Things fall apart 3 y 4


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Things fall apart 3 y 4

  1. 1. Chapter Three<br />We begin to get more insights into Okonkwo’s past. Unlike his peers, he started out poor and didn’t inherit anything from his dad, who was always in debt. <br />A common story told in Okonkwo’s village is about Okonkwo’s father, Unoka, visiting the tribe’s oracle, Agbala, to discover why he has such bad harvests. <br />The narrative flashes back to Unoka speaking with the oracle many years ago when Okonkwo was still a boy. <br />Agbala’s priestess interrupts as Unoka begins explaining himself. She says that he has no one but himself to blame for his bad harvests. She points out his laziness in contrast to his neighbors’ admirable work ethic and sends him away with simple advice: “go home and work like a man.” <br />Eventually Unoka gets sick with a disease which causes his stomach to swell. This disease is considered an abomination to the earth so Unoka is not allowed to die at home, nor does ritual allow his body allowed to be buried. He dies and rots under a tree in the Evil Forest. <br />Even before his father died, Okonkwo was forced to blaze his own trail to wealth and respect because lazy Unoka could give his son nothing. <br />To create his own wealth and reputation, Okonkwo goes to a wealthy man – Nwakibie – and makes polite offerings of palm-wine and kola nut and asks for a favor. Essentially, Okonkwo makes a sharecropping agreement with the wealthy man where he only gets one-third of his harvest and Nwakibie gets the rest. <br />Nwakibie is unexpectedly generous to Okonkwo, giving him twice the number of seeds expected because, unlike many young men, Okonkwo isn’t afraid of hard work. <br />Okonkwo works tirelessly to harvest the yams while his mother and sisters work their own crops. Okonkwo is angry because all this work is going towards feeding his father’s household (because his father is lazy) instead of building up his own future. <br />The year turns out to be a disaster. There is a long period of drought, killing the first batch of Okonkwo’s yams. After he plants the remainder, there is endless flooding so the few yams that actually make it to harvest are rotting. <br />But Okonkwo survives the tragic year and vows that he can survive anything due to his “inflexible will.”<br />Chapter Four<br />Because of his personal merits, Okonkwo has quickly risen to be one of the most highly ranked men in his clan. <br />During a meeting of kinsmen, Okonkwo proves himself to have little sympathy for men who have been less successful than himself. When a titleless man contradicts him, he says, “this meeting is for men.” <br />The other men make Okonkwo apologize to the lower-ranked man and tell Okonkwo that he should be humble and have sympathy for those who are less fortunate. <br />The narrator, however, assures the reader that Okonkwo hasn’t been successful simply because he’s a lucky man; he’s worked hard to rise from poverty to his current position. <br />The clan respects Okonkwo for his hard work and strong-will, which is why they selected him to go to the offending village to declare war (that was when he ended up taking Ikemefuna and the virgin girl instead). <br />The clan assigns Ikemefuna to Okonkwo’s care until they decide what to do with him. <br />When Ikemefuna moves in to Okonkwo’s house, he’s terrified and refuses to eat until he’s taken home. Okonkwo won’t put up with the boy’s hunger strike and stands over Ikemefuna with a threatening club, forcing the boy to eat his meal. <br />After the force-feeding session, Ikemefuna is sick for a while, but once he’s healthy again, he’s turns out to be a happy, lively boy. <br />Ikemefuna is well-liked in Okonkwo’s household. He develops a bond with Nwoye and Okonkwo’s first wife, the mother of Nwoye. Even Okonkwo comes to think of Ikemefuna as a son, though he never outwardly shows his affection (surprise, surprise). <br />Ikemefuna came to Umuofia around the start of the Week of Peace, the happy interval between harvest and planting. <br />During this time, however, Okonkwo breaks the peace. He beats his third wife, Ojiugo, for not arriving home in time to cook his midday meal. By beating his wife, he breaks the law of the Week of Peace. Ezeani, the priest of the earth goddess, comes to punish him. <br />The priest bashes Okonkwo for violating the rules of the sacred week and possibly making the earth goddess angry. Then he gives Okonkwo instructions for righting his wrong: Okonkwo must bring a sacrifice to the goddess’s shrine. <br />Okonkwo does as he is told and really does feel repentant, but is too proud to reveal that to his neighbors. So his neighbors think that he’s too proud to respect the gods. <br />Town gossip reveals that transgression during the Week of Peace rarely happens, so this is big news. Historically, the punishment has also been much more severe. <br />After the Week of Peace ends, new crops are planted. Okonkwo starts the arduous process of planting yams with the help of Nwoye and Ikemefuna. <br />While preparing the seed yams, he constantly criticizes the boys for not preparing them correctly and threatening them aggressively. <br />Okonkwo knows that the boys are too young to really be able to plant yams well, but he’s harsh with them because he wants them to turn into tough men. <br />After much hard work planting and tending the yams, the rainy season arrives and the boys and Okonkwo remain indoors. <br />During his free time, Ikemefuna tells folktales to Nwoye. This is a pretty happy time for Ikemefuna and he finally feels at home in Okonkwo’s household.<br />