when he heard so?
Ekwefi told Okonkwo that Ezinma was dying. He went into her hut and found Ezinma shivering beside a fire place. Taking his scythe, he went to the forest to bring leaves, grasses and barks of the trees for making the medicine for her daughter who was laid up with high fever. He got the grass etc. boiled and made Ezinma inhale the steam emitting from the liquid.
- 37. To whom did Okonkwo go after the death of Ekwefi’s second child? What was he advised to do? How was the advice acted upon?
After the death of Ekwefi’s second son, Okonkwo went to a medicine man to enquire what was wrong. He told Okonkwo that the first child was a wicked one who died and entered its mother’s womb to be born again. He advised that during pregnancy Ekwefi should not sleep in her hut. She should go to live with her parents. She acted upon his advice. Her third child was born but he died on the eighth day.
- 38. What did the tortoise advise the birds to do, when they flew to the sky? What was the name which tortoise chose for himself and why?
He told the birds that it was an old age custom that Invitees to a great feast should assume new names. Accordingly, the birds took new names. Tortoise also took one. He was called, “All of you”. He did so because he wanted to hold the title of chief guest in the feast and to eat the meal first of all.
- 39. What were the most delectable dishes served in the feast as referred to in the story of “Tortoise and the Birds” told by Ekwefi?
Hot soup full of meat and fish, pounded yam, yam pottage cooked with palm oil and fresh fish and palm wine were the most delectable dishes served to the guests in the feast arranged by the people of the sky for the birds. Q. 40. What interrupted Ezinma to continue her story?
She had to break off telling the story because she heard a loud voice. It was that of Chielo, the priestess of Agbala. She was possessed by the spirit of her god. The voice was like a sharp knife cutting through the night. She wanted to take Ezinma with her as ordained by her god.
- 41. Narrate the story which Obierika tells about a man who went to sell a goat and he was cheated.
A man went to sell a goat. He led it on a thick rope which market, he saw that people were pointing at him as they do to a mad man. He looked back and found a log of wood tied to the other end of the rope, instead of the goat. Obierika told Nwankwo that this is all done by way of medicine by swindlers.
Q.42. What was Obierika celebrating? What was the custom involved in it as referred to in chapter 13 of the play Things Fall Apart’.
Obierika celebrated his daughter’s ‘Uri’ viz. the day on which her suitor would bring palm wine not only to her parents but to all kinsmen attending the ceremony. All kiths and kins used to be invited to such a ceremony for a feast. The suitor had to give bride-price in a ceremony which had already taken place.
Q.43. Who followed the pot bearers in ‘Uri’ ceremony of Obierika’s daughter?
After the pot bearers came to Ibe, the suitor and the elders of his family sat in the half moon completing the circle with their hosts. The pots of wine stood in their midst.
Q.44. Who presented Kola-nuts to the in-laws? Who broke the first one?
Obierika presented Kola-nuts to his in-laws. His eldest brother, Machi broke the first Kola-nut saying “Life to all of us”. And let there be friendship between your family and ours.
Q.45. What edibles were served in the supper arranged on the occasion of the ‘Uri’ of Obierika’s daughter?
The Kola had been eaten and the drinking of palm wine began. Groups of four or five people sat round with a pot in their midst. As the evening fell, food was presented to the guests. There were huge bowls of foo-foo and hot soup. Yam pottage was also served to the guests.
Q.46. Describe the manner in which the guests departed with the bride.
It was late at night that the guests rose to go. They took the bride with them. She was to spend seven market weeks with her suitor’s family. They sang songs as they went. They paid short courtesy visits to the prominent men like Okonkwo who made a present of two cocks to them. They departed joyfully recreating their hosts.
Q.47. Describe Okonkwo’s departure from Umuofia? What made him quit his native land?
When Okonkwo was handling his gun on the occasion of the funeral of Ezeudu, a piece of Iron exploded from his gun and pierced the body of Ezeudu’s sixteen years old son. So, the only course open to Okonkwo was to leave his native place. It was a crime against the earth goddess to kill a clan man. Obierika and half a dozen other friends came to help and to console him. And before the cock crowed, Okonkwo and his family were fleeing to other land. It was a little village called Mbanta beyond the borders of Mbaino.
Q.48. What sort of harm did the people do to Okonkwo’s property after he had left the village? Who mourned his calamity?
People in great numbers reached Okonkwo’s compound. They set fire to his houses, demolished his red walls, killed his animals and destroyed his barn. It was the justice of the earth goddess. Obierika sat down in his hut and mourned his friends calamity. He said, “Why should Okonkwo suffer for an offence he had not done knowingly.”
- 49. Describe the action of the ancestors who appeared at the funeral of Ezeudu?
The ancestors from their domain appeared at Ezeudu’s funeral. They spoke in a strange voice. Some of them were very violent. One of them appeared with a sharp matchet and was only prevented from doing a serious crime by two men who restrained him with the help of a strong rope tied round his waist.
Q.50. How many titles had Ezeudu taken? How many titles were there in the clan?
Ezeudu had taken three titles in his life. It was a rare achievement. There were only four titles in the clan, and only one or two men in any generation ever achieved the fourth and the highest. When they did, they became the lords of the land.
Q.51. How did Obierika mourn Okonkwo’s departure from the village?
Obierika was a man who thought about things. When the will of the goddess had been done, he sat down in his obi and mourned his friend’s calamity. He thought why a man should suffer so grievously for an offence he had committed inadvertently. But although he thought for a long time he found no answer.
- 52. Where did Okonkwo go to pass seven years of exile after departing from his village? Who received him there?
Okonkwo left his village and went to live in Mbanta, the native village of his mother. Uchendu, the younger brother of Okonkwo’s mother was the only elder surviving member of that family. It was he who received Okonkwo and provided him all possible help. When Uchendu saw him with his sad weary company, he guessed what had happened and asked no questions.
Q.53. What type of help was provided to Okonkwo by his mother’s kinsmen in Mbanta?
Okonkwo was given a plot of ground on which to build his compound, and two or three pieces of land on which to arm during the coming planting season. With the help of his mother’s kinsmen he built for himself an obi and three huts for his wives. He then installed his personal gods and the symbols of his departed fathers. Each of Uchendu’s five sons contributed three hundred seed-yams to enable their cousin to plant a farm, before the life begin.
Q.54. Did Okonkwo have the vigour and zest of his youth at the new place? How did he feel living with his mother’s kinsmen?
Okonkwo and his family worked very hard to plant a new farm. But it was like beginning life anew without the vigour and enthusiasm of youth, like learning to become left-handed in old age. Work no longer had for him the pleasure it used to have and when there was no work to do he sat in a silent halfsleep. Living at Mbanta, he was not so happy as in his native land.
Q.55. What was Okonkwo advised by Uchendu to do when he came to Mbanta?
Uchendu advised Okonkwo to comfort his wives and hildren and take them back to his village after seven years of banishment. He asked him not to lead a life full of sorrows. He shouted, remain happy and cheerful as before.
Q.56. Who were the rulers of Mbanta? What did the missionaries ask them to give?
There was no king to rule over the people of Mbanta. They had the men of high title, chief priest and the elders who served the purpose of a ruling machinery of the village. The missionaries asked the rulers to give them a plot of land to build their church. The rulers agreed to give them a portion of “Evil Forest”.
- 57. What do you mean by “Evil Forest”? Could the missionaries get a plot of land as they wished?
“Evil Forest” was a plot of land outside the village. In it were buried all those who died of evil diseases, like leprosy and small-pox. It was also a dumping place for the potent fetishes (charms) of great medicine men when they died. The rulers agreed to give missionaries a part of such a forest to build their shrine. They were not expected to accept this offer but they felt obliged to the rulers when they were allowed to have the same.
Q.56. What did the inhabitants of Mbanta expect about missionaries fate, if they began to build their shrine on the plot of land of the “Evil Forest”?
When the rulers of Mbanta had allowed the missionaries to build their shrine on a portion of land of the “Evil Forest”, they began to clear the allotted part of the forest to build their shrine. The villagers expected them all to be dead within twenty-eight days at the most. But to their utter amazement nothing happened to them even after the lapse of 28 days. They were still all alive.
- 59. How did the dispute between the converts and the converted outcast arise?
Some outcast went into the church and adopted Christianity. There was an immediate stir among the converts. They raised a protest and were about to drive these people out when Mr. Kiaga stopped them and said, “Before God, there is no slave or free. We are all children of God and we must receive these as our brothers.” Thus, the matter was subsided with the foresightedness of Mr. Kiaga.
Q.60. Who was Osu? Where was he buried? How was he treated by the villagers?
He was a person dedicated to god, a thing set apart, a taboo for ever. He could neither marry nor be married by the free born. He was in fact an outcast, living in a special area of the village, close to the great shrine wherever he went he carried with him the mark of his forbidden caste-long, tangled and dirty hair. A caste was taboo to him. He was a neglected creature. When he died, he was buried in the Evil Forest. The convert who told this tale wanted to say that outcasts cannot be followers of holy Christ.
Q.61. What action was decided to be taken in the Assembly of the rulers and the elders of Mbanta as introduced in chapter 18 of the novel?
After the incident of the dispute between the converts and the villagers, the rulers and the elders of Mbanta assembled to decide their action. Many of them spoke at great length and in fury. The spirit of ancestors was upon them. Okonkwo who had begun to play a part in the affairs of his new land said that until the abominable gang was chased out of the village with whips, there would be no peace. Everybody in the assembly spoke, and it was decided to extradite the Christians.
- 62. Who was the royal Python? Describe him as introduced in the novel?
The royal Python was a sacred animal which was Supposed to be the emanation of the God of water. It was addressed as “Our Father”, and was allowed to go wherever it chose, even into people’s beds. It ate rats in the house and Sometimes swallowed hen’s eggs. If a clansman had killed a royal Python accidentally, he was to make sacrifices of atonement and perform an expensive burial ceremony such was done for a great man. No punishment was prescribed for a man who killed the Python knowingly. Nobody thought that such a thing could ever happen.
This Python is said to be killed by one of the outcasts. Perhaps it never did happen. That was the way the clan at first looked at it. No one had actually seen the man do it. The story had arisen among the Christians themselves.
- 63. When did Ikemefuna come back to Umuofia? What strange things occurred then?
Ikemefuna returned to Umuofia at the end of carefree season between harvest and planting. Ipso facto, he recovered from his illness a few days before the week of peace began. It was the year when Okonkwo broke the peace by beating his youngest wife named Ojiugo and was punished by Ezeani, the priest of the earth goddess by making him offer certain offerings at the altar of Ani (the earth goddess).
- 64. What was the proper name for a corn-cob with a few scattered grains?
The proper name for corn-cob with only a few scattered grains was ‘eze-agadi-Nwayi’ which mean the teeth of an old woman. This was told to Nwoye by Ikemefuna. After hearing this, Nwoye’s mind at once went to Nwayieke who lived near the Udala tree. She had about three teeth and was always smoking her pipe.
Q.65. What did Okonkwo begin to do to build up a barn of his own? What made it worse in his case?
Okonkwo began to work for landlords on a sharecropping system. He was very foresighted and opted this system as it was the only repairs way of building up a barn of his own at a later stage. He got only third of the harvest after he had toiled hard throughout the year. The worse in his case was that he had to support his parents and two sisters. He was also fending for his father’s house. It was in a bad condition and needed repairs. It was like pouring grains corn into a bag. His mother and sisters worked hard. But they grew women’s crops like coco-yams, beans and cassava. Yam, the king ol crops, was a man’s crop.
Q.66. Why did the inhabitants of Umuofia not take down Okonkwo’s dead body from the tree themselves? Why did they ask the commissioner to do this job?
According to the custom of the village, it was against their custom to take down Okonkwo’s dead body from the tree. It was a curse for a man to take his own life. It was an offence against the earth and a man who did such an offence was not to be buried by his clansmen. So Obierika asked the commissioner to help them to bring the dead body down and bury it.
- 67. What did Obierika say to the commissioner when he was gazing at his friend’s dangling body?
Obierika was pained to see his friend’s dangling body. He turned suddenly to the commissioner and said in an angry mood that they had killed one of the greatest men in Umuofia. He added that his friend’s body could be buried like a dog. He could not say any more.
Q.68. What did the commissioner plan to stress in his book which he was going to write?
The commissioner wanted to write a book in which he wished to include the story of Okonkwo who had killed a messenger and hanged himself. He thought that it would prove a very interesting reading. He had already chosen the title of the book, after much thought. “The Pacification of the Primitive Tribe.”
Q.69. What does the repetition the number seven suggest in ‘Things Fall Apart’?
In several places, the novel explicitly focuses on the theological and moral similarities between Christianity and Igbo religion. The repetition of the number seven — symbolically important to both religions — is another way of highlighting the similarities between the two cultures. The text refers to resting on the seventh day for both cultures.
Q.70. According to the oracle, why do Unoka’s crops fail year after year?
Unoka, Okonkwo’s father, visits the tribe’s oracle, Agbala, to discover why he has bad harvests. Agbala’s priestess says that he has no one but himself to blame for his bad harvests. She points out his laziness in contrast to his neighbours’ admirable work ethic and sends him away with simple advicd: “go home and work like a man.”