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No Longer At Ease

No Longer At Ease


by Chinua Achebe

Hannah Okonkwo Timeline and Summary

  • Obi's mother has grown quite ill during the time he was in England, and her obvious bad health makes Obi feel bad.
  • Obi remembers how his mother tried to honor Obi's father's beliefs by leaving much of Igbo culture behind.
  • But at least once, she disobeyed Isaac's wishes.. After Obi's classmates made fun of him for not knowing any Igbo folk-tales, she told him one tale so he wouldn't be embarrassed at school.
  • When Obi becomes engaged, secretly, to Clara, he knows his family will be against it. But he thinks about the special bond he has with his mother.
  • One memory stands out: the time she cut her hand badly with a razor blade that he used to sharpen his pencils. The fact that she had shed her blood for him always connected him to her in a special way. He is certain that if he can just convince his mother to accept Clara, everything will be OK.
  • Obi's mother, ill and dying, tells him that if he marries Clara before she dies, her blood will be on his head because she will kill herself. But he can do what he likes once she is dead and that is likely to be soon.
  • Hannah Okonkwo dies.
  • After his mother has passed away, Obi remembers a story about his mother.
  • The local priest of Udo, one of the gods of Aninta, used to let his goat wander into the Okonkwo yard, despite Isaac's requests that he keep the goat tied up. Finally, Hannah was so angry and frustrated that she just hacked the goat's head off. But nobody did anything about it because their spirits had been broken by an incident that had occurred fifteen years ago, when European soldiers had punished the men of Aninta by destroying their guns.