The next part of the book opens up with a ceremony. This part of the book contains a lot of imagery, for example "The wave struck the women and children and there was a backward stampede" tells how the loud striking noise of the gong made everyone step back at once. The ceremony was to settle a difference between two families. One side, the Uzowulu's, argued that his wife was taken away from him by her brothers. In turn, he asked to get his bride-price back, but they refused. the other side of the argument was the Odukwe's, who claimed that the women had run away to them because she couldn't take her husband's beatings any longer. Their judge was called Evil Forest, who settled the argument by telling the Uzowulus to bring a pot of wine and beg for her back, and told the Odukwes to wait for him to come and beg for her. Evil Forest states that it is weak for a man to beat his wife, which is something that Okonkwo does often. It is ironic that he does this, even though his worst fear is being weak. I found it interesting that the woman was the one being beat, however, only men had a say in what would happen to her next, she didn't have a say in her fate.
The current setting of this story, concerning time, is in the winter. This is revealed with the quote "The moon had risen later and later every night until now it was only seen at dawn". One night, Ekwefi and Ezinma are telling stories to eachother. This shows dramatic irony because they are having a good time together, and have no idea that something horrible is about to happen. One story that Ekwefi told was about a Tortoise who wanted to feast with the birds, but had no way to get to the dinner in the sky. The birds deny him at first, but after listening to him plee, decide that he is not the same Tortoise he use to be and allow him to come. The Tortoise ends up being ungrateful and selfish at the great feast. As a result, the birds take his 'wings' so that he will be stuck. Tortoise tells one of the birds to deliver a message to his wife for him, saying to bring all of the soft items out of their house so that he could jump and land on them safely. The bird agrees to tell the wife his message, but because he was so angry, he told his wife to instead bring out all of the hard things in the house. Because of this, Tortoise jumps and falls on the items, cracking his shell. the theme of Ekwefi's story is that karma comes back around. This is significant because Okonkwo is also being punished by karma for killing Ikemefuna. As Ezinma begins to tell her story, a loud shreiking noise interrupts her. It is the loud shrieking noise of the priestess who guards the Oracle of Agbala. She comes in search of Ezinma. When she gets to okonkwo's compound, he begs her not to take Ezinma, but the priestess refused. She carried Ezinma off into the darkness, wailing and screaming from being possessed with the spirit of the Agbala. Even though Ekwefi was told not to follow them, she decides to anyway, and runs after the sound of the priestess's voice. The author puts things in Ekwefi's perspective as she is running to follow the priestess and Ezinma. The quote "She hit her left foot against an outcropped root, and terror seized her. It was an ill omen" shows that Ekwefi's fear of the evil that lurks in the dark comes out, because she thinks of the root as an omen, rather than it being an actual root. The quote "'Somebody is walking behind me!' she said.' Whether you are spirit or man, may Agbala shave your head with a blunt razor! May he twist your neck until you see your heels!'" shows dramatic irony because the priestess wouldn't have screamed that if she knew that it was just her friend Ekwefi that was behind her. However, this was not enought to keep Ekwefi from following them. They soon arrived at the cave where the Oracle of Agbala was. Ekwefi waited at the mouth of the cave for Ezinma and the priestess, but ends up falling asleep. She is awoken by a man holding a machete, who turns out to be Okonkwo.
The book Things Fall Apart has the protoganist Okonkwo, who is very strong emotionally and doesn't show any of his feelings. After three nights without sleep, Okonkwo finally gets some rest. He then decides that there was really no reason for him to have been feeling so horrible the past few days. Ekwefi, Okonkwo's second wife, suddenly comes into Okonkwo's obi and tells him that Ezinma is dying. For Ekwefi, this is her tenth child, even though Ezinma is Ekwefi's only daughter. She has had nine other children, who have all passe away within a few months of their birth. The quote "...became for Ekwefi mere physical agony devoid of promise" describes how Ekwefi has stopped expected to have a child that she could love and take care of, and only had the pain of bearing the child to look forward to. A man who had a lot of knowledge of obanje children once helped them find out why their children were dying, whose name was Okagbue Uyanwa. He helped Ezinma find her iyi-uwa and destroy it in order to keep her from dying. Okonkwo ends up curing Ezinma's illness by having her sit under a thick rug with a boiling pot of medicine. She soon sweated her illness out, and was fine in no time.
While feasting on the locusts, Ogbuefi Ezeudu, the oldest man in Umuofia, comes in to have a word with Okonkwo. He came to tell Okonkwo that the village leaders have decided to kill Ikemefuna. He also told Okonkwo not to participate in his 'son's' death. Okonkwo didn't want to worry ikemefuna, so instead of telling him that he was being executed, he told him that he was just returning home. However, Ikemefuna knew how this went already. "He remembered when men had talked in low tones with his father, and it seemed now as if it was happening all over again". This quote shows dramatic irony because Okonkwo has told Ikemefuna that he will be going home and thinks that this is what Ikemefuna believes, but Ikemefuna knows that he is being killed. The next day, while taking Ikemefuna out to be killed, the clansmen heard the noise of a celebration far off in the distance. This is dramatic irony as well, based on the quote "Somewhere a man was taking one of the titles of his clan, with music and dancing and a great feast" because someone is celebrating the progression of their life, while Ikemefuna is on his way to be executed. On the way to be killed, Ikemefuna constantly thinks about his mother and sister and if they're ok. He is does this to try to convince himself that he is actually going home. Suddenly, without warning, one of the clansmen that was walking behind Ikemefuna strikes him in the head with a machete. Ikemefuna fell to the ground and cried "My father, they have killed me!". Okonkwo heard the blow and rushed to ikemefuna. But instead of trying to help him, Okonkwo took his machete and finished him off. This showed foreshadowing of some bad events later on in the plot because Okonkwo was warned not to be a part of Ikemefuna's death, but he helped kill him anyway. As soon as Okonkwo returned from killing Ikemefuna, Nwoye knew exactly what happened, the whole family did. For the next few dyas, Okonkwo refused to eat because of his guilt. He cursed himself for turning into an 'old woman'. He later decides to go to his friend Obierka's obi, where they talk about Ikemefuna's death and the rest of Okonkwo's kids. Okonkwo is upset that his kids are not as strong and independent as Okonkwo was at their age. While they were talking, Ofoedu came in, informing them that Ogbuefi Ndulue has died that morning, and that his wife has also died after discovering her husband's death. This is an event that seems like it was foreshadowed after Okonkwo killed Ikemefuna. 
Okonkwo eventually began to get over Ikemefuna's death. he was eager to get back to farming in order to keep his mind off of him. This shows the charcterization of Okonkwo because of the way that he is so centered around work and being successful. Later on, Okonkwo returns to Obierika's obi in order to meet his  daughter's suitor. 
This album is a collaboration  between rapper Nas and reggae artist Damian Marley. The title of the album is Distant Relatives. This album is a conscious effort to awaken people about the problems going on in Africa, and to also explain to people that we all come from the same place. This album is not just hip hop or reggae, but is a mixture of many different genres. I feel that this album connects to the novel Things Fall Apart because its main theme is about Africa. Although this isn't the theme of the book Things Fall Apart, it is the setting of the book, and most of the songs on the album explain situations that are similar to events that occurred in the book. Distant Relatives is a great album that is enjoyable no matter what genre of music you listen to.

    The next section in Things Fall Apart begins with the description of the Feast of the New Yam, which was when the village gave thanks to their gods. During the feast, the villagers get rid of all of their old yams and harvest and dine on the new yams. The quote "The new year must begin with tasty, fresh yams and not the shriveted and fibrous crop of the previous year" reminds me of the saying "In with the new, and out with the old". The New Yam Festival was a time when everyone was happy and families came together to celebrate. In the quote "The New Yam Festival was thus an occasion for joy throughout Umuofia", symbolism takes place. Yams and other foods mentioned in this story bring happiness to the people of the village of Umuofia. When there was a drought, the food supply decreased, and everyone's mood changed drastically.
    The book also talks about Ekwefi, Okonkwo's second wife, and their daughter, Ezinma. Ezinma is described as a young girl with wisdom beyond her years. The two of them are cooking a meal. While preparing the meal, Ekwefi picks up a pot of boiling water and pours it out without feeling any pain. This prompts her daughter to ask "Is it true that when people are grown up, fire does not burn them?". This question could symbolize the way that okonkwo does not let obstacles over come him and the way that he does not show weakness. Okonkwo doesn't let 'fire' 'burn' him. The mother and daughter are preparing a meal for the wrestling match tonight, which competitors from many different neighboring villages compete. This match is one way for men to earn honor and respect. "Behind them was the big and ancient silk-cotton tree which was sacred" shows symbolism because the tree's legend is that it holds the good spirits of unborn babies, which can be symbolized by innocence because silk is a clean and flawless fabric. Whether the competing wrestlers one or lost, they were looked upon as leaders and protectors in every village.
    Over the next three years, Okonkwo has noticed a lot of change in his son Nwoye. Ever since Ikemefuna has come to stay with them Nwoye has grown out of childhood and more into manhood. This is proven by the quote "Nwoye knew that it was right to be masculine and violent, but somehow he still preferred the stories that his mother used to tell...". One day, while painting the outside of the obi (hut), there came a loud buzzing noise descending upon the village. Everyone stopped and looked up, to find that the locusts were returning to the village. The locusts that came were collected that night and cooked. This section in the book gives the reader the idea that food brings people together and brings happiness.

    The next chapter of Things Fall Apart opens up with the clansmen meeting together to discuss what will become of the young boy sacrifice Ikemefuna. They decide that he will stay with Okonkwo. Ikemefuna was very afraid and tried running away a few times, but he soon became very acquainted with Okonkwo's family. Ikemefuna began to grow on okonkwo, but he refused to show how much he enjoyed having him around. This is definately a minor conflict in the story because Okonkwo won't allow himself to show his emotions, unless it is anger. He feels that this is a sign of weakness. This type of conflict is an internal conflict.
    The Week of Peace has now come around in the village. This is when the villagers take a week to really appreciate their gods by showing kindness to each other. Any act that contradicted peaceful behaviour was punished. During this week, Okonkwo becomes angry with one of his wives, and beats her severely. Okonkwo was shamed because of this. The quote "But he would not be the man to go telling his neighbors that he was in error" shows Okonkwo's character. The quote tells the readerreader that Okonkwo has too much pride for his own good.
    When the Week of Peace had passed, Okonkwo and his family began getting ready to start farming more yams. During this time, he would be very hard on his eldest son, Nwoye. Okonkwo gets angry that he is not as fit and as hardworking as he was when he was Nwoye's age, and says, "You think you are still a child". This is an example of verbal irony because he is upset that his son is not acting like an adult, which he is not. Nwoye is just becoming a preteen. Nwoye really looked up to Ikemefuna, and had become really close to him. Ikemefuna would always tell stories about things that happened in his village. After time passed, Ikemefuna began to miss his home less and less. I feel like Ikemefuna feels so welcomed and so at home because of his heirarchy of need. At this point, Ikemefuna just wants to be able to have a place to call home and people to call family.

       In the last part of Things Fall Apart, a virgin and a boy were sacrificed to Okonkwo's clan as a peace offering. Now, the book is telling about how Okonkwo has established his own wealth, since his father left absolutely nothing behind for him. There was a sacred place that the people went to, called The Oracle, where they would find out their fortune and visit spirits. One day, Unoka paid a visit to The Oracle to find out why he is not able to harvest yams like many of the other farmers in the village. The line "It was said that when such a spirit appeared, the man saw it vaguely in the darkness, but never heard its voice. Some people even said that they had heard the spirits flying and flapping their wings against the roof of the cave" demonstrates the author's use of diction. The author explains the experiences at The Oracle in a way that makes it seem like the people were only imagining what they 'saw' and 'heard'. I think that the people believe that they are actually experiencing these things because it gave them faith and hope to feel like there was something there. When Unoka visited The Oracle, he was told that he does not work like a man, so he will not earn like a man. Unoka was a lazy man, so he did not take this into consideration. As a result, he became ill with a sickness that was looked at as 'evil'. Because Unoka never earned anything in his lifetime, he was not buried, but tied to a tree in the Evil Forest to die. This was explained in the quote "...and evil fortune followed him to the grave, or rather to his death, for he had no grave". This shows that Unoka did not have a reason to be remembered and celebrated.
    The story also talks about how during Okonkwo's younger days, he went to one of his father's wealthy friends to borrow yam seeds. Because his friend recognized Okonkwo's hard work ethic, he allowed him to borrow the seeds, gicing him twice the amount that he was hoping for. However, when it came time to plant these seeds, there was a terrible drought. The author shows situational irony with the quote "Some farmers had not planted their yams yet. They were the lazy easy-going ones who always put off clearing their farms as long as they could. This year they were the wise ones". This is ironic because usually the people who plant their crops at the right time end up with the most crops to harvest. This time, the lazy farmers were lucky for not wasting their seeds. Once the drought finished, a heavy rainfall came and destroyed most of the leftover crops. Needless to say, these events caused a lot of change within Okonkwo's village. The quote "The spell of sunshine which always came in the middle of the wet season did not appear" really stood out to me because sunshine symbolizes hope, especially when it has been raining. However, after all of these traumatic events, the sun has still not come out.

    The novel Things Fall Apart is a literary peice of art. This book takes place in Western Africa in the 1890's. The book starts off talking about the protagonist of the story, Okonkwo, who is a wealthy and well respected man in the village. The text describes Okonkwo's wealth in terms of his belongings; he is the owner of two yam farms and had just recently married his third wife. Okonkwo is also described as someone with drive and motivation. "He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had had no patience with his father." This quote shows the reader that Okonkwo is very determined to be better than his father, who wasn't successul at anything but being unsuccessful. Okonkwo's father, Unoka, was so in debt that people would just laugh and deny him whatever he needed to borrow. Unoka was only happy when he was drinking or playing his flute. The way that Unoka's character is described makes him seem very child-like; he likes to celebrate and he doesn't work. He just wants to have fun.
    The ssetting of this story is very significant because it explains the beliefs of the villagers. The next part of the story tells about the twon crier yelling his message in the middle of the night. This was unusual in this village because the darkness is looked at as something that holds evil. Okonkwo awoke to hear the message, which just told all men of the village to meet in the marketplace the next morning. Okonkwo assumed that the meeting was to discuss war. The quote "That seemed the most likely reason, and he was not afraid of war." is an example of situational irony because he is afraid of the evil that lurks in the dark, but is not afraid of the evil that takes place in war. The next morning at the meeting, a leader of the clan announces that a neighboring village has killed the daughter of another leader. In order to avenge the woman's death, the clan leader, Ezeugo, gives the other village an ultimatum; to either give them a male and a virgin, or to go to war. The second option was obviously not going to happen, because of the amount of power the Umuofia clan's military held. So, the village agrees to hand over the man and the virgin. This is the introduction to a new character, Ikemefuna, who is the young man that is given to the clan.

    Chinua Achebe

        Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria on Novemmber 16, 1930. He published the novel Things Fall Apart in 1958. Achebe has written other novels as well. He is still living.


    January 2013