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Commentary; Things Fall Apart - C Achebe

In: English and Literature

Submitted By blaine
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In Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”, chapter 14 gives us an insight into what happens to Okonkwo after he is exiled from his tribe for murdering a small boy under the charges of female murder. Seeing no other way to go, Okonkwo decided to leave Umuofia for his mother’s tribe/clan. We learn earlier on in the book, as well as being reminded throughout, that Okonkwo is very proud of his masculinity – and, rather unfortunately and being the only possible route he could take, retreating to his mother’s tribe/clan was not a very masculine route to embark upon. When he, along with his wives and children, arrive at his Mother’s Tribe Okonkwo’s uncle comes to him after watching and realising how apprehensive Okonkwo is about having been exiled and losing a lot, if not all, of the faith and trust that the people of Umuofia had for him. His uncle tells him that it is not a shameful deed for him to have come back to his mother and that he should look after, to the best of his abilities, his wives and children. His uncle then moves on to telling Okonkwo that if he doesn’t look after his family, and let’s the sorrow overcome him, he will lose the battle, not be able to prosper and his family will eventually die.

Achebe also introduces a new tradition in this chapter. He introduces the tradition of the isa-ifi ceremony. Basically, it is linked with a wedding ceremony, where after the bride money has been paid and the bride is questioned. If the bride lies during this questioning she dies at child birth.

Towards the end of the chapter, Okonkwo’s uncle talks to his son’s and daughter’s as well as Okonkwo during a gathering. However, he primarily wishes to speak to Okonkwo. His uncle puts across a point by saying that all his son’s and daughter’s and even Okonkwo, who has more children than him, are still children. They are not as wise as he is and probably won’t be for…...

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