Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Summary Study Guide

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Plot Summary Part 2

Unfortunately for Okonkwo, this was the "Week of Peace", when villages were not allowed to beat anyone up.

The local priest scolds Okonkwo, not for beating up his wife, but for beating her up at the wrong time. He says that even if Okonkwo had caught his wife being boned by another guy, he still should not have smacked her around during the Week of Peace.

The priest says that Okonkwo has to pay a fine of a goat, a hen, a piece of cloth and 100 seashells or cowries. Yes, they use seashells for money here.

Okonkwo is an angry guy. He threatens to break his son Nwoye's skull for cutting yams the wrong way. We learn that in Africa, yams stand for manliness. Heh heh.

At the Feast of the New Yams, new yams could not be eaten until some yams were sacrificed to the gods they believed in. I guess the African "gods" really liked yams.

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Okonkwo's second wife trimmed a banana tree. Okonkwo beat the crap out of her. Then he shot a gun and almost hit her. Okonkwo doesn't like anyone messing with his banana tree!

Remember Ikemefuna, the kid from the other village who was taken hostage by Okonkwo's village? Okonkwo has been taking care of the kid for three years, treating him like his own son.  But now the village has decided to kill Ikemefuna. They don't want Okonkwo to kill him because Okonkwo is like a father to him. But Okonkwo is so wedded to local traditions and is also so violent that he kills Ikemefuna himself, which makes the other villages wonder how Okonkwo can kill someone who he thought of as his son. Okonkwo is a really violent guy!

Okonkwo was upset for a while over killing Ikemefuna but he soon got over it and killed some other people later in the story.

One of Okonkwo's wives, Ekwefi, miscarries repeatedly. They suspect that the spirit of the first dead child is reentering the bodies of the later children so the local medicine man mutilates Ekwefi's latest dead baby to persuade the dead baby not to reincarnate itself later.

Okonkwo gets angry with his daughter Ezinma (rhymes with "Enema"). Ezinma has a magic pebble called a rya-uwa that she has buried somewhere which Okonkwo is sure is causing lots of trouble. He demands to know where Ezinma has buried her magic pebble and he digs it up. When he finds it and removes it, Ezinma, who was sick, suddenly becomes better! Those magic pebbles can really make you sick, heh heh.

A village elder pretending to be inhabited by a ghost settles village disputes. One of them is called "Evil Forest". He is named after the part of the forest where sick people are buried. Why someone called "Evil" would be a voice of authority in this village simply tells you how f'ed up these people really are.

Anyway, Evil Forest hears the case of a guy's wife who ran away from home because he was beating her.

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