Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe
Ezinma Timeline and Summary
- Ezinma has a close relationship to her mother and has a tendency to ask many questions. The curious little girl poses her mother with many questions as they cook and wait for the new year wrestling matches to begin.
- Ezinma brings her father his meal. She asks if she can carry his chair to the wrestling match, but he won’t let her because that is a boy’s job.
- Two days after Okonkwo helped kill Ikemefuna, Ezinma brings him food and insists that he eat it, since he hasn’t eaten for two full days.
- Ezinma falls sick from a fever. She’s given a steam treatment with boiled herbs that her father has prepared.
- The narrator tells about how Ezinma has always been a sickly child. The town considers her to be an ogbanje child – one who goes through many cycles of being born, dying, and reentering her mother’s womb. In order to break her connection to the ogbanje world, Ezinma is forced to locate her iyi-uwa (a kind of magic stone).
- While telling stories with her mother one night, Chielo the priestess shows up and takes Ezinma on a long journey to the shrine of Agbala. We never learn what happens to her in the shrine, but she emerges alive and whole.
- During Okonkwo’s exile, Ezinma grows into a beautiful girl and upon her return to Umuofia, is quickly proposed to. The narrator implies that she settles down into a good marriage.