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Reading Journal

Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe

Chapter 1
Okonkwo is a well known wrestler throughout nine villages and beyond. When he was eighteen
he brought honor to his village when he beat an undefeated wrestler named Amalinze the Cat.
Okonkwo is tall and huge, with bushy eyebrows and a wide nose. He also has a a little bit of a
temper. He is also angry with his father because he was lazy and unsuccessful. His father also
left him with a huge debt. He strives to be the opposite of his father. He takes in a troublesome
boy called Ikemefuna.
I feel like Okonkwo is going to somehow impact this boy he takes in, either in a good way or bad
way. I think this boy could definitely learn some things from Okonkwo. I feel like Okonkwo might
have to go against his beliefs to do something big, I don't know what but that is what I am
predicting. He might lose the honor he earned.
Chapter 2
The town crier asks all the men of Umuofia to gather at the market place the next morning. In
the morning there were thousands of men gathered in the market place. Then the speaker,
Ogbuefi Ezeugo, stood up and told them the news. Angrily, he informed them about how a
daughter of the village of Umuofia was murdered at a market in Mbaino. He then let the men
discuss what should be done. They dispatched Mbaino and told them to choose to go to war or
offer up a young man and a virgin as compensation. Umuofia was feared by all the neighboring
villages. The people of Mbaino decided not to go to war, so they gave up a lad and a virgin. Two
days later, Okonkwo returned to the village of Umuofia with a fifteen year old boy and a young
virgin. The girl went to the husband of the woman that was killed and Okonkwo took in the boy
named Ikemefuna until the people were to decide his fate. Okonkwo is the head of his
household, and he is feared by his three wives and children. His oldest son, 12 years, is lazy
just like his father, so he often is nagged and beaten. Okonkwo had his own hut, and there are
three other for each of his wives. Ikemefuna was terrified of what was to come for him. He didn't
know why there were men at his house or why he had to go and live with a stranger.
I feel bad for Ikemefuna. It's not fair that he has to pay for what his father had done. He is an
innocent teenager. He was taken away from his mother all because of what his father had done.
I believe that Ikemefuna will resent his father because of what is happening for him now. I'm
also afraid of what will happen with Okonkwo. I am guessing Okonkwo will treat Ikemefuna
badly, I just hope he doesn't beat him. I also feel bad for the girl because she has to pay also for
what Ikemefunas father had done. She's just a young girl, she does not need to be treated like
an object. It upsets me because of how the people of both villages are handling the situation.
Chapter 3
When Okonkwo was a child, Unoka went to the Oracle of the Hills and the Caves to find out why
he had little harvest. People often came to consult it. He was told he had little harvest because

he was weak and to return home and work like a man should. Unoka was not the luckiest guy
and he had an evil fortune that followed him to his death. He died of swelling, which was not
acceptable to the earth goddess, and when a man dies of swelling he is not able to die in the
house. Unoka was carried from his house to the Evil Forest and left there to die. There was no
burial, he just died and rotted away in the forest, and he took with him his flute. Okonkwo was
determined to live a fortunate life, even though his fathers terrible life and shameful death
haunted him. There was a very wealthy man in Okonkwos village. His name was Nwakibie.
Because of this man Okonkwo worked to earn his first seed yams. Okonkwo worshipped him as
he presented wine and food to Nwakibie. He even addressed him as Our Father. Okonkwo
asked Nwakibie for help. Okonkwo convinced Nwakibie to give him twice four hundred yams.
Okonkwo thanked him and was ecstatic. Since Nwakibie, was giving him 800 yams, Okonkwo
planned to get another 400 yams from a family friend. That year, the weather was unpredictable,
which ruined his yams. The harvest was no good. Farmers were devastated because of their
rotting yams. Though that year was sad, Okonkwo survived it.
In this chapter we are learning more about Okonkwos past. I'm starting to understand more why
Okonkwo is the way he is. It also tells us the beginning of how he turned into the man he was.
This made me think that when a childs parents are unsuccessful they try so hard to be the
opposite of their parents. I don't think that is the best idea. I think they should just be
themselves, but not make the same mistakes as their parents. Just because you have the same
characteristics that doesn't mean you are the same. It is natural for children to have similarities
to their parents, you can't really fight it, and if you do you are fighting a part of yourself.
Chapter 4
Ikemefuna, the lad from Mbaino, had been living with Okonkwo for about three years. The
village had forgotten about punishing him and he had become like a son to Okonkwo. He also
grew very close to Okonkwos son Nwoye. Ikemefuna was also less sad when he thought of his
mother and sister. In that third year, Okonkwo broke the peace during the week of peace. His
youngest wife had left without him knowing to get her hair done, and when she got back, he
beat her. All the neighbors talked about him and he was punished for breaking the peace. After
the week of peace, the Okonkwo took Nwoye and Ikemefuna to teach them the basics of sowing
yams. Yams were supposedly a man's crop.
I thought this chapter was pretty interesting because my prediction became true about Okonkwo
growing to like Ikemefuna. I also noticed that this village really takes their beliefs seriously. I
personally think it is a little extreme. The smallest mistake that you can make could get you
killed. That it was it seems like. Okonkwo was not punished too bad because he was a celebrity
in Umuofia, and people look up to him. I also don't think that Okonkwo shouldve beat his wife.
Had it not been the week of peace, it would have been acceptable to beat his wife. I think that is
ridiculous, but not everyone thinks that way obviously. The only emotion he knows how to show
is anger. I think that's a sad way to live life. He has too much pride to humble himself.
Chapter 5

The Feast of the New Yam is coming up. Umuofia was preparing for the festival that gives
thanks to the earth goddess, Ani. Okonkwo and his family invited many relatives to come and
celebrate. The first day was celebrating with the family and in-laws. Before the first day,
Okonkwo gets angry at his second wife for taking some leaves off of a tree and almosts shoots
at her with a gun. Okonkwo does not enjoy the festival as much. The second day was the day of
great wrestling match between Umuofia and other villages. Okonkwo and his daughter with his
second wife, Enzinma were very excited for the wrestling match.
Okonkwo just seems like a ticking time bomb. Everything makes him mad. I think he went
overboard when he was about to shoot his wife over a few leaves from a tree. He obviously has
anger issues. He makes me really upset too. He needs to change.
Chapter 6
Thousands of people gathered to watch the wrestling match, including Okonkwo. There were
seven drums that three men beat them with sticks. The entertainment show before the real
match were boys between fifteen and sixteen. There were three boys on each team, and the
victorious team cheered for a boy who helped win the match, named Maduka. He made a move
that no one had ever seen before and it catches Okonkwos attention. The real match began
shortly after. There were two teams, and twelve men on each side. A couple of men were
thrown. The last match was between the leaders of the team. The winner of the match was
named Okafo.
I kind of feel like Ikemefuna might have something to do with the young boy Maduka. I feel like
Okonkwo might have to train Ikemefuna to fight. I do not really like the fact that people gather to
watch other people fight, but I also do not like it in real life.

Chapter 7
Okonkwo is told to prepare for the death of Ikemefuna. Okonkwo was torn because Ikemefuna
had helped his son Nwoye be more manly and enjoy doing manly things. Ikemefuna had also
become like a son to Okonkwo. The next day Ikemefuna was told he was going home, but he
was really going to be killed. Ikemefuna had a bad feeling anyway. Nwoye was devastated, so
he burst into tears, which lead Okonkwo to beat him. Nwoyes mother was also devastated
because she knew what was really going to happen. As Okonkwo and Ikemefuna left, the village
became silent. While on their journey, the men heard a faint beating of the ekwe. There was a
special dance going on in a nearby village. Ikemefuna no longer felt afraid and started singing a
song his mother used to sing to him in his head. He started thinking of his mother and sister,
and he was so excited to see them again. One of the men cleared his throat, and it sent a cold
shiver down Ikemefunas spine. The man that cleared his throat raised the machete, Okonkwo
looked away and heard the blow. He heard Ikemefuna cry, My father, they have killed me! as
he ran towards him and drew his machete and cut him down because he didn't want to look
weak. When Okonkwo got home, Nwoye knew that he killed Ikemefuna without Okonkwo telling
him. Then something had given way inside him. A chill that he had felt before when he saw
babies left in the forest to die.

My prediction was wrong. I really did not like this chapter. It was heartbreaking. Ikemefuna was
becoming part of the family and everyone had forgotten about punishing him, but out of
nowhere he gets killed. I just don't understand why. He was only a boy. I think that Okonkwo
showed that he was a wimp because he finished off Ikemefuna to prove he wasnt weak. Just
the fact that he cared so much about what other people were going to think about him that he
killed a boy that was basically his son, I just don't understand. I believe if he would have stood
up for the boy and known that what they were doing was wrong, that would have made him
strong. Now he has to live the rest of his life with guilt. All the other men were wimps too. I also
think that because of what he did, it is going to jeopardize his relationship with his son Nwoye. I
believe Nwoye might go against his father because he knows that his father needs to change
and he did not do the right thing. It was very wrong, terrible, disgusting, beastly, and
heartbreaking. Im pretty sure this is a turning point in the book.
Chapter 8
Okonkwo could not taste any food for two days. He also couldnt sleep. He was still rattled by
the death of Ikemefuna. Nwoye had also distanced himself from Okonkwo. Okonkwo also
scolded himself for feeling anything for Ikemefuna and tried to justify what he did. Okonkwo
decided to go and visit his friend Obierika. He told Obierika about his worry for Nwoye and how
he wished that Ezinma was a boy because she has the right attitude. Okonkwo brought up the
death of Ikemefuna, and Obierika said he did not understand why Okonkwo went along.
Okonkwo tried to justify himself again. Then a man came in and told them that the oldest man in
the village of Ire and his oldest wife had both died. But, no one had beaten the drum to inform all
the people. They thought that was a little strange. Okonkwo felt better after talking with the men
and decided to go and do some work. When he returned to Obierikas hut, Obierikas daughter
was being looked at for marriage to a twenty-five year old man. She was sixteen. After the ritual
was over Okonkwo and Obierika and some other guys talk about white people.
I think that Okonkwo definitely deserved all the guilt he felt. No, he deserved a life of misery
after what he did. I was a little upset that he felt better after talking to his friends. I agree with his
friend Obierika. Okonkwo did not have to go with the men to kill Ikemefuna, he couldve stayed
home at least. He just wants to prove he is a man too much. I also thought the arranged
marriage was just upsetting. This girl is only sixteen. I am about to turn sixteen. She has to get
married already and clean, and all the other responsibilities in taking care of a man that is nine
years older than her. Girls and women were looked at as objects, and they still are. Human
trafficking, arranged marriages, housewives, women were definitely not respected. Men only
wanted them for pleasure and cleaning and cooking. That is just sad, dirty, low, and weak. This
is why so many women have become oppressed. At least it is getting better and there are plenty
of powerful women today who do not need a man by their side and work and clean, and cook,
but because they want to not because they have to.
Chapter 9
Ezinma becomes really sick. Okonkwo and Ekwefi were terrified because Ezinma is her only
child. She had borne ten children but all of them died before the age of three except for Ezinma.

She had been sick like this a year ago and the only way to save Ezinma was to find her iyi-uwa
to protect her from an evil spirit called ogbanje. Ezinma had put it near an orange tree. Okonkwo
and a medicine man dug it up, and everyone was overjoyed once it was found and everything
was okay once again. Since then, she never fell ill again until more than a year later. Ekwefi was
scared Ezinma was going to die, other women told her it was just a little flu. Ekwefi still did not
listen. Okonkwo and Ekwefi both treated Ezinma, and soon she fell asleep.
Ekwefi must be petrified because her daughter could die like all the rest of her children did. I
think it takes a lot of strength because of all the pain she had been through. I hope that it was
just a little flu and that nothing bad happens to Ezinma farther in the book. Okonkwo was
obviously really worried about her, but he would just grumble at everyone instead of asking if
Ekwefi and Ezinma were ok. This chapter made me see how seriously they take their beliefs.
The iyi-uwa was a rock wrapped in cloth I believe, but at the same time it was way more than
that. I just thought was really interesting because that was what they believed saved her life.
Chapter 10
Large crowds gathered in the village to watch a husband against his wifes family in a trial. The
husband presented his case. And the family presented theirs. In the end, the husband was told
to apologize to his wife for beating her unnecessarily.
I don't get how exactly this chapter fits in the book. I notice that Achebe kind of brings up
something that isn't exactly related to Okonkwos story, but then goes back into Okonkwos
story. I guess it seems this is not just about Okonkwo it is also about the Igbo tribe and their
culture. Again I think it is terrible that men beat their wives and it is acceptable when their wives
do something wrong. I feel he should've gotten punished worse because he beat her while she
was pregnant. I also feel like the guy who was in charge of the case, or I guess the judge
needed to sit down somewhere because it was annoying how he was acting like he needed to
be worshipped like God. Plus God doesn't act like that. He is not egotistical like that man was, in
my opinion.
Chapter 11
Ezinma is called because Agbala wanted to see her. The priestess came to take her away to
him. Ekwefi was afraid and insisted she go along. The priestess refused. Ignoring the priestess,
Ekwefi followed behind shortly after they left. It was a long journey, and only once did the
priestess notice that someone is was following. She warned them to go back. Ekwefi
contemplated going back, but decided to keep following with a little more distance between
them this time. They arrived and Ekwefi didn't enter the cave with the priestess and Ezinma.
She eavesdropped, but only heard whispering. Okonkwo appeared out of nowhere. It seemed
he planned on following them too because he was worried about Ezinma and Ekwefi. He told
Ekwefi to go home and get rest, but Ekwefi wanted to stay. Then Ekwefi reminisced about the
day she left her husband to be with Okonkwo and why she fell in love with him. The priestess
and Ezinma returned to the village with Okonkwo and Ekwefi close behind.

Okonkwo surprised me in this chapter, I expected him to be angry with Ekwefi for leaving by
herself. But he wasn't. And he followed both Ekwefi and Ezinma because he was worried. This
really surprised me. I wonder what made him so calm. Maybe Achebe wanted to show a better
side to Okonkwo. This chapter gave me a new perspective of Okonkwo, I still think he has done
many wrong things, but maybe he will be willing to turn things around and change for the better
when it comes to his family. I also think that what Ekwefi did was very brave. She risked her life
just to make sure her daughter was ok. If she was caught she would have been killed.
Chapter 12
Obierikas daughter's suitor came to bring wine to her family. Okonkwo's wives went to help
Obierikas wife with the cooking. After the cooking was done, the in-laws arrived and brought
many pots of wine. The ceremony began as Obierika officially have his daughter to the suitor.
Soon after, there was a great feast. Everyone celebrated and it was a marvelous night. As the
night ended, the guests left and brought the bride home to spend seven market weeks with the
suitors family.
I guess this was a happy chapter. Nothing terrible happened. I wonder though if the bride is
actually happy to be forced to marry this man. Maybe later on, something will happen. I just
hope that he won't mistreat her. It seemed that everyone was just happy and overjoyed.
Everyone had a good time and partied and ate. I wonder if Achebe made this a happy chapter
purposefully, and made the next chapter a devastating one for a dramatic turn of events.
I don't really have much to say other than the fact that this is a happy chapter.
Some Igbo Food Recipe
Igbo Culture | Igbo Language
Food and Recipes
Nigerian chophouses typically list a number of soups with meat or fish ingredients, served with
either pounded yam, eba (steamed garri), semovita or jollof rice. Pounding yam is an effort on
its own, and after observing its pounding, you probably value your food a lot more. The soups
are mostly palm oil based and the most popular ones in Igboland are:
Bitterleaf soup, with bitterleaf not very distant from spinach;
ora and ogri soup, a vegetable-based soup, most commonly eaten in villages;
egusi soup, yellowish soup based on melon seeds;
okro soup, sticky, viscous draw soup made out of sliced okro pods;
ogbono soup, another draw soup based on ogbono pods and
vegetable soup, the most exclusive soup, because of its ingredients.
chop house
Meat or fish is a key component of the soup, mostly originating from cow, chicken, goat, turkey,
dry fish or stockfish. Stockfish is air-dried codfish that is soaked and cooked in the soup. Some
restaurants advertise bush meat as well, which can be from antelopes, but more valued is the

grass-cutter (also called bush or cane rat), or maybe even less familiar species. Bush rat meat
is worth a try, when cooked properly, as it is very tender and well spiced. Vegetarians,
unfortunately, may find themselves limited to only a few non-meat dishes on the menu list.
The less hungry people may try moi-moi or suya. Moin-moin is a delicious steamed bean cake;
suya is a brochette with thin slices of grilled cow or goat meat. To make this section complete,
you can find the recipes for egusi and okro soup:
Egusi Soup:
675 g of meat, chicken or fish,
cup of dried shrimp or crayfish,
1 cup of tomato paste,
2 cups of leafy spinach, bitterleaf or other greens,
2-3 chilli peppers,
1 cup of palm oil,
cup of sliced onions,
1 cup of egusi seeds (or melon seeds),
salt to taste.
Cut the meat into bite-sized chunks and add 1 cup of water, teaspoon of salt and half cup of
onions to it and cook it for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fry the finely chopped onions, tomato
paste and peppers for 5 minutes in palm oil. Grid or crush the egusi seeds and mix it with
enough water to make a paste and add to above together with the shrimp or crayfish. When the
meat gets brownish, add it to the above sauce to cook until tender. Add the bunches of bitterleaf
(finely chopped) 10 minutes before the end of cooking time.
Okro Soup:
5 pods of okro,
Meat or fish,
1 medium onion
3 peppers
cup crayfish
1 dessert spoon of palm oil
1 stock cube and salt
Trim, wash and cut meat or fish into small pieces and boil until cooked. Pound together the
onion, peppers and crayfish, add it to the meat and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Add the okro,
stock, salt, palm oil to the soup and cook for a further 3 minutes. Note that for vegetable soup,
you can use greenleaf instead of okro.
Both soups are to be most typically served with pounded yam or garri.

Chapter 13

The oldest man in the village of Umuofia, Ezeudu, passed away. When Okonkwo heard the
news, he remembered the last words that Ezeudu had said to him. That boy calls you father.
bear no hand in his death, is what he said to Okonkwo. There was a great funeral to honor a
noble warrior, drums were played, guns and cannons were fired, and men were cutting trees
and dancing on roofs. Everyone was dancing, and all of a sudden everyone fell silent. There
was a boy laying on the ground in a pool of blood. Okonkwos gun had exploded and a piece of
iron pierced the boys heart. Okonkwo was banished out of his village for seven years. He and
his family packed up their things and fled to his motherland.
I knew something tragic was going to happen. I thought Okonkwo had it coming for all the things
that he did. It is really sad what happened to that poor boy. I also think Okonkwo is screwing up
his reputation. He keeps going against the earth goddess. I am surprised they havent killed him
by now. But they killed Ikemefuna for really no reason. I also noticed that Ezeudu told Okonkwo
not to have any part in Ikemefunas death, but Okonkwo ignored that and killed him anyway.
Then at Ezeudus funeral, he kills another young boy.
Chapter 14
Okonkwo and his family are welcomed by his mothers kinsmen in a village called Mbanta. The
old man who received them was his mothers younger brother. His name was Uchendu. When
Okonkwo saw Uchendu he recalled his mothers death when he was a young boy. Uchendu
asked no questions when Okonkwo arrived. Okonkwo and his family worked hard to start their
lives again. Uchendu could see that Okonkwo was troubled, and decided he would speak to him
after the isa-ifi ceremony. Uchendus youngest son was getting married to a new wife. They had
a nice ceremony. The next day, Uchendu called his sons and daughters and his nephew,
Okonkwo. He told Okonkwo not to let sorrow to weigh him down and kill him, or his family will all
die in exile.
I think this is the first that I heard of Okonkwos mother in this book. Achebe talks about
Okonkwos father plenty of times. That was interesting to me. And I never asked the question
earlier in the book of where was his mother or what happened to her? I thought that was
interesting. I dont know if Okonkwo is really in despair. I know the book says that, but it just
doesnt really seem like it. Maybe later on it will show more of Okonkwos thoughts and
emotions, but right now, I am not really buying it. If Uchendu wouldn't have said that, I probably
wouldve never guessed that Okonkwo was in despair, honestly.
Chapter 15
Okonkwo and his family had lived in Mbanta for two years when Obierika came to visit them.
Okonkwo and his family were so happy. Obierika also brought gifts. Uchendu was thrilled to
meet Obierika because Okonkwo had talked about him often. The men talked and Obierika told
a story about a white man that appeared in a clan. The Oracle told them this man would destroy
their clan, so they killed the white man. It was weird though because the man was silent when
he was killed. He did not beg to be saved. After he had died, more white men came to the
village. They hid themselves and then shot everyone in the village except for the elderly and
sick and many men and women. They brought them to be sold as slaves. Okonkwo and the

other men agree that these men were fools to kill the white man. Okonkwo believed that they
should have foreseen the danger ahead. The men did not know if this story was true or if it was
just a story.
I am surprised that Obierika came to visit Okonkwo. I guess they really are great friends. Now
about the story, I definitely think that Okonkwo is going to run into some white men pretty soon. I
have no idea what us going to happen, but I have a feeling that it will not be very good. I bet that
the story was true. I mean it was very common for Europeans to come and capture africans and
sell them as slaves during that time. I wonder what is going to happen next.
Chapter 16
Two years later, Obierika came to visit Okonkwo to tell him that missionaries were in the village
of Umuofia trying to convert the Ibo to Christianity. He also mentioned that Nwoye was among
the people that were converting to Christianity. Nwoye told Obierika that Okonkwo was not his
father. Okonkwo did not want to talk about Nwoye. There were six missionaries and one of them
was a white man. Everyone was surprised to see the white man and thought of the one that was
killed in Abame. The white men spoke about the new religion brought into Umuofia, some
people believed it, but most laughed at him. Nwoye was captivated by Christianity because of
the poetry of the new religion.
I saw it coming that Nwoye was going to go against his father. He felt that the Ibo ways were
wrong, so he found a new religion. I feel for the people in Umuofia. It is really hard to accept
change. It would be crazy for me if there was really no God. I would not want to accept it. I don't
think it is right to force someone to believe in God. I do believe that everyone has to experience
the glory of God with their own experience. If you want to have more people follow God, maybe
you can be an influence, but do not force it, or people will want to resist more. I like the way they
are explaining Christianity in this book, in my opinion, they aren't forcing it. They are telling their
truth and some people are believing it and some are laughing.
Chapter 17
The missionaries came to Mbanta and asked for a piece of land to build to their church. They
were given as much of the Evil Forest as they wanted. The inhabitants of Mbanta expected
them to be dead in four days. The four days passed and nobody was dead. Everyone was
confused, and were convinced that the church had special powers. That was when the
missionaries won their first three converts. Nwoye would pass and repass the church many
times to listen in, but he was too afraid to go inside. The people of Mbanta believed that their
ancestors and gods wouldn't allow them to live for longer than seven market weeks. Seven
weeks passed, and they were still alive. That week they got a handful of more converts. For the
first time they had a woman. Okonkwos cousin had seen Nwoye among the converts and told
Okonkwo. Okonkwo beat Nwoye until Uchendu told him to stop. Nwoye left for Umuofia where
he would be taught to read and write. He was glad to leave Okonkwo. Okonkwo did not believe
that Nwoye was his son, although he was like Okonkwo's father Unoka.

I'm proud of Nwoye because he is starting to man up. It is sad that he left his family, but he
knew that the tradition that they follow ever since they killed Ikemefuna and the twin babies was
not right. Okonkwo had it coming. He couldn't just get away with killing his sons best friend
without any consequences. I thought it was funny how everyone expected the missionaries and
converts to die, they were so excited and ready, but nothing happened. And they were laughing
at the missionaries when they first came.
Chapter 18
The church gained more and more strength. A few outcasts came into the church and spoke of
the osu. Osu was person dedicated to a god. He could not marry or be married. He would also
never touch a razor. Mr. Kiaga, a missionary, told the outcasts to shave their beards. They were
afraid they might die. They shaved, and nothing happened. They became the strongest
believers in Christ. He told them only the word of God was true. Mr. Kiaga sent a group of
women to get red earth, white chalk, and water. They returned empty- handed and some of
them had been whipped. Young men had chased them away. The village did not want any of the
converts to step foot in the marketplace because a fellow convert, Okoli, was accused of killing
the sacred python. Okoli fell sick the previous night and died at the end of the day. Okolis death
gave hope that their gods could fight their own battles. The clan then decided to leave the
Christians alone.
This chapter was a little confusing to me. At times, I didn't know what they were talking about.
But, it was interesting how the death of a guy made the people that didn't believe in Christ
happy. Someone had to die to make them believe in their gods again. That is messed up. I don't
really have much to say about this chapter.
Chapter 19
The seven years were coming to an end. Okonkwo regretted every minute of his exile.
Everyone was kind, but he felt that he would have prospered more in Umuofia. Okonkwo and
his family from Mbanta gathered for one last feast.
This was nice and short. I don't have much to say other than Okonkwo was warmly accepted to
Mbanta, but he still didn't want to be there. I think he should be grateful that the people were so
kind to him and his family. I think that Okonkwo's family liked it a lot. It just seemed more chill in
Mbanta than Umuofia. Or maybe Okonkwo was a little calmer there.
Chapter 20
Okonkwo anxiously thought about his great return to Umuofia. The first task he planned to do
was rebuild his compound, but better. A lot changed in the last seven years. Ezinma grew up
and became one of the most beautiful girls back in Mbanta. His other daughter had also grown
and become beautiful. He knew they would get some attention once they arrived back in
Umuofia. Umuofia had changed during the last seven years also. The church in Umuofia had
gotten many people of the village to join. The white men also brought a government to Umuofia.
The head was the District Commissioner and he had court messengers who brought people to

trial. The court messengers were known as ashy-buttocks to the people of Umuofia. The white
men were taking over Umuofia.
I think that if bringing Christianity to Africa was the first step in gaining control over it, that makes
me really angry, and no believer of God would do something that cruel. You are bringing a
message of hope and love, and you turn around and take over. That is terrible. If that is the
case, they are not real believers of God. It looks like the court messengers don't get along with
the people of Umuofia. I wonder if Okonkwo is going to try to stop them.
Chapter 21
Some people in Umuofia didn't like the change, but they were not as upset as Okonkwo
because these changes brought a trading store, and that brought a lot of money in Umuofia.
Even in all the chaos, some people felt like they were gaining something else from losing
something. Mr. Brown was the only white missionary that was respected by the clan. He would
preach about God, but he wouldn't force it on them. He would often talk with the clan about their
beliefs. Mr. Brown learned a lot about the clan and their religion. When Okonkwo had returned,
Mr. Brown had returned to his home. Before he left, he visited Okonkwo and told him Nwoye
was now called Isaac. Okonkwo wanted nothing to do with him. When Okonkwo returned he did
not get the homecoming he expected. Umuofia did not care as much as Okonkwo thought they
would. The people were distracted with other things going on. Okonkwo thought that the clan
had become soft.
I like Mr. Brown. He actually took time to get to know people, and didn't force anything on them.
It's too bad he didn't stay. He is obviously doing something right if he has the respect of the clan.
They both have different beliefs, but they respect each other. That takes a lot. Okonkwo has a
little too much pride. He thought everyone would stop everything they were doing to welcome
him back. It didn't really seem like anyone missed him that much. I don't think Achebe is trying
to make anyone the bad guy. I think he is telling the story in a realistic way. This is what was
happening in Africa. I believe he's giving the raw truth from what he knows.
Chapter 22
Mr. Browns successor was Reverend James Smith. He did not agree with Mr. Browns way of
compromise and accommodation. He saw things as black and white. He told people of the
church that did not think like them that they were unworthy of the Lord. There was a guy named
Enoch, and he was the son of the guy that killed the sacred python, and he was a member of
the church. He started off the war between the clan and the church because he took off the
mask of an egwugwu in public. Enoch had killed an ancestral spirit. The sound of the Mother of
the Spirits weeping shook everyone, including Mr.Smith . Mr. Smith hid Enoch. One of the
leaders of the egwugwu came to Mr. Smith and told him to leave, and for Mr. Brown to return
because they actually liked him. He refused to leave. Since he refused to leave, the church was
burned down.
Well that kicked off the war. I wonder what is going to happen next. The church was burned
down. What is the next move? I think Mr. Smith should've just left because everyone actually

respected Mr. Brown. I feel like people are going to fight each other and it won't be pretty. If you
think about it Okonkwo will be fighting his son. What if he kills his real son? Or Nwoye kills him?
I hope it doesn't go that far. I don't feel like this will be resolved in the end of the book.

Chapter 23
Okonkwo felt better about his return to Umuofia because he managed to get through to his clan.
Okonkwo and his clan met in the marketplace and planned to burn down the church. Once they
did it, Okonkwo was very happy. Then the District Commissioner returned and asked to meet
Okonkwo and the rest of the leaders of the clan. He fined them and locked them up at the
courthouse until the fine was paid by the people of Umuofia. Okonkwo wished that they had
killed the white man when they had the chance.
I think that the punishment was reasonable, but I also think that Enoch should've been punished
too. Not killed, but fined because he killed an ancestral spirit that the Igbo believed in. It's just
wrong to disrespect what other people strongly believe in, even if you don't yourself. The District
Commissioner was not being fair. Okonkwo and the other guys didn't do anything right either. I
just think Okonkwo, the clan, and Enoch all needed to be punished or fined.
Chapter 24
Okonkwo and the leaders of the clan were set free. The District Commissioner and the court
messengers just made Okonkwo angrier. There was a meeting held in the morning to talk about
the things that happened in Umuofia and what they were going to do about it. The court
messengers came and crashed the meeting. Okonkwo could not hold in his anger no more, and
in a flash he drew his machete. Okonkwo had killed a court messenger. The other people let the
rest of the messenger escape. Okonkwo heard voices all around him wondering why he did
that. He wiped his machete and walked away.
Okonkwo just keeps killing people. What is his problem? He can't just have a conversation and
try to work things out with people. I do believe that at this point Okonkwo is very disappointed in
his village. He was the only one who did anything when the court messengers interrupted their
meeting. The fact that he just walked away like nothing happened makes me think that he is
gave up. I wonder what he is going to do next.
Chapter 25
The District Commissioner arrived at Okonkwos place, but Okonkwo was not there. He
demanded to know where Okonkwo was. Obierika took him to Okonkwo. Okonkwos body was
hanging from a tree. Okonkwo committed suicide. Obierika asked the District Commissioner and
court messengers to help bring him down and bury Okonkwo. It was an abomination for the
people of the village to touch the body of a man who took his own life. Only strangers could
touch him. They took down the body. The Commissioner thought of how he would write a book
called The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger. A story of a man who had
killed a messenger and hanged himself.

I was not expecting Okonkwo to kill himself. In his book, wouldn't that be considered being
weak. I really never expected him to kill himself. I thought someone else would do it. The District
Commissioner and the rest of the white men drove Okonkwo to kill himself. I don't think it was
just the white men, but I also think it was the people of Umuofia. Okonkwo felt that they were not
fighting hard enough against them. I think he was just really disappointed and fed up, so he
gave up. I think Achebes reference to the book at the end was hinting that the white man had
written a book of what happened from their point of view. So in a way, Achebe is telling what
was happening from his or the Igbo tribes point of view in this book.
Point of View Essay
Chinua Achebe shows that the Igbo culture has very interesting traditions, beliefs, and customs.
I learned a lot about the Igbo chapter in Things Fall Apart. Some of the things I thought were
cool, and other things I didn't like. It was nice to learn about this African tribe because I've been
trying to learn about it on my own. I believe Achebe depicted the Igbo culture in things fall apart
was strict, loyal, and traditional.
The Igbo tribe, from the information in this book seem very strict because their punishments
were a little extreme. People would be killed for literally no reason or not being acceptable to the
earth goddess, which is who they worshipped. Twin babies were considered to be evil,
according to the earth goddess, so the parents of the babies left them in the evil forest to die. A
boy named Ikemefuna was offered over as a war sacrifice, and he lived with the main character,
Okonkwo for many years, but then the people of the village of Umuofia killed him out of the blue,
including Okonkwo, who was like a father to the boy. These are just two examples of innocent
people being punished for no reason at all.
On the other side, they seemed to be really loyal. No one dared to go up against the earth
goddess or the elders. They took their beliefs very seriously. Some people, called osus, were
afraid to shave because they thought they would die. There were people, egwugwu, that
dressed up with masks on that they believe were the spirit of their ancestors. They worshipped
pieces of wood, believing that it was a spirit. They stuck to their beliefs, and very few would
question it. If you did, you would most likely be killed. It was like this until the Christians came.
Lastly, the Igbo tribe was very traditional. When I say traditional, I mean traditional to their
own tribe. Men and women had very clear roles. Women cooked, cleaned, and took care of the
children. Women were very submissive to the men. Men were strong, harvested yams, and did
other challenging tasks. Men could also have as many wives as he wanted. Okonkwo almost
killed one of his wives for talking back to him. A man named Obierika had nine wives. You were
not a man if you didn't harvest yams or wrestle. No one really broke the barriers in the book.
In conclusion, the Igbo tribe is very interesting. They are pretty strict, they believe really
strongly in their religion, and like to keep things simple and traditional. I, personally disagree
with a lot of their beliefs and customs. It was still very nice to learn about their culture. Achebe
did a great job at educating people about the Igbo tribe.