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.

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    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