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Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

by

Chinua Achebe

 Table of Contents

Things Fall Apart Chapter Twelve Quotes

How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Obierika > Okonkwo

Quote 1

[Obierika]: “We are giving you our daughter today. She will be a good wife to you. She will bear you nine sons like the mother of our town.”

[The crowd]: “Ee-e-e!

The oldest man in the camp of the visitors replied: “It will be good for you and it will be good for us.”

Ee-e-e!

This is not the first time my people have come to marry your daughter. My mother was one of you.”

Ee-e-e!

“Prosperous men and great warriors.” He looked in the direction of Okonkwo. “Your daughter will bear us sons like you.”

Ee-e-e!” (12.41-52)

This exchange of words before at a wedding seems to have ritual significance. The words Obierika says have the weight of promises which, by vocalizing them, he hopes to make come true. The “Ee-e-e!” response of the crowd seems to be some sort of collective affirmation or approval of the ceremony that lends credence to Obierika’s words.

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Quote 2

On the following morning the entire neighborhood wore a festive air because Okonkwo’s friend, Obierika, was celebrating his daughter’s uri. It was the day on which her suitor (having already paid the greater part of her bride-price) would bring palm-wine not only to her parents and immediate relatives but to the wide and extensive group of kinsmen called umanna. Everybody had been invited – men, women and children. But it was really a woman’s ceremony and the central figures were the bride and her mother. (12.1)

During a daughter’s uri, women are finally acknowledged as important parts of the family and given free rein to plan the festival and feast.

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