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.

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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