Things Fall Apart: A Novel
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Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a "strong man" of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.
he went, and flies went with him. Even the greatest medicine men took shelter when he was near. Many years ago another egwugwu had dared to stand his ground before him and had been transfixed to the spot for two days. This one had only one hand and it carried a basket full of water. But some of the egwugwu were quite harmless. One of them was so old and infirm that he leaned heavily on a stick. He walked unsteadily to the place where the corpse was laid, gazed at it a while and went away
followed was without parallel in the tradition of Umuofia. Violent deaths were frequent, but nothing like this had ever happened. The only course open to Okonkwo was to flee from the clan. It was a crime against the earth goddess to kill a clansman, and a man who committed it must flee from the land. The crime was of two kinds, male and female. Okonkwo had committed the female, because it had been inadvertent. He could return to the clan after seven years. That night he collected his most
the old and the sick who were at home and a handful of men and women whose chi were wide awake and brought them out of that market.” He paused. “Their clan is now completely empty. Even the sacred fish in their mysterious lake have fled and the lake has turned the color of blood. A great evil has come upon their land as the Oracle had warned.” There was a long silence. Uchendu ground his teeth together audibly. Then he burst out: “Never kill a man who says nothing. Those men of Abame were
silence in the assembly of the clan. Onyeka had such a voice; and so he was asked to salute Umuofia before Okika began to speak. “Umuofia kwenu!” he bellowed, raising his left arm and pushing the air with his open hand. “Yaa!” roared Umuofia. “Umuofia kwenu!” he bellowed again, and again and again, facing a new direction each time. And the crowd answered, “Yaa!” There was immediate silence as though cold water had been poured on a roaring flame. Okika sprang to his feet and also saluted his
before the priest. “Take away your kola nut. I shall not eat in the house of a man who has no respect for our gods and ancestors.” Okonkwo tried to explain to him what his wife had done, but Ezeani seemed to pay no attention. He held a short staff in his hand which he brought down on the floor to emphasize his points. “Listen to me,” he said when Okonkwo had spoken. “You are not a stranger in Umuofia. You know as well as I do that our forefathers ordained that before we plant any crops in the